Tuesday, January 31, 2006
I remember one time I was speaking to a kindergarten class in Little Rock. We were all sitting on this enormous round red rug at the front of the room and toward the end of what I thought to be a brief - yet educational history of how weather began (ha), a little girl raised her hand...paused for a moment...and in the sweetest voice you can imagine asked, "Umm.... Miss Huckabee....(long pause) Can you see me looking at you when you're talking to me through the tv?"
Then, there was a clever young man that asked me once,"Miss Huckabee? How come you never say sun showers? You always say rain showers but why don't you say sun showers?"
I didn't have an answer for that one, by the way.
But my all time favorite ....
I was invited to read to a third grade class in Albuquerque. Naturally we read a book about weather and I followed up with a question and answer session with the little eight year olds about weather, my job, television, etc.
"OK... Well, if ya'll don't have any more questions, thank you for asking me to come out and read with you and I'd love to come out and be a part of your classroom anytime." I got up to leave, shook the teacher's hand, and turned toward the door only to hear.....
"Miss Huckabee.... do you think that if you ever really get good at doing the weather, maybe they'd let you read the news someday?"
Sunday, January 29, 2006
I just wanted to thank everyone for coming out to WeatherFest today!! It was a remarkable success. Folks with the American Meteorological Society were saying it was looking like the best WeatherFest ever with more than 3000 people attending the event at the Georgia World Congress Center. Folks came from all over... Colorado, Cordele, Hiawassee, and everywhere in between!
There were so many kids and you could tell by their faces that they were literally on cloud nine!! I could not even imagine if I had a chance to experience something like WeatherFest when I was a kid who loved the weather.
The picture above is of our own field meteorologist, Greg Majewski, and midday meteorologist, Laura Huckabee, talking with some folks about our StormTracker 46 Weather Chaser van (the only storm chase vehicle in the Atlanta TV market). We all stayed very busy answering lots of questions and giving out lots of free stuff. As usual, the magic CBS46 pencils stole the show!!! Chief Meteorologist Gene Norman was busy emceeing events all day including hosting Weather Jeopardy! (I don't think Alex Trebek has a lot to worry about! :-) )
Other than getting to see our storm chaser van there was lots to do inside the event.... science teachers from across the country were doing cool weather experiments, weather companies brought lots of cool weather gadgets to see and touch, and there was even a tornado simulator from the National Weather Service.
I hope everyone had a great time and I want to thank everyone who came up to chat with the StormTracker46 Weather Team.
Have a good week!!
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
Just a reminder that something real cool is going on this Sunday... it's Weatherfest! You might be asking, what is Weatherfest?
Weatherfest is an event the American Meteorological Society is putting on to kick off its annual meeting which here in Atlanta this year!
It is for everyone... both young and old.
CBS46 will be there with our StormTracker46 Weather Chaser. That's our state of the art storm chase vehicle that we use to chase storms and winter weather.
So, if you want to meet the Stormtracker46 Weather Team (Gene, Laura, Greg, and myself), check out our chase van, or test your knowledge with weather Jeopardy! we hope to see you at Weatherfest.
Oh incidentally (not to bribe you), we will have lots of CBS46 goodies to give away!
Below I am going to paste the press release from the American Meteorological Society regarding Weatherfest. We hope to see you there!
WORLD'S LARGEST WEATHER, CLIMATE SCIENCE MEETING GETS UNDERWAY IN ATLANTA THIS WEEKEND
WEATHERFEST ON SUNDAY, JANUARY 29 12-4 P.M. OPEN TO ALL, FREE
The largest meeting of meteorologists, climatologists, researchers, teachers and others involved in the atmospheric sciences gets underway this weekend in Atlanta with WeatherFest. The American Meteorological Society's 86th Annual Meeting will be held January 28- February 2, 2006, at the Georgia World Congress Center.
More than 2,000 of the world's leading atmospheric scientists will gather to discuss a broad range of weather and climate-related issues including space weather, drought, flash floods, hurricanes, climate change, aviation weather, wildfires, meteorological history, heat and health issues, and much more.
WeatherFest will be on Sunday, January 29 from 12-4 p.m. at the GWCC. The only public event during the scientific meeting, WeatherFest is an interactive giant science fair with more than 70 hands-on exhibits. Meet TV weathercasters from the Atlanta area and The Weather Channel, play weather games, win weather-related prizes, do hands-on science experiments, meet Atlanta Hawks Dominique Wilkins with the Atlanta Hawks at the Raytheon exhibit and much more. Tons to do for everyone and it's free! For details click here.
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
It's actually my mom's and for as far back as I can remember, whether being given money to spend – or now earning money to spend - the event has stumped me.What do you give the most important woman in your life? As if buying for the woman that gave you life isn't pressure enough, I have the type of mother that says, "Oh, heavens.... don't spend money on me... I don't need anything."
I don't know. Call me crazy, but somehow I think those Southwestern Bell telephone lines would be burning up with "I can't believe she really didn't get me anything!" to one of my younger siblings if I did as she asked.
In her defense, she has gotten much better. She's actually given me an idea for this year's gift. It's a tile cutter from Lowes. My mother is VERY specific. She has the exact item number, she can tell you the color, you've GOT TO get it from Lowes, and you better have paid the sale price or used a coupon or that sucker is going back to the "return" counter, you can be sure!
God love her, she's my mom! And I wouldn't have it any other way. She is the most beautiful woman I know! More so than that - she is the STRONGEST woman I know. She has more masters degrees that I can count. She has done amazing work in education in Arkansas – mostly with the adult education programs. She's 63 (I think, this year) tiles her own floors, apolstries her own furniture, fries the best chicken I've ever tasted, manages to keep my dad on schedule ( her schedule, that is), exercise, catch every episode of SURVIVOR (which still blows my mind - that's her favorite show- MY mom loves SURVIROR?? It's true), be my mom, and be the funniest, kindest, smartest, most amazing woman on earth.
I am so blessed. But you know what the very best part is? I love it when people I meet for the first time - that know my mother - say to me, "You look just like her". .. Or "You act just like her" ... or "You sound just like her".
Now as an adult, and more importantly a mother, myself -- I hold on to those wonderful little comments as tightly as I can. I am so blessed and priviledged to have Johnni Huckabee as my mom - and for someone to think I am even an inkling of what she is - is such an honor.
I love you mom. Happy Birthday.By the way, Our Lowes didn't have the same tile cutter you were talking about so I'm sending a gift card .... you may even have some change left over. Bye you a Coke - dad, too.
Monday, January 23, 2006
It looks like more rain could return by next weekend and it too could spill over into next week. That would be interesting because next week, Atlanta welcomes the world of Meteorology. Over ten thousand folks from here in in the U.S. and the world will converge on the A-T-L for the American Meteorological Society's annual meeting at the Georgia World Congress Center. For the most part, this will be a lot of science-types presenting research, etc. However, the week kicks off with a bang at Weatherfest.
This is the first of many announcement we'll make in the blog and on the air about this great opportunity to learn about the science of weather. The CBS 46 Weather Team will be down there playing a special version of weather Jeopardy this Sunday, January 29th from Noon until 4. We'd love to see you and show you our cool StormTracker 46 Chase van that we use to track storms.
Starting tomorrow, you can put away your umbrella and turn off your windshield wipers!
Sunday, January 22, 2006
Although we did see some sunshine on Friday it sure seems like its been forever since we felt the warmth of the sun in metro Atlanta... which made for a good 'inside' weekend. Although temperatures did climb into the 60s Saturday despite the clouds and rain we did nothing but go down hill on Sunday thanks to the dreaded wedge!!
When I worked in Macon other than answering questions about snow... the second most popular question was... "what is the wedge?"
Well, the wedge was Sunday's weather. Saturday's rain was compliments of a cold front that moved through northern Georgia. Behind that front high pressure moved to the mid-Atlantic. The flow around high pressure is clockwise and that clockwise flow brought in the cool and damp weather we saw today. That cool/damp air is too 'heavy' to make it over the Appalachian Mountains so instead it gets forced down the mountains. Kind like gutter guards in bowling. The ball can not go over the guard so the ball runs down the guard!
What typically happens is we have a very large temperature gradient across the state. For example... while temperatures across NE Georgia (deeper into the wedge) dropped into the 30s and 40s... further to the south we saw temperatures in the 60s and 70s in Columbus and Macon. As I sit here at 10PM it is 39 in Gainesville, 45 in Atlanta, 48 in Peachtree City, and 68 in Columbus! Stiff East to Northeast winds are what the cold air moves in on and typically those winds are brisk between 10-20 mph. That just adds to the cool, raw, damp feel to the air.
If there is any good news is that the wedge will break tomorrow and we should see some warmer weather by the afternoon. After that the sun returns by Tuesday. With Annie playing at the Fox later this week maybe she can amend her song to say..."The sun will come out the day after tomorrow?" Oh well, it's a thought.
Have a good week!
Thursday, January 19, 2006
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
Whew!!! Talk about windy weather on Saturday across the metro area... it probably left you wondering whether this we lived in Chricago or Atlanta! We ended up having winds between 20-35mph pretty much all day. Winds gusted to over 40 mph at times. I looked around at some of the various 'official' reporting stations around northern Georgia and found the highest wind gust at Briscoe Field in Lawrenceville. They reported a gust of 44mph. Talk about holding onto your hat!
As far as damage reports, the most damage appeared to have been in NE Georgia near Dahlonega, Dawsonville, and Cleveland where numerous trees were blown down and we had numerous power outages. That being said, we did have some trees and powerlines down in the metro that caused a few problems.
The other interesting thing from Saturday is we techically had our first snow of the season that morning. Around 2-3 Saturday morning Hartsfield-Jackson reported a light snow and rain mixture. Not anything that caused any problems or anything that stuck, but still we will take whatever flakes we can get in these parts.
As far as the days ahead, it looks like the cold shot of air we got today (Wednesday) will last just today before warmer weather (60s) return for Thursday and Friday. Our next chance of rain looks to be Saturday.
Until next time....
Thursday, January 05, 2006
Good day all!
I meant to get this up the other day, but I got sidelined with the flu after Monday's severe storms chase. First off I have to say seeing storms like that in the south at any time of year is a very rare event. The cloud formations were awesome as you can tell by the photo I attached above that was sent in from one of our viewers. I did intercept the storm that dropped a twister in northern Fayette and southern Fulton county near McDonough. I did see what we weather folks call a "Low hanging wall cloud" and felt inflow into that wall cloud but no tornado. The bluish Hugh clouds also brought nickel sized hail which bombarded me for a brief time. What was even more amazing was that I could see the setting sun behind this storm as it passed to my south. I did try to make a run at the Pike county storm that dropped the big F-3 tornado but it was too far south for me to get into a safe position in time. We are making a few changes to our van to better cover these storms. Right now our workstation is in the back which makes it tough for one person to chase and see the live radar at the same time, so we are adding a mount in the side passenger seat up front. We are also adding a mount for our video camera, and added a memory stick. This means I'll be able to record MPEG video and send that back instantly. The big advantage we have over the other guys in town is that we have eyes in the field and we can tell you exactly what mother nature is doing, without speculation. Hopefully this will add an extra impact to keeping you safe whenever severe weather strikes. Now on the winter front, we may get some flakes to fly tomorrow. I may take the Weather Chaser Van to the north perhaps get a little snow video. That's all for now. And thanks for watching!
Tuesday, January 03, 2006
What a way to start the New Year! Sure, I'd seen the reports on Sunday. Chris Smith gave a stern caution about the threat for dangerous weather on Monday. In fact, I was awakened early Monday morning by a few loud claps of thunder and I thought that maybe things were getting started early. But the main event waited until the end of the day. The atmosphere was primed, all the right ingredients were there and with just a little sunshine, the warm, unstable air began bubbling up (literally) and exploding with powerful storms.
We began doing our normal 4 pm newscast, but very quickly, things changed. By 4:15, I noticed a developing storm in southern Coweta county. The projected track of the storm had it getting to near the airport by 5 pm. With the hordes of Georgia fans tailgating around the Dome, I feared the worst - that this storm might actually make it to Atlanta. By 4:35, the storm showed signs of rotating and a few minutes later, the weather service issued a tornado warning for Douglas, Fulton and Fayette counties.
We went into full red alert from the weather center. And thanks to many viewers, who were not working due to the holiday, we saw some really neat pictures of the storms as they unfolded.
First, and foremost, there was quite a bit of large hail, from the size of a quarter on up to golfball:
Then the storms spawned 5 tornadoes in North and Central Georgia. Three in Metro Atlanta counties of Fayette, Henry and Pike. The other two were further south in Jones and Johnson counties. The one that hit Fayette started in Palmetto and then hopped over to Tyrone. Fortunately, no one was hurt, but the storm did damage like this:
Since the storms hit about an hour or two before sunset, many people saw dramatic skies. The storms formed in the west and moves east, so the sun was behind the storms giving the sky a pinkish hue. Its also possible that the sunlight was refracted by the hail adding to the colors. Take a look at this shot from Lawrenceville:
Thanks to all of you who sent in pictures. We also sent Greg Majewski in our StormTracker 46 Chase Van. Watch for his blog entry on what is was like chasing these storms!
Monday, January 02, 2006
Now, fast-forward eleven years.........it's December 31st, 1982... I'm now 15 years old. I happen to be in Newport Beach, California at a Sheraton Hotel with one hundred-and-seventy-some odd other Jonesboro High School band members and no one can sleep.
We were just hours away from stepping off on Orange Grove Boulevard and being the first band (to ever represent a high school) in the state of Arkansas in the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade.
A relatively small high school, but a very talented marching back, we had been practicing and fund raising our tails off for months. We spent days marching around the streets of Jonesboro, Arkansas. You talk about performance anxiety - everything had to be perfect...from the uniforms to the shoes... from the polished instruments to the wooden drumsticks. Everything had to be just right. And I have to say (if I do say so myself) it was.
Even today I am so proud to say I was a member of that band. We worked so hard - the band members played their hearts out and we (the majorettes) twirled our fingers off. Ya know, funny, but one thing I really remember about the end of the parade was that --- my face hurt --- really!!! It takes about 4 hours to march through that whole parade route - and I was smiling so much - my face hurt.
I also remember knowing that back at home there were hundreds of band family members watching that long parade in hopes of catching glimpse of a daughter, a son, a sister, a cousin - What a remarkable day that was! And as we again approach that "BOWL" or "PARADE" time of the year - I always find myself reflecting back on this.
So while I sit back, enjoying my second cup of coffee in this new year - I have to smile, thinking of all the excitement in the tummies of all the kids getting ready to walk down that one long strip of street in Pasadena.
Happy New Year.
Sunday, January 01, 2006
The primary threat from the storms will be large hail and damaging winds although it is not out of the question for us to see an isolated tornado as well.
Although there are no guarantee's when it comes to the weather; now would be the time to brush up on your severe weather safety plan with your family if you have not already done so. Here is a link to a website with all you need to know...
National Weather Service
I rang in the New Year in the StormTracker 46 Weather Center, but I did get a chance to head to the Florida panhandle for a few days between Christmas and New Year's to enjoy a little off time. The weather was beautiful as you can see by this snapshot of the sun setting over the Gulf of Mexico at Grayton Beach, FL. Days like that remind us why every day at the beach is a good day!
Stay safe with those storms rolling through.
Until next time...