Forum at UA to Discuss Safety During Severe Weather at Outdoor Events

  • July 7th, 2016

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The University of Alabama along with American Meteorological Society will host a panel discussion among meteorologists and organizers on weather safety during outdoor events.

The discussion is open to the public and will be from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday, July 17, in the Bryant Conference Center on the UA campus. James Spann, chief meteorologist for WBMA ABC 33/40 in central Alabama, will moderate.

The discussion will take place ahead of the American Meteorological Society’s annual Summer Community Meeting, a four-day gathering of weather professionals held this year at the NOAA National Water Center, also on the UA campus.

Titled “What’s Your Game Plan? Best Practices in Lightning and Severe Weather Safety for Outdoor Events,” the discussion is hosted by the AMS, the UA College of Engineering, the UA Center for Advanced Public Safety and the National Weather Association.

“Outdoor events and weather safety are both very pertinent issues for Alabama,” said Dr. Laura Myers, director of UA CAPS. “We have a lot of big sporting events and other outdoor events, and we also have a lot of severe weather from time to time, so this seemed like the perfect topic for the AMS meeting in Alabama.”

The panel includes:

  • John DeBlock, warning coordination meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Birmingham.
  • Eli Gold, broadcaster for the Crimson Tide Sports Network.
  • Byron Hatch, assistant commissioner, championships, for the Southeastern Conference.
  • Gene Hallman, CEO and president of Bruno Event Team.
  • Ken Horst, assistant director of Emergency Preparedness at UA.
  • Bill Murray, NWA vice president.
  • Jonathan Nelson, general manager of the Birmingham Barons.
  • Matthew Parker, 2016 AMS president-elect and senior fellow meteorologist at Savannah River National Laboratory.

“The impressive list of speakers was chosen to represent both the severe weather side of the issue and the outdoor event side of the issue,” Myers said.

Myers said the AMS summer meeting is held at a different location each year. Organizers typically hold a weather educational event for the surrounding community.

Those wishing to attend can learn more about the event on Facebook or event webpage.


Adam Jones, engineering public relations, 205/348-6444,

The University of Alabama, the state’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education, is a student-centered research university that draws the best and brightest to an academic community committed to providing a premier undergraduate and graduate education. UA is dedicated to achieving excellence in scholarship, collaboration and intellectual engagement; providing public outreach and service to the state of Alabama and the nation; and nurturing a campus environment that fosters collegiality, respect and inclusivity.