Still need members to assist in ALERT callout today. Please help if available. Thanks, Nathan (WX4NLJ)
NWS has requested ALERT activate today beginning at 2:00pm. Please assist if you are an operational member. See callout text page for info on who to contact. Thanks, WX4NLJ
I hope this finds everyone doing well & having suffered no harm from the recent storms we have weathered.
I want to thank Tom & Melissa Overall, WX4WIA & WX4WIC for responding to Thursday’s callout & Ed Manley, W4AGA for responding to Monday’s callout. Your dedication and efforts are deeply appreciated. You’re the tops!
Pssst….Guess what? I know a little secret. (looking around making sure I’m not overheard) There is an event coming up Saturday and Sunday. Yep, the Birminghamfest is this weekend.
The Zamora Shrine Temple will host the 2011 Birminghamfest. Dealer, vendors, flea market, testing, forums and againstums, they will have it all.
ALERT & The NWS will have a table (exact location TBD) & there will be an ARES forum at 12:30 in Room 1 & a Skywarn Forum at 1:30 PM in Room 2.
Come by the ALERT/NWS table & say “hi” & don’t be shy about manning the table for a little while, so we can go roaming around.
I hope to see you there.
This month’s ALERT meeting March 8, will feature the selection of the two person Nominating Committee for the upcoming elections in May.
Please plan on attending this meeting & don’t be shy about volunteering to serve on the Committee or to make yourself available for a leadership role. Someone reading this newsletter could be the next ALERT President.
Will it be you?
Now if you are unable to attend the meeting, you may phone in. The teleconference number is 1-877-951-0997 & and participant code is 741083.
That said, we really don’t want to miss your smiling face. So put the teeth in, comb that one hair and head to the NWS Forecast Office March the 8th at 7PM.
See you there.
NWS Restructuring and ALERT
I’m sure you have heard that Congress, in their “infinite wisdom” is considering cutting NOAA’s budget by 30%.
Personally, it just goes to highlight my theory that Washington DC must be located in some other star system. For they certainly don’t seem to be in touch with the world I live in or in version of the realities in which we live.
Of all the many branches of the Federal Government, NOAA & NASA do the most, often with the least & do it well. When thinks of the lives saved by the efforts of the NWS & the National Hurricane Center, one wonders exactly what they have been smoking up there in the smoke filled halls of Congress to think of such lunacy.
I would be willing to bet that the Pet Pork Projects get their funding.
(On a side note, did you know Porky Pig originally had a sister named Petunia & brothers Percy, Peter & Pada,da,pada, da, Porcius?)
That aside, how will these changes, if it goes into effect, mean for Central Alabama?
Please remember that these are my opinions & theories; I have not discussed any of this with the NWS staff.
The Birmingham WFO probably won’t be going anywhere. In the “old days” there was no Huntsville office & Birmingham covered all of Central and North Alabama. With its central location, I suspect Birmingham is safe. Huntsville? I don’t know.
The NWS personnel will face very tough times personally. Remember that while what they do looks fun and cool (and too me, your resident weatherholic, it is cool), the bottom line is that they are trying to feed their families.
Ever notice that while salaries & hours get cut everywhere else, it never seems to hit the bill collectors? Wonder why that is?
The jobs the NWS staff does, analyzing, forecasting and issuing life saving warnings will be seriously hampered, for the data sources and tools that they depend on will start disappearing or be there in a much weakened state.
Then, as some point in time a disaster will hit, the Washington finger-painting will start, and they will point in every direction but the right one – THE MIRROR. Congress would have only one person to point to for the blame – themselves. But, how often do they actually do it?
Now from an ALERT / Skywarn perspective it means that our job of storm spotting and relaying storm reports will become all the more critical. We will have to help fill in that data void.
If they ever depended on us to be the eyes and ears of the NWS, it will be now.
So be active in ALERT & the Skywarn program. Support your ARES organization and nets. If you are in an independent group, give them your best efforts.
The NWS needs us. And ALERT needs YOU.
Originally called Martius, March is the third month & first month of the Roman calendar. March is named for Mars, the god of war
March is a wet month. Most floods occur in March and rainfall averages around 6 inches.
Tornadic activity sharply increases in March with there being an increase of 2.2 times the number of tornadoes over the February amount. The focal point for this tornadic activity is the Gulf States.
March is the hail maximum for the Deep South. This is due both to the number of thunderstorms & due to the freezing level still being near the surface. This allows hail to form at lower altitudes and reach the ground intact, as opposed to summer months, when the near surface level temperatures are higher and melts the hail into liquid before impact.
Killing frosts are gone and the last average frost is on March 16.
March is a snow month for Alabama, as Sunday proved & there is a 45% chance of snow up to one inch, and an 8% chance of one inch or more.
The good news is that there is hope on the horizon as Spring will arrive at Vernal Equinox on March 20 at 23:21 UTC.
Remember to get the eggs out, as it is said that you can stand eggs on their ends at the hour of equinox. But, don’t cheat by cracking them to give them a flat end or sprinkle salt on the table to give them support, as this will bring 17 years of bad luck.
Unless of course you bury a poultice containing wolf bane, one whisker of a male calico cat, one clove of garlic, and an 1943 steel penny on the North side of a South leaning cedar tree, under a haloed full moon.
Or so granny said…
March’s Full Moon is “Worm Moon” in Native American folklore. So called because the rains disturb the earthworms & they are seen wiggling around after the rains.
They are edible by the way.
I’ll let you have my share.
This month’s meeting will be on March 8 at 7PM at the National Weather Service
Forecast office at the Shelby County Airport.
There will be a Board of Directors meeting immediately following the regular session.
Hope to see you there!
Mark / WD4NYL