April 30, 2010
Posted: 05:10 AM ET
I’m waiting for the first planes to go up and look at the oil slick in the gulf, that is scheduled for 6AM CDT I’m told. I have the forecast for where the slick is headed, and it doesn’t look good for LA, MS, or AL for the weekend. I’ll update you on the latest.
Then we turn to the severe weather threat for the afternoon. Looks like the entire MS valley has a chance of strong storms today, even the threat of tornadoes and large hail. I’ll update the risk area on the big show.
Ahead of the cold front (that is active w/ rain in WI, MN, IA, KS, MO this morning) will be warm. 80s all the way over to NYC, 88 tomorrow for them. Not bad, since 200 miles north of you had 2’ snow yesterday. Wacky time of year.
With all the storms breaking out today, getaway Friday will have some setbacks at the airports too, so I’ll have that on the program too.
Keeping it short this morning, I still have to make the forecast for the severe storms and the West’s weather. My muscle memory is making my arm jump from time time this morning too. I hit about 300 ground balls to my son’s t-ball team last night at practice. Those kids are fun to watch. I’d say they are more talented than the Atlanta Braves at this point.
April 29, 2010
Posted: 05:26 AM ET
Well the snow is gone in New England, finally. Not before it left around 2 feet in VT though. Man, that is not a good sign heading into May. The wind remains in the NE today though, with gusts to 40 mph in Boston so it will be a 1 bagger on the airplane if you are flying up there.
The major storm of the day is taking shape in the northern Rockies and Plains though. An expansive storm will create lots of wind this afternoon from Chicago to NM to San Francisco. I’ll show you the warnings. Then late this afternoon, severe storms will form in MN, NE, OK, KS and MO. They will last through tonight, with the possibility of a few tornadoes. I’ll show you the map of where I’m thinking it will happen.
Plenty to talk about with weather this morning, I hope you watch! Thursdays are always busy, b/c I have to tape the "Weather Blast" for NASCAR.COM before the show. Which means I have to make the forecast now. And I’m still smarting from my son beating me in chess (legitimately) yesterday. He’s 6.
Posted: 04:16 AM ET
*Note: the "American Idol" recaps are a series of blog posts from "Morning Express with Robin Meade" Technical Director, Keri. Keri knows what every button on that giant panel (above) in the control room does, and she presses most of them while putting "Morning Express" on your TV every day. Keri is also a long-time Idol fan and provides the Morning Express writers and producers (who typically go to bed way too early to watch "Idol" live) with a recap. We get a kick out of Keri's "take" on the show, and thought you might as well. The opinions below are Keri's alone and do not necessarily reflect those of the staff of "Morning Express with Robin Meade" or HLN. Here are her impressions of last night:
*SPOILER ALERT: We will reveal the name of the person eliminated from American Idol on Wednesday 4/28 in this article!
Results night! And I think I might care for probably the first time since we said goodbye to Alex and Lilly in the semifinals. Idol actually had a good performance show this week, relatively. And those I thought were clear candidates for elimination did quite well. But speed-texting teenyboppers somehow manage to be fickle and faithful all at the same time, so who knows.
The show open had behind the scenes footage… Aaron getting his makeup done. Mike getting his forehead dabbed. And the control room! Aww, my peeps. The crew counts us down… “5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Up on two. Zoom!” And let the results show begin…
No group performance! Sure, they fit one in on “Idol Gives Back” night when the show ran 24 minutes heavy, but not on a regular results night? Well, I don’t miss the cheese.
But in case you do, there’s always the Ford commercial… Sorry, I mean the Ford music video. Ryan tells us to pay attention because “this is a good one.” I was grateful for the heads-up. I never pay attention and can’t think of a single one so far this season. Just blocked them all out I guess. But this one was fun. The contestants are vampires! They have fangs and wild contact lenses. Siobhan makes one freaky cool vampire! They try to attack Mike, but he scares them away with a giant garlic covered pizza. Ahh, there’s the cheese!
And the commercials continue… The Top 6 went to a screening of the new Shrek movie and got to attempt voicing over the characters. Antonio Banderas and Cameron Diaz join Ryan on stage to continue the promotion. After they tell Ryan he’s “the best host in the world ever” (oh please!), Antonio gets things moving with a “Puss in Boots” version of, “Dim the lights, and here we go…”
BUILDING THE BOTTOM 3:
THE BOTTOM 3:
DROPPING IT DOWN TO 1:
So the glassblower and the construction worker, otherwise known as Siobhan and Casey, await their fate. I thought Casey had the best performance this week. And Siobhan is just so unique. Oh well. After 33 million votes, it is SIOBHAN going home. Aww. OK, her voice tends to be all over the place, and the effort it takes to control makes me uncomfortable, but I have enjoyed her unpredictability and adorably strange quirky style. And there was even a point in the semifinals when I thought we were destined to have a Crystal/Siobhan finale. Guess not. She has been singing for her baby sisters and hopes she was able “to show them what we’re all capable of.”
I was hoping for a “House of the Rising Sun” sing out, but she gave us “Think” from Top 20 week. There were some bad notes off the top, but she got it together, and I was reminded of happier times before Idol broke her spirits. She belted out one final Siobhan scream and then was off to hug her family.
Surprise. Surprise. Idol finished EARLY. Siobhan was done, but there were still 2 minutes left. Ryan must’ve gotten the “stretch” cue because he awkwardly pulled Siobhan over to Simon for a hug. Randy told her to “keep being yourself.” With Siobhan’s departure, Crystal is the one remaining woman in the Top 5. Wait, didn’t they tell this was going to be a season dominated by ladies?
Next week, The Top 5 will sing the songs of Sinatra, and Harry Connick, Jr. will join them as mentor.
Did you vote with America? If you could pick the pairings next week... which Idol would you like to see sing which Sinatra song?
*There were some surprising guest performances last night, including a very unusual duet. PLUS, find out with what song Robin Meade serenades the "Morning Express" control room during commercial breaks: Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by: Morning Express Technical Director Keri
April 28, 2010
Posted: 06:02 AM ET
Hindy Meltzer is a Florida grandma, who recorded a Boca Raton parody of "Empire State of Mind." It was originally sung by Alicia Keys and Jay Z. Now the grandma has become a YouTube sensation! Meltzer says her family came up with the idea and wrote the song. She has more than 47-thousand hits! Click the YouTube icon on the video to visit her official page and leave her a comment! Let Hindy know you saw it on HLN’s "Morning Express with Robin Meade!"
Filed under: Viral Video of the Day
Posted: 05:20 AM ET
Again with the snow and wind in the Northeast! The storm centered SE of VT is still cranking out the snow in Northern New England & NY sate this morning with winter storm warnings in place. Grand total snow since yesterday will be about 12-18” in some of the high elevations. That is insane for almost being May. I would rather try to get a full night’s rest at Octomom’s house with her 93 kids than see that kind of weather at the end of April. But I digress.
That’s not the only storm, either. There’s a big one digging into MT this morning with a tremendous wind field associated with it. There’s Rocky Mountain snow to be seen and winds to 50 mph in Las Vegas today. Lotsa of air travel delays out of this and I’ll show you those on the big show.
On the bright side, it’ll be 80 today in Denver. The only problem is it will be accompanied by 40 mph winds.
It’s not a severe storm day, but as this storm reaches to the northern plains tomorrow, we may see the rough weather return to IA, KS, MO, OK, and NE. Just a quick heads up for you. Have a good one, latah!
Posted: 04:00 AM ET
6 down, 6 to go… We are halfway through the finals of "American Idol: Season 9."
Yes, only half. I can’t be the only one feeling like this is going by really s.l.o.w.l.y. (Oops. Did I just hit the slow mo instead of the fast-forward?). Can’t we just skip ahead to the end? I doubt we’d miss much in the way of water cooler moments (no burning rings of fire in this lot). Oh, there I go getting negative and whiney again, like a child asking, "Mommy, are we there yet?" Sorry. Many of the Top 6 are actually quite good. They are just also quite forgettable (the type that might make good recording artists but not necessarily good TV). But the halfway mark reminds me that there’s still time. Will they step it up? Or are we doomed to the boredom of predictability for the next month? (Am I being too dramatic? Well, we need drama from this show somehow!)
This week is Season 9’s version of country week, a Shania Twain themed country. She is both theme and mentor. Last night, the Top 6 sang her songs and received her advice. With all her playful pop country hits, she is "the biggest crossover artist ever" and has the "best-selling album by a woman in any genre in history." Go girl!
During the Chicago auditions, Shania’s stint at the judges’ table drove her into a tizzy bursting with unintended double entendres (Remember John’s "beautiful bottom end?"). But puns aside, Shania was delightful and constructive. Last night as mentor, she was equally delightful, always a positive presence and luminous in her blue sequined blouse. She feels responsible for the Top 6, and adorably, she’s worried whoever goes home might hate her (Aww. How can anyone hate Shania?). She looked like a nervous but proud momma all night. She wants to see her songs come alive. So… Bring on the countrified kids!
THE GOOD (in order of appearance):
AARON: Aww. Cute little Aaron finally had a moment with "You've Got a Way." There was a rough patch in the middle, but it was soft and sweet and miles better than anything we've seen from him. Ellen liked his "maturity" and said, "This is going to be tough [on results night] because everybody is doing well" (which I think was code for – Who's going home this week if not Aaron?). Kara thinks he really felt the lyrics and noted that he changed the line about "making love." Ooh, so glad he did since 17-year-old Aaron was singing to his mom. Simon said he's been struggling but, "Tonight, you were like a different artist… sincere… believable." Wow. Everyone was counting this kid out (myself included). But now even Ryan added, "What’s going to happen tomorrow night!?!?"
SIOBHAN: Shania tried to pull some attitude out of Siobhan who's looked a little defeated lately. The first part of "Any Man of Mine," to me, sounded flat and buried in the music, but I thought the ending was powerful. She screamed, and though far from perfect, I actually thought it was fitting (But the outfit? I usually like her quirkiness, but this cutesy flowery dress with a strange leather strappy holster thing? Hmm.). The judges raved. Randy loved it and her "punk country" look. Ellen thought she closed out the show great, "Way to pull the Shania Twain into the station." Simon found it fun but was unsure of the end, "It was almost like you were giving birth up there."
THE OK (in order of appearance):
MICHAEL: His "It Only Hurts When I'm Breathing" was kind of pretty, but I didn't really feel the honesty. Shania sure did. She was swaying along in the audience. Ellen compared him to Luther Vandross. Kara loved that he changed the song just enough to put his mark on it. Simon thought it was "a little bit wet." Sometimes I have no idea what Simon is talking about, but I still somehow agree. But "girly" Simon? Big Mike? Really? Ryan noted that Shania looked teary-eyed during his song. She said, "He really got me."
CRYSTAL: Crystal sang "No One Needs to Know" to her boyfriend in the audience. She is "dropping hints" hoping "he’ll man up one of these days." She wasn't shy about her feelings, and she didn't shy away from the country twang either. Crystal is never bad. This just wasn't as special as her usual, and I didn't dig the little country mini dress. The judges all seemed lukewarm as well saying it wasn't their favorite but they still love her. Simon thought it was limp and added, "Shocker! We don’t like Crystal this week." Ryan added more pressure on Crystal's boyfriend. Awkward. She blushes. He just smiles and shrugs.
OK, I take back most of what I said at the top of this post. Season 9 might not be predictable after all. They weren’t horrible. There still isn’t a whole lot in the way of excitement, but a Crystal/Lee Top 2 might not be an inevitability. This was the night where some of the likely 6th place finishers stepped up their game and some of the leaders fell behind. Might that actually mean we could be surprised on results night when the Top 6 will become the Top 5?
Results night will feature performances from Rascal Flats, Sons of Sylvia, Lady Antebellum… and Shakira (Seriously? For country week?).
So, did anyone drive your texting fingers into a tizzy? Or leave you with the desire to break out the cowboy boots and do the two-step?
*P.S. – follow HLN on Twitter @HLNTV and we'll update you as soon as Keri's next American Idol recap is up... you'll also get breaking news, and opportunities to share "your views" on the day's issues.
*P.P.S. – if you are new to Morning Express visit us on our main showpage CNN.com/Robin and get to know anchor Robin Meade, meteorologist Bob Van Dillen, business correpsondent Jennifer Westhoven, sports anchor Rafer Weigel and news correspondent Richard Lui. Get your "news in the fast lane" on Morning Express with Robin Meade weekdays from 6 to 10 Eastern time on HLN!
Posted by: Morning Express Technical Director Keri
April 27, 2010
Posted: 05:22 AM ET
It’s almost May. That means it must still be winter in northern New England. An upper atmospheric storm is sliding out of Ontario Canada (man I wish they would keep that cold stuff to themselves) and headed to upstate NY and New England today. Rain to snow in the mountains, I’ll show you the warnings on the big show. Showers and wind for NYC, so expect air travel delays.
Midwest has a weak storm rolling out of IL, but it is producing rain in IN, KY, TN, And AL too. Later today it slides to GA and the Carolinas so storms will be present later. Including a chance of thunder over Rafer’s head in the Charlotte area this afternoon.
There is a nice little warm up for the four corners, with a high if 95 in Phoenix, but the wind will be around too. Watch for arrival delays in Las Vegas.
That is all ahead of a storm located in BC, but the cold front drags down to CA. Big amounts of rain for the Pacific NW today and Northern CA, with heavy snow in the Sierras. I think this energy makes it to the Plains by Thursday, so may see a severe weather outbreak late this week. Just a heads up for you in TX, OK, KS, NE, IA.
I guess that does it. Salute to you if you read the whole thing. Latah!
April 26, 2010
Posted: 09:46 AM ET
We got the call at 2am—storm damage in Albertville, Alabama. We arrived at CNN Center (home to HLN in Atlanta) at around 3am and then photojournalist Mike, Producer Aaron, and I drove west. We arrived just after sunrise to find large amount of vegetative damage, and luckily not widespread structural damage. Residents were already up, sort of scratching their heads as to what they were seeing for the first time under daylight. The storm hit right after 10pm local time, and some people stayed up all night to help clear damage and make sure their neighbors were ok.
I got the chance to meet Nancy Brooks who says she barely escaped with her life (see the video below), because the bedroom she occasionally sleeps in was completely leveled. It so happens she was in her other bedroom that night.
And there was the story of Wilena and Bruce Little, both 92 years old and full of energy. They’re homebound and had to hide in the closet as the storm went by. Wilena was sitting on her walker, her husband asking why they had to sit in a closet. Almost 10 forty-foot trees fell around their house but not on it. Their family and friends went to the house to clear a way to get to the Littles, four chain saws and a tractor at work. The Littles celebrated their 69th Anniversary yesterday. They joked they hadn’t been able to buy each other gifts, but certainly were glad they survived the tornado and were safely still together.
Posted: 05:17 AM ET
After the wild weekend weather filled with SE tornadoes, I’m still watching the south FL this morning for big storms. Currently there is a line in central/south FL that will slip south into Miami and the Keys for the day, so heads up there. I’ll have the warnings on the show, if they pop up.
The parent storm is in OH right now and is headed to PA this afternoon. Showers will be found all around the Midwest/NE and Mid Atlantic from this thing, but not severe. Just enough to disrupt some air travel, so I’ll have my eye on that too.
There is a weak front in the plains, but the rain is ongoing in the Dakotas, MN, IA from the thing. Again, not severe. The wind is blowing up the Rockies and there is some light snow in CO this morning.
Out in the Pacific I’m watching a cold front near the WA/OR coast, so back comes the afternoon rain for you guys too.
Rafer is headed to Charlotte this afternoon, the town where I used to work and got married too. I haven’t been back there in 5 years, so he needs to bring me back a tee-shirt.
April 23, 2010
Posted: 10:27 AM ET
HUGE "thank you" to Morning Express viewer Bill Clark who snapped this pic while he was on vacation aboard the Carnival Valor on a cruise through the Caribbean. We had no idea! Bill says he went up to the "Lido Deck" one morning and to his surprise there was Morning Express, bigger than life, on the big screen.
Robin's reaction: "So cool! Wow. That's a big face."
According to Bill, "During commercials, none were shown, just temperatures around the world – in Celsius." So he even got a vacation from the ads!
Bill's unexpected Morning Express moment got us thinking... have you come across Morning Express in an unusual or surprising place? We'd love to know about it. Leave us a comment here and tell us about it. If you have a photo or video of Morning Express showing on TV somewhere unexpected, even better! Visit our iReport page and upload it!
Thanks again Bill! You rock!
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