Weather threats continue through fall season
October 24, 2013
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (October 24, 2013) -- 'Tis the season when many people's thoughts turn to ghostly hauntings, the zombie apocalypse and things that go bump in the night, but post officials hope people don't forget a real danger -- fall severe weather.
While many may think of spring and summer as prime time for severe weather, the fall months can also bring their share of severe thunderstorms and even tornados, said Willie Worsham, Fort Rucker emergency manager.
"With the transition of the seasons, the polar front jet stream starts pushing further southward and starts pushing that weather down closer to the South," he said. "It creates pretty much the same thing we see in the spring. The fronts will come through, and during the fall, the gulf is still open and still has moisture being funneled up into our area. With the colliding of the two air masses you can get volatile weather out of it -- severe thunderstorms, tornadoes. Remember, there was a tornado on Christmas day in Troy last year."
The key to successfully navigating Mother Nature's nastiness is preparedness, Worsham said.
"Make sure that you have a plan," he said. "Go on the Ready Army site -- it gives you all kinds of information on what to expect, how to make a kit, how to get prepared for the very things that occur around here -- spring and fall severe weather seasons and even hurricane season.
"Army Ready is a good site you can use to help you make a plan," he added. "There are forms on there, checklists, and what actions you should brief your Family on, like designating a rally point if something happens to the Family home."
People can find the Army Ready site at http://www.acsim.army.mil/readyarmy/.
Additionally, Worsham said people should monitor the weather, and can sign up for the free CodeRED weather notification system through the Fort Rucker website at http://www.rucker.army.mil/codered/ that will let people know when the area is at risk for severe weather via phone and email.
Soldiers need to keep their information updated in the Army Disaster Personnel Accountability and Assessment System, and Army civilians can do so, as well, he said of the system that lets people know when to evacuate and tracks personnel. ADPAAS can be reached at https://adpaas.army.mil or from the miscellaneous page of the Fort Rucker website.
People on post can also keep an ear out for the sirens that will sound all over the installation
But what's going to happen this fall?
"That's something that is very hard to predict," said Worsham, who worked as a weather forecaster for 26 years. "We're going to get some weather this year -- we get it every year as fronts start coming down. But how severe? That's hard to tell until you start tracking (a system) three or four days out and have a good idea."
Worsham and others in the Fort Rucker Installation Operations Center keep a constant watch on the weather.
"We have it up on the screens and we're connected with the Mobile National Weather Service Center and also the Tallahassee center. We get weekly updates from them, and if they are tracking a system that can produce some severe weather, we'll have a webinar and they will show us what is going on. We also have our weather station on Cairns (whose weather forecasts are available at http://www.rucker.army.mil/6weather/). We're tied into the weather 24/7."