Severe Weather Awareness Day 2014 is coming!

Three years ago, the inaugural Severe Weather Awareness Day was held in Nashville and was a tremendous hit with weather enthusiasts of all ages.  Every year since, the event has gotten bigger and better, and this year’s edition will be no different.  Here’s the list of presenters/presentations that are currently lined up:

From the Main Stage

– There will be both a Basic and Advanced Skywarn Spotter class available.  The Basic course is only a refresher, but the Advanced is a full hour-long class, presented by Tom Johnstone, the Warning Coordination Meteorologist (WCM) from NWS Nashville.  While the Basic course will only touch on basic spotting techniques and information, the Advanced course will delve further into the science of weather, offering explanations of key severe weather variables such as CAPE and LI (lifted index).  Radar theory and unique differences within storm structure and severe weather potential will also be discussed.

– For the first time ever, we’ll have a presentation from Steve Corfidi, one of the more well-known meteorologists (at least in weather circles) from the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, OK.

– We’ll have a re-analysis of the January 30, 2013 Tornado Outbreak, presented by Sam Shamburger, NWS Nashville meteorologist.

– The local TV media will also be participating, answering questions and discussing the role they play in broadcasting life-saving information to the public during severe weather situations, via a Roundtable Discussion and Q & A session.  Presenters include meteorologists from NWS Nashville and the local media stations.

– The coup de grace of Severe Weather Awareness Day 2014 will be an hour-long discussion of the April 3-4, 1974 Tornado Super Outbreak.  Many of you were old enough to remember it, but those that aren’t quite old enough but have followed weather have heard about this.  The presentation will be given by meteorologists Tim Troutman (NWS Huntsville) and Brittney Coleman (NWS Nashville).

Breakout Session

These sessions will be quite a bit smaller than the main stage presentations, but will still be very informative, and more laid-back.  There’s much more opportunity to interact with the presenters during the breakout sessions than there is at the main stage.  On a personal note, these sessions are my favorite part of Severe Weather Awareness Day…I often have a problem deciding which one(s) to attend.  I’ll have that same problem this year:

– Meteorologist Linda Gilbert (NWS Louisville) will be re-visiting the Super Outbreak of April 27, 2011.

– Trevor Boucher (NWS Nashville), Paul Heggen (WSMV) and Justin Bruce (WKRN) will be presenting “Media/NWS Communications”, a look at how the National Weather Service and local weather media communicate during periods of inclement weather.

– Angela Lese, Science and Operations Officer at NWS Nashville, will be presenting a discussion on Quasi-Linear Convective Systems, or QLCS (otherwise known as the infamous “squall line”).  

– The WKU Storm Team will be on-hand to discuss basic weather experiments and add insight into the cutting-edge science being done in the research world.

– WCM Tom Johnstone will be presenting the “Top 10 Weather Events of 2013 for Middle Tennessee”.

– A look at “Aerial Surveys” will be conducted by the Middle Tennessee Civil Air Patrol Squadron.

– Davis Nolan (WKRN) will be presenting a radar analysis of the 2009 Good Friday Murfreesboro tornado and will revisit the Super Tuesday Outbreak of 2008.

– Meteorologist Sam Shamburger will be presenting “Tornado Damage Path Re-Analysis Using Google Earth”.  I was fortunate enough to see some of this re-analysis during a National Weather Association meeting and I found it fascinating.  Yeah, I’m a geek…

– Bridgestone will be the recipient of the NWS Nashville’s “StormReady” certification.  Accepting will be Bud Hale, Bridgestone Tire Company

– David Drobny, known as @NashSevereWx within the Twitter realm, will be presenting an updated and fresh look at “Social Weather in the Weather Community”.

– Ryan Wade and Todd Murphy from the University of Alabama-Huntsville will be presenting “Storm Mergers and Interactions”.

– Deaf and hard of hearing folks (Bridges) will be on hand and will share their severe weather stories.

– Other groups such as the Nashville Chapter of the American Red Cross, Metro Nashville Office of Emergency Management, HAM radio groups, and other disaster preparedness groups will be present to provide you their information directly and answer any questions you may have for them. Its a great chance to meet all of the people you turn to during severe weather and answer your questions.

Severe Weather Awareness Day is family-friendly and fun for all ages.  However, there is a limit of 500 people, so sign up quickly before your spot is taken!  Again, this event will be March 1, 2014 at Trevecca Nazarene University.  Opening remarks begin at 9:00am and presentations last until 5:00pm.  Keep watching the NWS Nashville website ( of the NWS Nashville Facebook page for updates.  Contact Trevor Boucher ( for more information.


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