What Does Rome, Birmingham, Anniston, And Tuscaloosa Have In Common, They Have The Most Dangerous Natural Disasters


This is one of those top ten lists people living around here should not be surprised about!  Living in the southeast means you have to deal with a wide variety of weather conditions.  Yes, we have sunny and calm days.  But, we also have to deal with a lot of severe weather.  From tornadoes, strong winds, snow, icestorms, hurricanes, droughts, severe hot and cold, and more!  Alabama has some of the most diverse weather on planet Earth!  And people living here have to be ready for any type of weather!  So, this top ten list listing the top ten cities with the most dangerous natural disasters comes as no surprise!

The website 24/7 Wall St reviewed housing data resource RealtyTrac’s 2015 Natural Disaster Housing Risk Report, which considered the potential for serious damage from wildfires, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, and flooding. 24/7 Wall St. replicated the methodology and aggregated RealtyTrac county-level data on a metropolitan level. For each type of natural disaster, the likelihood of risk is assigned either as very low, low, moderate, high, or very high.

Number one on the list was Fayetteville, North Carolina.  But after number one, a string of metros in Alabama and Georgia made the top 10 list!

Number two was Rome, Georgia!

> Natural disaster index: 160
> No. of natural disaster types at risk for: 2
> Hurricane risk: High risk
> Pct. area at risk of wildfires: 20.4%

Rome’s population is at relatively high risk of hurricanes, but the biggest natural disaster threats in the state are wildfires and tornadoes. More than one-fifth of the region is at the highest level of risk of wildfires. Like much of Georgia, the region has been hit by several severe tornado events. In 2012, one tornado that touched down in downtown Rome, left a three mile trail of destruction. While the tornado was only a category EF1, it still damaged dozens of homes.

Number three is Birmingham, Alabama.

> Natural disaster index: 135
> No. of natural disaster types at risk for: 2
> Hurricane risk: Very high risk
> Pct. area at risk of wildfires: 8.4%

Birmingham, located in the central part of Alabama, is tied with nearby Anniston-Oxford-Jacksonville for the third worst risk of severe weather among U.S. metropolitan areas. Residents and homes in the area are at high risk of both wildfires and hurricanes, although neither type of natural disaster is at the highest threat level. Tornadoes represent the biggest risk to Birmingham area residents, with the metro area ranking fifth worst in the country for damage from tornadoes between 2001 and 2013. The region has been hit by several major tornado outbreaks. One was the 1977 Smithfield tornado, a category F5 tornado that touched down in a Jefferson County suburb and killed 22 people.

Number four is Anniston – Oxford Alabama.

> Natural disaster index: 135
> No. of natural disaster types at risk for: 1
> Hurricane risk: High risk
> Pct. area at risk of wildfires: 14.1%

The Anniston, Alabama metropolitan area is at moderate risk of flooding, and high risk of wildfires. Like many of the cities with the most dangerous weather, the biggest risks to the area are hurricanes and tornadoes. On Palm Sunday, 1994, a massive outbreak of tornadoes swept across parts of the southeastern US, killing 42 people and injuring more than 300, including one person in the metropolitan area.

Number eight is Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

8. Tuscaloosa, AL
>Natural disaster index: 130
>No. of natural disaster types at risk for: 2
>Hurricane risk: Very high risk
>Pct. area at risk of wildfires: 1.2%

Like much of the Gulf Coast, Tuscaloosa is at very high risk of hurricane damage as well as moderate risk of flooding. The city is also `at risk of being hit by serious tornadoes, which together make it one of the cities at the highest risk of serious natural disasters. According to the NOAA, only two metropolitan areas, Huntsville and Decatur, which are both in Alabama, have seen greater destruction from tornadoes than Tuscaloosa. In April 2011, 64 separate tornadoes hit the state. The worst of these, an EF-4 class, was the Tuscaloosa-Birmingham tornado. The 1.5 miles wide tornado killed 65 people and injured approximately 1,500.


So, the lesson here, have a way to get weather alerts, always!  You must always be weather aware while living in Alabama, Georgia, and the southeast!  Read the entire top ten list at: http://247wallst.com/special-report/2015/09/16/cities-with-the-most-dangerous-natural-disasters/

Why It Is Time For The National Weather Service To Name Winter Storms


For a few years now, The Weather Channel has been naming Winter storms.  They began the practice because of social media, and it would have been easier to share information about the storms online.  Now, TWC started to do this, but the National Weather Service, who are the ones who issues the watches and warnings reported on The Weather Channel, did not pick up on this idea.  Now, other countries are about to start naming Winter storms.  Beginning this Fall, the United Kingdom’s Met Office and the Irish Meteorological Service will begin to name Winter storms.  The reason, they believe naming significant storms will increase public awareness of severe weather and thus improve appropriate responses to warnings.

And they have a point!  These days, there is an explosive growth in the web, apps, and social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter.  And on social media, everyone uses hashtags.  It is a lot easier to use a name of a Winter storm with a hashtag than to just say there is major snowfall in a town.  Germany and the Netherlands also names Winter storms, and the United States should do the same thing!  At first, I thought naming Winter storms was a stupid idea.  I mean, naming a storm that only leaves a little snow or ice behind is no big deal.  Now, naming a hurricane that leaves massive damage was another thing.  And storms like that needs a name!  TWC saw the value of naming Winter storms, because they saw how important social media is in communicating emergency information.  At first I thought it was a marketing ploy, but now I see this as lifesaving information.

By naming Winter storms, people can look on social media, and search via the name hashtag, and see if their school is closed, or report a power outage, or see traffic conditions, or see if a business is open, or see important information from the town they live in.  These days, every major town has a presence on Facebook and Twitter. You need to see and might have to share real time information that could prove to be a lifesaving thing!  The National Weather Service needs to recognize the importance of serving people in the way they find easiest to consume information.  And these days, it’s social media and hashtags.  Everyone uses hashtags to send important information, or to share an important photo on Instagram, or share an important video on YouTube.  See the importance of social media and hashtags?

If a hurricane threatens the United States, The Weather Channel, and every news outlet will use the hashtag of the storm name on their graphics and on their social media.  Heck, some National Weather Service offices will also use the hashtags on their social media accounts.  They need to be doing the same thing for Winter storms.  Social media will never go away, and people needs to find the important information in the quickest way possible, which involves hashtags, and using the Winter storm name as the hashtag.  It’s time for the National Weather Service to adopt the naming of Winter storms.  If they don’t like the names The Weather Channel comes up with, create your own list, and TWC will follow it!  Winter storms can create major havoc especially in major urban centers, and the people deserves to know if they need to stay home, so they are not stuck somewhere.  Get with it NWS!

TV Review: America’s Next Weatherman

Geek Alabama TV Reviews

I try to catch new TV shows on TV, and some shows are great with wonderful writing, characters, and storytelling.  While others, well they are a piece of junk!  And this new show on TBS called America’s Next Weatherman is a major piece of junk!  The show is made by the folks from Funny or Die, and you could tell that they tried to put their brand of humor in this show.  From the host wanting to repeat his closing lines, and seeing him in a confessional.  And of course, the rejected audition tapes.  One has to wonder if the people applying to this show had any idea Funny or Die was behind this.

The contestants are something I find weird.  Sure, some of the people are meteorologists, or people in or studying to be in the news business.  But, there are also some people who have no business being on a reality show about picking America’s top meteorologist.  I mean, a beauty queen and a pastor, you could tell that Funny or Die was trying to not take this show seriously!  So, let’s get into the nuts and bolts of America’s Next Weatherman.  The contestants are divided into the red and blue teams.  They faced their first challenge that had them hold up a microphone in a weather center with leaves, rain, and snow falling on them.  They had to say their “cues” when a red light went off in front of them, and they had to add weight to keep a balloon from popping.  What does this have to do with weather?

The second challenge had the contestants place a weather icon at a city on a world map.  Sadly, I don’t think the host Matt Oberg can even read a ruler, come on and pick the winning team already!  Oh, and nice job faking that you were flying in a helicopter over LA in the beginning of the show, that was faked.  You can tell when you saw that; this show was going to be a piece of junk!  The losing team sends two people to the cast off, where they each talk about the weather in a forecast.  Thank you pastor for waking up and realizing that this show was junk!  In fact, everyone should join the pastor and just quit, because this show is a joke!

The loser gets their coffee mug smashed to the ground by the host, and that’s it!  Oh, the loser walks out to a studio stage where it’s raining on them, a fitting end to this show.  So, this is a show where you face challenges that have nothing to do with reporting the weather on TV.  You report for a fake TV station called 4 KAST NEWS.  You have to face the people from Funny or Die who is intent in making this show a joke.  And the winner gets $100,000, an agent, and will get to report the weather on CNN.  God I hope that will go well!  America’s Next Weatherman is another example on why more and more people are cutting the cord and only streaming shows they want to watch!  Hey why not try this cable TV, make more shows that people will want to watch, and pay those higher cable bills to watch legally.

At the end, America’s Next Weatherman is a show that should not be taken seriously.  Weather should be taken seriously!  Here in Alabama, we have people who are scared of weather, especially after the April 27th tornado outbreak.  Sure, let’s make weather a joke, that will go well!  And nice job picking contestants that don’t know that the capital of Alabama is Montgomery.  I am glad this is on super late on Saturday nights; it should instead be taken off the air and cancelled.

Watch Spectacular Weather / Storm Videography In The Chase


If you are a weather geek like me, then you need to drop everything and watch this stunning video about weather in the Great Plains now!  The YouTube channel Mike Olbinski put out a video in 4K called The Chase.  Mike spent 14 days storm chasing in the Great Plains in the states (New Mexico, Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana and North Dakota) and he shot over 45,000 frames of footage for this film.

The video includes gorgeous shots of supercells, storms, clouds, lightning, sunsets, and even a tornado.  Wow, what some spectacular videography, enjoy!

Crowdsourcing Mornings: Weather Point 2.0

Geek Alabama Crowdsourcing Mornings

This is Crowdsourcing Mornings! This post takes place every weekday morning and highlights one crowdsourcing project I liked from Kickstarter, Indiegogo, or other crowdsourcing websites.

Since we are all aware of weather changes that are affecting our lives and daily activities, as team they decided to create Weather Point in order to follow up with such changes and have most accurate weather measurements on very current locations.  As they like to call it ” your individual and personal weather station”, Weather Point 2.0 is actually an innovation in weather monitoring and measuring.  Dimensionally pretty small and convenient to carry around in your daily activities, it is functionally more than helpful due to the facts that works as thermometer, humidity meter, UV index & atmospheric pressure meter and it is compatible with your mobile devices . Supports iOS & Android .

In any moment, on any location, provides you with temperature, pressure, UV and humidity measurements.  Cute and elegant, stylish, fashionable, convenient and very necessary piece of your daily outfit to help you go throughout your day without rainy or any other weather surprises.  Simply plug it in, read it and you are all set to go!  Weather Point 2.0 has four sensors (for temperature, humidity, UV radiation and atmospheric pressure) built into a standard four pole audio jack.

It is placed in a durable housing made from plastic, aluminum and titanium. These four sensors sends an audio signal which than reduce the signal amplitude witch depends on the actual readings. The software is using the calculation of the matching temperature, humidity, UV radiation and atmospheric pressure, and reads these information on the screen of your device.

Just plug Weather Point 2.0 into your mobile device and start our App. The readings will appear on your device at a blink of an eye! Weather Point 2.0 doesn’t use a battery or internet connection. It is powered by your device battery and doesn’t spend a lot of energy so don’t worry about recharging.  By measuring atmospheric pressure Weather Point 2.0 App will inform you about your current altitude. Another useful info, isn’t it?!


As of June 25th, this project has raised around $41,000 of their $25,000 goal. This project only has 29 days left to raise as much as it can!  For a pledge of $19, you will get one Weather Point 2.0 white.  For a pledge of $55, you will get two Weather Point 2.0’s anodized.  To learn more and to pledge money, go to:  https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/weatherpoint/weather-point-20-the-worlds-smallest-weather-stati