Dr. Greg Forbes of The Weather Channel gets his picture taken with a youthful fan at the 2011 Weather Fest.
Jacquelyn Jackson Photography
Dr. Greg Forbes, severe weather expert at The Weather Channel joins Greg Carbin, warning coordination meteorologist at the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla., and Bob Baron, president and CEO of Baron Services Inc. to headline the fourth Rocket City Weather Fest on Saturday, Feb. 22.
The trio will join other local, regional and national weather experts at the free event, which will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at The University of Alabama in Huntsville's Shelby Center for Technology. The festival is open to weather enthusiasts of all ages.
"The purpose of the event is to bring the community together to learn about weather and weather preparedness," says Elise Schultz, Weather Fest co-chair and president of the Huntsville Area Professional Chapter of the American Meteorological Society/National Weather Association (AMS/NWA), which is assisting with the event and hopes to become a joint sponsor in future years.
"Really the event is about everything weather within our community," she says. "It is a chance for the community to come together to learn about weather and make sure we are prepared. April 27 brought the attention of weather preparedness to the forefront for many. But with time, people forget. It's human nature.
"Our goal is to be an annual opportunity to establish and revisit your weather preparedness plan so you are able to react when storms head your way."
In addition, the purpose is to bring together members of the weather enterprise in Huntsville to showcase the work being done, Schultz says. "We have NASA, National Weather Service, academia from UAH and from UAH's Earth System Science Center, as well as from private and public entities, all of whom are directly connected to the weather."
Scheduled to coincide with Alabama Severe Weather Awareness Week Feb. 16-21, the Weather Fest will host Dr. Forbes for an encore to his 2011 appearance.
"He enjoyed his visit in 2011 and, since he is so visible in the weather enterprise, he really draws a crowd," Schultz says. "He's very passionate about the weather and has been involved with research, academia and television throughout his career. He also worked with Dr. Ted Fujita, inventor of the F-scale to rate tornado damage, following the 1974 Super Outbreak and will be speaking on that event that occurred almost 40 years ago."
The event is organized by the UAH Student Chapter of the American Meteorological Society/National Weather Association (AMS/NWA) with help from others at the university through the Atmospheric Science Department and ESSC, as well as others in the weather enterprise in Huntsville. AMS/NWA vice president Tony Lyza is Weather Fest co-chair with Schultz.
Baron Services Inc. and the UAH Office of the Vice President for Research are major event sponsors.
"Baron Services, which is also exhibiting at the event, has been a great supporter and has provided sponsorship every year of the event," Schultz said. "In addition, Jacquelyn Jackson Photography is sponsoring her time to photograph the event, as she has for several years now. This year, we also have Miller and Miller Inc. of Huntsville providing sponsorship at a smaller level."
Sponsor information and a comprehensive list of activities and seminars are available at the event website rocketcityweatherfest.com.