James Spann and an all-star weather panel discuss Hurricane Michael

James Spann and an all-star weather panel discuss Hurricane Michael
Homes and businesses along US 98 are left in devastation by Hurricane Michael in Mexico Beach, Florida. (Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images)

Hurricane Michael was and is an historic storm by a number of measures, and those who have devoted their lives to documenting weather will study it for years to come.

Alabama’s star meteorologist James Spann leads a panel of professionals who were there when the hurricane made landfall and those who were responsible for issuing warnings in the days and hours before.

“There were so many people in the middle of Hurricane Michael that can tell stories that we don’t know,” Spann says as he introduces a special edition of his WeatherBrains podcast and videocast. “We can understand things that we may not have heard about.”

Ginger Zee, chief meteorologist for ABC News, talks about being in Mexico Beach and watching a home ripped from its foundation and carried off by the storm surge.

Chris Smith, chief meteorologist at WJHG-Channel 7 in Panama City Beach, Florida, tells how his station got back on the air to deliver key messages to its audience.

Tom Johnstone, meteorologist in charge at the National Weather Service in Tallahassee, Florida, talks about how the storm intensified at levels never seen before.

“We even realized Tuesday night it was going to be bad; it was going to be catastrophic,” he says. “I think it exceeded our worst fears in terms of how strong it got.”

Bryan Norcross, meteorologist with WPLG-Channel 10 in Miami, offers insight into what it will require to rebuild based on what he witnessed after Hurricane Andrew.

There are great stories and information throughout the nearly 3½–hour-long video below. The actual show starts just before the 19-minute mark after some banter and preparation for the show.

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