As Severe Weather Season Hits the U.S., A Flurry of Radio Stations Turn to The Storm Report for 24/7 Custom Weather Forecasts and Updates

Gary
- 27 New Affiliates Grow The Storm Report By Nearly 25% in the Last Three Months -

MARCH 11, 2014, BURBANK, CA— Benztown Radio Networks today announced that nationally syndicated custom weather service The Storm Report has welcomed 27 new radio station affiliates in the last three months, a growth rate of nearly 25%. The Storm Report is an award winning radio weather service produced by Dan Holiday Productions, dedicated to providing 24/7 customized weather, with daily live and recorded weather forecasts and severe weather updates for radio stations across the U.S. The Storm Report now serves 143 affiliates coast-to-coast and is syndicated by Benztown Radio Networks.

Dan Holiday, Meteorologist, President and Co-Founder of The Storm Report, said: “We are beyond excited to welcome our new affiliates to The Storm Report. Weather is one of the top two reasons listeners tune in to radio, and The Storm Report is known for a polished, professional and award-winning sound. We work with each station’s local programmers to include local events with its forecast to always deliver a hometown feel. Our Radio Weather Team of top meteorologists is dedicated to watching the radar, scanning the skies, and being stations’ source for weather information. We provide customized forecasts around the clock, emergency weather coverage, and social media tools to engage local audiences.”

The Storm Report’s 27 new affiliates are:

WJPT-FM – Fort Myers, Florida
KKQY-FM – Hill City, Kansas
WYRC-FM – Spencer, West Virginia
KDEL-FM and KVRC-AM – Arkadelphia, Arkansas
KLXK-FM and KROO-AM – Breckenridge, Texas
KBGL-FM – Larned, Kansas
WPGU-FM – Champaign, Illinois
KHLT-FM – Wichita, Kansas
KKNI-AM – Wasilla, Alaska
KZKX-FM – Doney Park, Arizona
KFIX-FM – Plainville, Kansas
KKYZ-FM – Sierra Vista, Arizona
WJLI-FM – Paducah, Kentucky
KAYS-AM, KJLS-FM and KHAZ-FM – Hays, Kansas
KNOK-AM – Malvern, Arkansas
KRJE-FM – Fayette, Iowa
KMOQ-FM – Joplin, Missouri
KYXK-FM – Gurdon, Arkansas
KVGB-FM – Great Bend, Kansas
KWKQ-FM and KSWA-AM – Graham, Texas
KHOK-FM – Hoisington, Kansas
KWPS-FM – Caddo Valley, Arkansas

Scott Donovan, KHOK Program Director, Morning Show Host, Music Director and Director of Sales, Great Bend, Kansas, said: “In the 30 years I have been in this business I can tell you everything about the on air product has changed. Dan Holiday delivers the one thing everybody wants to hear on the radio, the LOCAL weather forecast. He makes the forecast worth listening to, with updates throughout the day. He is the one radio meteorologist that cares about one thing, delivering the weather in a quick, precise, easy to listen to manner. We have SOLD OUT every weather update we offer on 100.7 Eagle Country and that adds to our bottom line.“

Randy Sherwyn, Program Director/Mornings, Sunny 106.3, Ft. Myers/Naples, Florida, said: “The Storm Report provides short, concise and ACCURATE custom forecasts! It’s like having a staff of great sounding Meteorologists that costs me less per month than a part-timer! Super NTR!”

The Storm Report provides complete real-time weather information for radio stations across the U.S. and their listeners. For more information about The Storm Report, visit www.thestormreport.com.

To get The Storm Report for your stations, contact Masa Patterson at Benztown at mp@benztown.com or at (818) 842-4600. The show is available for cash or barter.

About Benztown

Benztown is an international radio imaging, production library, programming, and voiceover services company with over 1,900 affiliations on six different continents. In August, 2013, Benztown was recognized by Inc. magazine as one of America’s Fastest Growing Privately Held Companies, ranked at No. 983 on the exclusive Inc. 5000. With offices and studios in Los Angeles, New York, and Stuttgart, Benztown offers the highest quality imaging workparts for 20 libraries across 13 formats including AC, Hot AC, CHR, Country, Urban, Rhythmic, Classic Hits, Rock, News/Talk, Sports and JACK. Benztown’s industry-leading technology and proprietary web-based imaging solution, “Benztown Branding”, is used daily by nearly 1,200 radio stations worldwide. Benztown also provides custom voice-over and imaging services across all formats, including commercial voice-over and copywriting services. Benztown Radio Networks, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hollywood Radio Networks, is an international media syndication company providing unique, first-rate programming and features to radio stations and media companies.

Five Essentials of a Radio Weather Forecast

 

stock-footage-clouds-seen-through-the-window-of-jet-airplane-airplane-flies-above-the-weather
Weather is one of the primary reasons your listeners come to radio.  That is why it is important to communicate the forecast as effectively as possible.

 

 1.  Be Brilliant At The Basics.  Know what your listener is doing at the time you are delivering the forecast.  When waking up, the audience wants to know how to prepare for the day.  How cold or warm is it when they step out the door? Will there be dense fog, rain or snow?  Understanding how crucial your forecast is at the time it is being aired will help your station gain trust.

 

2.  Look Out The Window.  Often times, a simple weather disturbance can change a sunny sky to a cloudy sky rather quickly.  Or, cloud cover can often move out sooner than expected.  If you mention sky conditions within your forecast, it important to double check and look out the window, first.
3.  Extended Forecasts Must Be Compelling.  If you choose to give a 5-day forecast, avoid reading it verbatim from the weather wire.  After 48 hours, it all runs together unless you capitalize on something unique that will be changing.  Is there a big snowstorm coming?  Does the threat of severe weather loom?  Are you facing an extended period of triple digit heat?  It is much easier to say, “Thursday, you may need to dig out the coat because we fall below freezing for the first time this season.”

 

4.  Know When Your High Is Over.  In most locations the high temperature occurs in the late afternoon.  Adjust your forecast accordingly during that time of the day so you are no longer forecasting the high for the day when the temperature is already falling.

 

5.  Weather Does Not Stop On The Weekend.  Monday-Friday is without question prime time for radio listening.  With consolidations, many radio stations are automated in the evenings, overnights and weekends.  Some stations have chosen to nix weather on when the building is bare.  Even if the studio is empty, consider an on-call weekend schedule to have an announcer or weather service keep fresh sounding forecasts airing 24/7.

 

Look Who I Found On Twitter! A Big Welcome to the Newest Member of the Storm Report!

The cool guy we hired for social media

The cool guy we hired for social media

The Storm Report would like to welcome Harrison Sincavage to our social media team.  Harrison is a freshman at Penn State University and is currently attending the Berks campus.  He is from the small town of Wyomissing outside of Reading, PA.

I found Harrison in a rather unique way.  I found him on twitter.

Here’s what happened: I received a tweet from Harrison when the coastal low was plaguing the Mid Atlantic coast back in October.  He tweeted about buoy data and coastal conditions off the DE coast.  It was a well thought out tweet with great information and I sent it out.  I checked out his profile on Twitter and Facebook.  Harrison impressed me immediately.   By reading his previous tweets, you could tell he loves the weather and has a vast knowledge on the subject.    And he is a freshman!   Once I saw he is a Penn Stater, that sealed the deal to reach out to him since that is where I received my met degree!  After chatting with Harrison, I knew this is someone who could really be an asset to the Storm Report.  He is a well grounded, hard working, meteorologist to be.

I asked Harrison to tell me more about what got him into the world of weather.  “My interest in weather has always been with me since I was a little kid. My most prominent memory of a major weather event at a young age was Hurricane Floyd back in September of 1999. I remember watching it be tracked on The Weather Channel and them saying that the flooding was going to be bad. It turns out, we had over 13 inches of rain in two days. Our basement flooded and our backyard was completely flooded due a storm drain that was connected to the local creek. It backed up because the flooding was so major and the water line reached our house. I remember standing downstairs in the basement with my dad and brother watching the water pour through one of our basement windows down onto the floor. That was the most amazing thing I have ever seen, and it has stuck with me ever since.”

I asked Harrison what he is excited about most about working for The Storm Report.  “I am very excited to be with The Storm Report as I for one, will be able to help out in the warning process when dangerous weather occurs and potentially save lives. But I am also excited and fortunate enough to work with meteorologists who have spent decades in the field and be able to take what I learn in the classroom, and apply it to real life scenarios.”

 

Jennifer Narramore, Social Media Coordinator for the Storm Report

Twitter:  @thestormreport

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thestormreportradionetwork

Google +: https://plus.google.com/108426057235565595001/posts

 

Texas Stations Team with The Storm Report

935203_544719135567273_1552150881_nJoe Graham, General Manager of Graham Newspapers Incorporated radio division, has announced adding The Storm Report for daily forecast updates.

The company handles four radio stations including KSWA-AM and KWKQ-FM in Graham, Texas.  Also, KROO-AM and KLXK-FM in Breckenridge, Texas, will be utilizing The Storm Report services as well.

KLXK is known as “K-Lakes” and airs a country music format.  1430 AM KROO is a gold-based adult contemporary station.  KSWA is an AM station featuring classic country while KWKQ serves Graham, Texas with classic hits.

 

Paducah’s “Jelli” Joins The Storm Report

Jelli

The Storm Report, 24/7 Customized Local Weather brings it’s ’round the clock forecast service to Paducah, Kentucky.

WJLI-FM is known as “Jelli 98.3″.  The unique format allows listeners to choose what music they want to hear but placing their votes online.  Program Director Phil Reeder launched The Storm Report’s weather on Monday, November 4th.

Jelli 98.3  is an FM station with 100,000 watts of power has a signal that covers Eastern Missouri, Southern Illinois, Northwestern Tennessee and Western Kentucky.

NWS Survey Details of Wayne, NE Tornado

Radar at 523pm - Wayne, NE tornado

Radar at 523pm CT Friday Oct, 4, 2013 – Wayne, NE tornado

The NWS in Omaha, NE has issued their preliminary damage survey for the massive tornado that moved through Wayne and Dixon Counties on Friday evening (October 4).  EF3 and EF4 damage was found in the eastern side of the town of Wayne and EF3 damage south of town.  Numerous reports of damage EF0, EF1 & EF2.

 

Here is the overall damage path:

Overall path

KML file from the NWS overlayed in Google Earth (Click pic for larger view):

Two homes south of Wayne sustained EF3 damage.  Most walls were collapsed with the exception of interior rooms:

From damage survey KML file

From damage survey KML file

 

Home Damage 1

 

Home Damage 2

 

The tornado then moved toward the east side of Wayne, NE:

Wayne, NE Damage from NWS Omaha

Close up Wayne, NE Damage Path from NWS Omaha

 

EF4 damage was found –  Total destruction of the building:

EF4 Damage Wayne, NE

 

EF3 damage to mattress pad factory:

Mattress pad factory

 

Full stats from the NWS Omaha:

EF SCALE RATING:         EF-4

ESTIMATED PEAK WIND:     170

PATH LENGTH/STATUTE/:    19

PATH WIDTH/MAXIMUM/:     1.38 MILES

FATALITIES:              0

INJURIES:                15

 

START DATE:              OCTOBER 4…2013

START TIME:              512 PM CDT

START LOCATION:          8 SW WAYNE/WAYNE COUNTY/NE

START LAT/LON:           42.128/-97.077

 

END DATE:                OCTOBER 4…2013

END TIME:                551 PM CDT

END LOCATION:            6 NNW WAKEFIELD/DIXON COUNTY/NE

END LAT/LON:             42.351/-96.891

 

THIS VIOLENT TORNADO STARTED 8 MILES SOUTHWEST OF WAYNE NEBRASKA

AND FLATTENED CORN CROPS AND TORE OFF LARGE LIMBS OF SOME TREES.

GAINING STRENGTH AS IT HEADED NORTHEAST…THE STORM STRUCK A

FARMSTEAD ABOUT 4.5 MILES SOUTHWEST OF WAYNE. BARNS AND SHEDS WERE

SEVERELY DAMAGED OR DESTROYED.  THE TORNADO BECAME VERY WIDE AT THIS

POINT…NEARLY 1.25 MILES WIDE.  ABOUT 2 MILES SOUTH OF WAYNE THE

TORNADO SEVERELY DAMAGED A FARMSTEAD AND THEN CAUSED STRONG EF-3

DAMAGE TO TWO HOMES ALONG HIGHWAY 15.  THE TORNADO THEN MISSED THE

DOWNTOWN AND RESIDENTIAL DISTRICT OF WAYNE AND SEVERELY DAMAGED A

SOFTBALL COMPLEX ON THE SOUTHEAST SIDE OF TOWN.

 

THE MOST SIGNIFICANT DAMAGE OCCURRED IN THE INDUSTRIAL PARK AREA ON

THE EAST SIDE OF WAYNE.  NUMEROUS METAL BUILDING STRUCTURES…SOME

OF THEM QUITE LARGE…SUSTAINED SERIOUS DAMAGE OR WERE MANGLED INTO

RUBBLE.  IT WAS HERE THE TORNADO WAS RATED EF-3 WITH A COUPLE SMALL

POCKETS OF LOW END EF-4 DAMAGE.  THE TORNADO THEN CROSSED NEBRASKA

HIGHWAY 35 AND TOOK DEAD AIM ON THE WAYNE MUNICIPAL AIRPORT.  TWO

HANGERS WERE FLATTENED.  SOME PRIVATE AIRCRAFT WERE TUMBLED AND

RIPPED UP. THE AUTOMATED WEATHER OBSERVING STATION AT THE AIRPORT

WAS TORN UP AS WELL. CONTINUING NORTHEAST…THE TORNADO STRUCK

ANOTHER FARMSTEAD AND CAUSED EF-2 DAMAGE TO A HOME.  CROSSING INTO

DIXON COUNTY…THE STORM CONTINUED TO DAMAGE TREES….CROPS…AND

FARMSTEADS UNTIL NARROWING AND DISSIPATING 6 MILES NORTH NORTHWEST

OF WAKEFIELD.

 

THE STORM SURVEY INVESTIGATION IS STILL ONGOING AND SUBJECT TO

FURTHER COORDINATION WITH LOCAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCIES.

 

 

 

 

The Not Forgotten Project – Hope Floats

Pic courtesy of The Not Forgotten Project

Pic courtesy of The Not Forgotten Project

 

“August 29th through too many days in September of 2005, I sat with my 5 year old niece watching the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina’s destruction.  There was a lot of coverage showing people on the roofs of their homes, people stuck at the Superdome with very little to no necessities like food, water and medicine, in over 100 degree temperatures.

As I watched, I decided that I would go down and help.  I said this out loud and my niece responded, “I want to go help too.” I was able to convince her that it didn’t look like a safe place for kids.  She said, “Ok, but the people in Mississippi need help too Charlene.”  I did not know where she got that information because all eyes were focused on New Orleans.  But I replied, “So I should go to Mississippi instead?”  And Mayah said, “Yes”.”

 

 

That began the journey of Charlene Marie King, a remarkable woman with a wonderfully huge and loving heart.  She has made 19 trips to the Gulf Coast.  The first trip was for 7 weeks from July 19 through September 2 of 2006.  The most recent was for 2 weeks in July of this year.  It has been 8 years since Katrina made landfall.  Charlene has not forgotten the folks there who need help.

Charlene has a passion for what she dubs “post storm chasing” and out of that passion she has formed “The Not Forgotten Project”.   The mission statement is to recruit volunteers to assist with ongoing efforts to rebuild and reestablish communities and areas devastated by natural and unnatural disasters.  The group works with individuals, organizations, schools and companies to recruit members, students and employees to help organizations such as Habitat for Humanity that need volunteers.  A few of the areas the group has been to:   the Gulf Coast, Joplin, Tuscaloosa and Colorado Springs.

Just this year alone, Charlene has been to Moore, OK to help with debris removal. From there she went to Mississippi to continue with Katrina relief and currently is in New Jersey helping with Superstorm Sandy recovery. Charlene takes on part time jobs to free herself up time to volunteer with disaster relief for weeks at a time.

I discovered Charlene’s group while on twitter and started reading her story.  I knew immediately I wanted to reach out to her.  Charlene and I share a similar heart for disaster relief.  I was on the radio covering the Alabama tornadoes in 2011.  That coverage changed me.  I wanted to immediately drive to Cullman. Arab, Tuscaloosa…. and help anyone I could.  I put my energy into becoming certified through my church in disaster relief.

I talked to Charlene briefly on the phone and I was ready to jump in the car and join her in New Jersey!   She was so inspiring.  I have a feeling we might be working side by side one day, providing what we can to help those who have lost so much.  I asked her to share a random story and I will finish this article with that.

“On May 20, 2013, I was sitting in the Corona (CA) public library planning this trip (to NJ), among other things.  But I was in a very bad place emotionally.  I was on the verge of quitting disaster relief.

I was in conversation with God telling Him that I can’t keep doing this, I need a full time job!  As I sat there fighting back tears, waiting for Him to respond, I began receiving texts and emails asking when I was going to put together a group to go to Oklahoma.

I had no idea what anyone was talking about because I was so caught up in the despair of being “insufficiently funded.”  I finally went to the internet to see what was going on and then the tears came.

There were children trapped in a school!  Now I’m crying because I have to get to Okalahoma.  Though I’d been doing this for as long as I have been I was finally all in…I officially became the post-storm chaser I’d claimed to be and I had HIS answer.”

 

“It is so sad to see major catastrophes.  But if anything good can be said about them is that a disaster has a way of bringing people together in ways that  may not have been seen as possible.  In many ways this country is divided right now but I see unity in disasters.  It doesn’t matter who you are or where you are from, we all need a hug and a prayer.  So we’re gonna mess around and become the ‘United’ States of America.  No matter how much wind and water come to try to destroy us, Hope Floats.” – Charlene Marie King

 

Information on The Not Forgotten Project:

Web Address:  http://www.thenotforgottenproject.org/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Not-Forgotten-Project/66858110983

Twitter: @wondog

 

 

 

Hurricane Charley: August 13, 2004 – A Personal Perspective

Charley Landfall

Hurricane Charley made landfall on the Southwest coast of Florida near Cayo Costa, just west of Ft. Myers around 345 pm EDT on August 13, 2004. A second landfall occurred an hour later near Punta Gorda.  Maximum sustained surface winds were near 150 mph during the 1st landfall making Charley a Category 4 on the Saffir-Simpson scale.   Charley caused ten direct fatalities in the U.S. and an estimated $14 billion in economic losses.

Data source:  NOAA

 en:NEXRAD radar image of en:Hurricane Charley moving over en:Punta Gorda, Florida.


NEXRAD radar image of Hurricane Charley moving over Punta Gorda, Florida.

The Storm Report’s Own Meteorologist Sally Russell covered the storm on the radio and had a personal interest in the track as well.  The storm was headed dangerously close to her hometown in SW Florida.  I asked Sally to give her perspective on this small but intense hurricane.

Path of the storm:  I think one of the most interesting and impressive things about the landfall of hurricane Charley is not only the rapid intensity (drop of 23 millibars (mb) of pressure in less than five hours) but also the sharp right turn it made into Charlotte Harbor.  Models had the storm making a possible landfall into Tampa Bay.   As the hurricane made the turn into Charlotte Harbor, into the town of Punta Gorda it gave folks very little time to prepare.
Behavior of the storm:  This was a tiny tiny hurricane…. hurricane force winds only out 50 miles from the center.  Tiny but very tightly wound Charley behaved as a rather large tornado.  Now I know that is not really the case however covering the storm live all day long, this storm kept all tropical characteristics through the state of Florida.  As it approached the Orlando metro area Charley was still so impressive. Visually the storm didn’t even look like it had been over land all day.
Covering the storm:  This storm was hard to cover on two levels, it was a high end category 4 storm a fast mover and I knew that many folks would be  impacted.  At the time I had three clients in three different areas in Florida that all had listeners in the path of the storm.  Pretty impressive since the storm was so tiny.    Seeing damage pictures from Central and Eastern Florida had an impact on me…. however to cover this storm… a storm that came so close to devastating my home town was eerie.   I grew up in SW Florida and my family still live there.  I remember calling my parents, warning them. I could see what this storm could potentially do… and I was scared.  I was scared for them, for friends I went to high school with, for people that I’ve known most of my life.  And I was powerless to help them other than give them advice on what they should do.  And I still had to cover the storm on the radio, and not let on to my listeners that I had family in the path of the storm.
The aftermath:  Only 5-10 miles separated destruction from where I used to live.  The first job I ever had at the Peace River Wildlife Center… gone, wiped completely off the map, hotels and business that I had attended functions at or had frequented… gone if not completely they were just the outer shell nothing else.   And after about 3 months after the Friday the 13th storm, I went back “home”.  I saw the aftermath first hand, a lump in my throat. to see my old “stomping grounds” overwhelming!  Rows and rows and rows of tarps on roofs.  Some of those homes sit vacant today.
Punta Gorda: What a wonderful resilient city!  This quaint town has come back better and more beautiful than ever.  I was just there in June.  Port Charlotte is coming along, it’s just been a much slower process.  So proud of the area of Florida that I called home for many years.

 

Aerial image of destroyed homes in Punta Gorda (USA), following hurricane Charley.

Aerial image of destroyed homes in Punta Gorda (USA), following hurricane Charley. (FEMA)

 

The Baker Head Start School on E. Charlotte Street was destroyed by Hurricane Charley.

The Baker Head Start School on E. Charlotte Street was destroyed by Hurricane Charley. (FEMA)

 

Aerial image of destroyed homes in Punta Gorda, following hurricane Charley. FEMA Photo/Andrea Booher

Aerial image of destroyed homes in Punta Gorda, following hurricane Charley. FEMA Photo/Andrea Booher

 

Aircraft destroyed in Punta Gorda, following hurricane Charley. FEMA Photo/Andrea Booher

Aircraft destroyed in Punta Gorda, following hurricane Charley. FEMA Photo/Andrea Booher

 

Supercell Sunday: Prepare – Pledge – Practice

Pic from the Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security

Pic from the Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security

Supercell Sunday is a partnership between the Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security (OKOHS), the National Weather Service and local emergency managers.  The goal is to encourage faith based organizations to develop a severe weather/tornado plan for their facility.  Worship leaders and staff will create the plan and then designate one Sunday to test the plan out.

OKOHS outlines 3 steps to preparedness:

  1. Plan:  Create a tornado emergency plan
  2. Pledge:  Fill out a pledge sheet with OKOHS
  3. Practice:  Conduct a tornado drill

KFOR quotes OKOHS outreach coordinator Wendi Marcy, “Most of these facilities have plans in place for fire evacuations or medical emergencies in the building but few have taken the time to really sit down and discuss what they would do should they find themselves in a tornado warning with a building full of people.”

Tornado Twig Bears Fruit

1987 Edmonton Tornado Path

1987 Edmonton Tornado Path

July 31, 1987 is known by many in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada as Black Friday.  It is the day that an F4 tornado barreled through the Eastern part of Edmonton and parts of neighboring Strathcona County.  The tornado remained on the ground for an hour.  27 people were killed and more than 300 injured.  It is considered one of the worst national disaster’s in Canada’s history.

 

Richard Heetun, pic from CBC News

Richard Heetun, pic from CBC News

Richard Heetun was one of the first rescue workers on the scene after the tornado hit.  In the midst of the rubble, he found a twig.  Richard also worked at the time at a greenhouse.  He planted the twig and now, 26 years later through careful grafting it has grown into a tree bearing 27 types of fruit in honor of the 27 who lost their lives that day.

The CBC quotes Richard talking about this special tree, “I cherish [it],” he said. “Very special because it reminds me of the lives that were lost there.  There’s not a single day that I don’t think about it. Because it has brought me lots of memories there … it could have been me.”

Heetun is opening his backyard to the public so they can see this remarkable memorial for themselves.