TALLAHASSEE, Fla., Feb. 4, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- On February 1, The Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH)® named James Spann as the 2019 National Weatherperson of the Year. Mr. Spann is widely respected by his peers for scientific excellence, cherished in his community by students and teachers alike, and now honored by the disaster safety movement for protecting families and homes from severe weather. He is the Chief Meteorologist at ABC 33/40 – Birmingham, AL.
"James Spann is a weather king, a meteorological genius, dedicated family man, and all while putting the safety of his viewers front and center. Spann is the man for more than just saving lives in big events, he spreads joy and weather awareness everywhere he goes. He inspired me to be who I am today and is still my number one mentor." - Ginger Zee, Chief Meteorologist - ABC News.
"National Weatherperson's Day is the perfect time to recognize weatherpersons like James Spann who not only work tirelessly to prepare the public for ordinary and catastrophic weather, but who give back to their communities through volunteer service," said Leslie Chapman-Henderson, FLASH President & CEO. "It is a true honor to celebrate James' career and highlight the continued contributions of all of our stellar finalists."
"I was partly inspired to pursue an academic career in meteorology because of James, and he remains the single best weatherperson I have ever seen, and I have watched him since 1979. He has an unparalleled knowledge of weather and his viewing area, and an unquestioned love for his community. If he wanted to do so, James could be elected Governor of Alabama in a heartbeat. He is the best-known person in the northern half of the state, and the most respected." - Dr. John A. Knox - University of Georgia Atmospheric Sciences Program
"There's no one more dedicated to local news and saving lives. James goes out into the community every day and talks to the people, the kids, and teaches them how to react during severe weather. He has dedicated his life to Meteorology, and there's no one more deserving." – Anonymous
In 2012, James was named the "Broadcaster of the Year" by the National Weather Association and received the American Meteorological Society (AMS) "Award for Broadcast Meteorology" in 2013. Readers of Birmingham Magazine have voted James as "Best TV Personality" and "Best Tweeter" multiple times over the years. He has also been named "Best Weather Anchor" in Alabama by the Associated Press, and winner of the Alabama Broadcasters Association ABBY Award for "Best Weathercaster in Alabama" many times over his long career.
Additionally, James was one of the first weather anchors in the nation to earn "Certified Broadcast Meteorologist" status from the AMS. He holds a certificate in broadcast meteorology from Mississippi State University and an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of West Alabama.
Past National Weatherperson of the Year Award winners include:
- 2014 – Jim Cantore, On-Camera Meteorologist and Co-Host, "AMHQ" - The Weather Channel
- 2015 – Max Mayfield, former National Hurricane Center Director & Hurricane Specialist - WPLG-TV
- 2016 – Alex Garcia, Chief Meteorologist - KABB-TV
- 2017 – Dr. Richard Knabb, Hurricane Expert & Tropical Program Manager - The Weather Channel
- 2018 – Ada Monzón, Meteorologist, AMS Fellow - CBM-WIPR-TV Puerto Rico
National Weatherperson of the Year is an annual honor that recognizes an outstanding weatherperson for leadership in promoting disaster safety and resilience. The finalists and winner are selected based on public polling as well as qualitative evaluation.
The nonprofit Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) is the country's leading consumer advocate for strengthening homes and safeguarding families from natural and manmade disasters. The FLASH partnership includes more than 100 innovative and diverse organizations that share a vision of making America a more disaster-resilient nation including: BASF Corporation, FEMA, Florida Division of Emergency Management, Huber Engineered Woods, International Code Council, National Weather Service, Portland Cement Association, Simpson Strong-Tie, State Farm, and USAA. In 2008, FLASH, and Disney opened the interactive weather experience StormStruck: A Tale of Two Homes, in Lake Buena Vista, FL. Learn more about FLASH and access free consumer resources by visiting www.flash.org, calling toll-free (877) 221- SAFE (7233), following @federalalliance on Twitter, on Facebook.com/federalalliance, and the FLASH blog – Protect Your Home in a FLASH.
SOURCE Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH)