Tag: James Spann

Cold front to arrive in Alabama on Monday

Scott YoungNews Editor

To those who dread the long and hot Alabama summers, relief may be on the way next week.

“If you’re tired of these hot temperatures, there may be some light at the end of the tunnel,” said the National Weather Service in Birmingham on Facebook. “Not a sure thing, but computer models starting to hint of a possible wx pattern change by week’s end.”

The National Weather Service said earlier this week that their computer models are indicating a cold front is set to pass through Alabama on Monday of next week, bringing with it much cooler air and a chance of showers.

“Cranky? Tired of the heat? Your time is coming; afternoon temperatures will be 20 degrees cooler next week,” said James Spann, an ABC 33/40 meterologist familiar to many Alabamians.

However, the high in Jacksonville is expected to remain in the upper 90’s for the remainder of the week, with temperatures dipping down in the 80’s over the weekend.

After the cold front passes, highs in Jacksonville next week are expected to be in the upper 70’s and low 80’s.

The cold front follows a week of record highs in the upper 90’s across the state of Alabama. Anniston reached a record high of 98 degrees on Monday, with the prior record being 94 degrees set in 1904.

One year later, James Spann visits JSU to talk March 19 tornado, storm safety

Spann broadcasted ABC 33/40 weather telecasts from JSU’s campus on Monday. (Scott Young, The Chanticleer)

Scott Young, Staff Reporter

James Spann, the ABC 33/40 meteorologist familiar to many Alabamians, visited the campus of Jacksonville State University on Monday almost a year after an EF-3 tornado devastated Jacksonville to meet with attendees and illustrate the importance of staying weather aware.

Spann broadcasted live weather forecasts in between meeting with members of the Jacksonville community as they filed into the fifth floor of the Burgess-Snow stadium.

Although many in the community were displaced by the tornadoes, the silver lining is that no lives were lost to the EF-3 tornado that impacted Jacksonville, Spann says. Buildings can be rebuilded; trees can be replanted; but lives cannot be replaced.

“It seems like people in Calhoun County were ready,” Spann said. “They planned ahead and had a way of hearing warnings. They knew where to go and got there when the warning was issued. This is the mindset we want for all Alabamians.”

Spann compliments the university on its speedy recovery and the repairs made to the many buildings that were damaged.

“I am in Jacksonville on a regular basis, and you can’t help but be impressed by the tornado recovery in just one year,” Spann said. “Yes, there is work left to be done, but most buildings on campus look great and student housing is back in order.”

Alongside Cocky the Gamecock, Spann encouraged viewers to purchase a weather radio, stressing that people should never rely on outdoor sirens alone to notify them of tornado warnings.

“Every Alabama home and business needs a NOAA Weather Radio (NEVER rely on an outdoor siren), and everyone needs Wireless Emergency Alerts enabled on their phone,” Spann said. “Everyone must know in advance where they are going during a tornado warning and have helmets for everyone in that safe place.”

People gathered with their weather radios in hand to have their radios programmed by the weather team, sign up for a drawing to win a free weather radio, and even get a cutout of Spann’s face.

On Tuesday, anniversary ceremonies commemorating one-year since the tornadoes are planned around campus with the first one at 11:30 a.m. at the Pete Mathews Coliseum and a candlelight vigil at 7:30 p.m. in front of Bibb Graves Hall. Offices will be closed and classes between 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. are cancelled to allow faculty and students the opportunity to attend the ceremony.

‘Respect the Polygon’: James Spann talks March 19, weather safety

James Spann poses with Cocky before his presentation at the Leone Cole Auditorium on the campus of Jacksonville State University (Hollie Ivey, The Chanticleer)

Daniel Mayes, Editor-in-Chief

“All it takes is one. [Jacksonville’s] April 27 is March 19”

Just four months after tornadoes ravaged the campus of Jacksonville State and the surrounding community, Alabama’s most famous TV meteorologist visited JSU to discuss his career, the March 19 Tornadoes and weather safety in today’s age.

James Spann, who began his television career in 1978 and moved to his current home, ABC 33/40 in Birmingham, in 1996, talked to a large crowd of JSU students, faculty and members of the Jacksonville community in Jacksonville State’s Leone Cole Auditorium Friday morning.

Spann says, that, while the March 19 storms unleashed carnage on the town, there is one very important silver lining.

“This is the one thing we can celebrate: I’m not showing you any faces. Nobody died that day,” Spann said. “Some of the things we learned in 2011 are starting to pay off.”

Spann refers to the April 27, 2011 Super Outbreak in Alabama, in which 62 tornadoes touched the ground and 252 people died.

Spann says that, although that day more than seven years ago was a terrible tragedy, it showed him a lot about how to reach people in times of crisis and taught citizens, including those in Jacksonville, to take severe weather coverage seriously.

“The people heard the warning, responded, and knew what to do,” Spann said of the Jacksonville community on the evening of March 19. “That is the way it should work. We should celebrate that.”

Spann says that days like April 27 and March 19 are why he does his job. “Your cumulative knowledge and experience will bring you to one or two days when all of it is needed.”

Spann also gave some tips for how to stay weather aware and safe, including avoiding relying on sirens, keeping a weather radio in your house, and downloading weather warning apps on your phone.