Fall Severe Weather Awareness Day Across Alabama and Tennessee

October 16, 2013

National Weather Service offices across Alabama and Tennessee are supporting Severe Weather Awareness Day on Wednesday, October 16, 2013. The purpose of this day is to call attention to a secondary peak in severe weather that occurs during the fall season.  Although severe weather outbreaks across the Tennessee Valley, including the potential for strong to violent tornadoes, are more common during March, April and May, severe weather can happen at any time throughout the year.  Since 1950, 71 tornadoes have occurred across North Alabama and Southern Middle Tennessee during the fall months (September/October/November/December). 

The secondary spike in tornado/severe weather activity in the fall months historically peaks in November (as seen in the chart below on the left).  However, as can also be seen in the chart below on the right, over the last 10 years (since 2003), tornadoes have more commonly occurred during October.

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Fall Season Severe Weather Episodes across the Huntsville NWS Forecast Area

  • 2010: Numerous severe thunderstorms and several tornadoes affected the Tennessee Valley during late October. One of these was an EF-2 tornado which affected Jackson and Dekalb counties.
  • 2009: Severe thunderstorms produced widespread wind damage across much of North Alabama and Southern Middle Tennessee on October 9th. An EF-1 tornado touched down just south of Fayetteville, Tennessee resulting in extensive damage around the Timber Lake community.
  • 2007: Severe thunderstorms caused considerable straight-line wind damage across Northwest Alabama on October 18th. An EF-1 tornado tracked into southern Lawrence County, downing several trees in Bankhead National Forest.
  • 2004: Severe weather occurred before the typical November secondary peak. Tornadoes struck Lauderdale and Colbert Counties on October 18th (check out the storm survey here).
  • 2003: A significant line of thunderstorms plowed through the Tennessee Valley on November 18th, resulting in significant straight-line wind damage. Damaging wind gusts can be just as destructive as tornadoes.
  • 2002: The infamous Veteran’s Day Tornado Outbreak produced an F3 tornado in Cullman County, which damaged more than 150 structures (check out the storm survey here).
  • 2001: Six of the eight tornadoes that hit Northern Alabama this year occurred with the November 24th outbreak. This event broke a record for the number of tornadoes that occurred during a 24-hour period in the state of Alabama.
  • Of course, the infamous 1989 Huntsville tornado occurred in November as well. This F4 tornado (207-260 mph winds) tore through south Huntsville on November 15, 1989, touching down on Redstone Arsenal at 4:30pm. The tornado eventually killed 21 people, injured more than 460 people, and caused more than $250 million in damages.

CCM Expo a Success for SDR Team

October 5, 2013

The SDR team arrived early and exited late in the day after a successful showing at the 31st Annual Connecticut Conference of Municipalities Conference and Expo. The team ate breakfast with CCM President and Bridgeport Mayor, Bill Finch along with members of Bridgeport’s Management team. Numerous folks passed by the booth to learn more about the company’s services and the advantages of pre-position contracts.

Al McClaran Featured in Municipal Publication

September 20, 2013

Al McClaran, Chief Operating Officer of Southern Disaster Recovery was featured in the September issue of Connecticut Town & City Magazine. In the article, Al spoke of the challenges municipalities face “looking into the crystal ball” each season ahead of a storm and the questions that arise when confronted with allocating manpower and equipment when disaster strikes.

Atlantic Hurricane Season Reaches Halfway Point

September 3, 2013
A satellite image from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean on Monday, Sept. 2, 2013 showing little disturbance.

A satellite image from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean on Monday, Sept. 2, 2013 showing little disturbance.

By Elisha Fieldstadt, NBC News

Meteorologists predicted an above-normal hurricane season in the Atlantic, but Monday marked the halfway point of the season and not one hurricane has brewed yet.

In May, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted a “very active” hurricane season and said they expected between seven and 11 hurricanes. In August, the NOAA lowered the numbers to between six and nine possible hurricanes, but anticipated that three to five of those could become major hurricanes — storms in which winds are above 111 mph.

When the NOAA released its second report, the lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, Gerry Bell, Ph.D., said, “Our confidence for an above-normal season is still high because the predicted atmospheric and oceanic conditions that are favorable for storm development have materialized.”

However, Monday was the midpoint of the season, which runs from June 1 to Nov. 30, and the Atlantic has yet to see a hurricane. Is it safe for those on the East Coast to drink their bottled water and eat their canned goods, regardless of predictions?

Dennis Feltgen, a NOAA meteorologist based in Florida, said, “it’s still forecast to be an active season and it still can be.”

Records tracking hurricanes date back to 1851 and since then, “there have been 20 other years where the first hurricane of the season has formed on or after Sept. 3,” Feltgen said.

The last time August passed without a hurricane was in 2002, when the first one formed Sept. 11, he said.

Feltgen said that regardless of the rarity of making it to Labor Day without a hurricane, “to write off the season would be a huge mistake,” because “we just entered the peak of the season.”

For the rest of the story CLICK HERE


State of Connecticut Disaster Recovery Website Launched

July 30, 2013
GOV. MALLOY ANNOUNCES LAUNCH OF DISASTER RECOVERY WEBSITE Will Serve as a Collaborative Portal for Residents, Businesses and Municipalities
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that the State of Connecticut has launched a new website – – that will serve as a permanent, one-stop portal for residents, businesses and municipalities to gain information about services available in the aftermath of natural disasters and other emergencies, such as available federal and state grants.
“In the past couple of years, we’ve been in the unfortunate path of a number of storms and we’ve seen the devastation Mother Nature can cause.  We’ve been grateful to have recovery resources available among federal, state and local officials, and this new website will help ensure that all residents know the options that are out there,” Governor Malloy said.  “I’ve asked all of the involved state agencies to collaborate on this website so that this information can be placed in one convenient location and can be found easily whenever it is needed.”
The website, which currently is hosting information on resources available to rebuild from Storm Sandy, will become a permanent fixture on the state’s official website and will be updated with new information as necessary.  Among the grants the state has received to date for Storm Sandy relief includes $72 million to help residents and businesses recover from the storm, which Governor Malloy announced.
As plans have been approved by the federal government, state agencies are working closely to deploy the resources necessary to develop the programs, applications and an aggressive outreach strategy in order to make these funds available to all residents, businesses, and municipalities still in need of relief from Storm Sandy as quickly as possible.  This site will be the home for all funding and grant applications as soon as the funding can be distributed.
“When disaster strikes, it impacts all aspects of our lives – our roads, our businesses, our farms, our schools and our homes,” Governor Malloy added.  “Streamlining the process for providing assistance will help us get our residents’ lives back to normal as quickly as possible.”
 For Immediate Release: July 29, 2013
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