May 31, 2011
Posted: 07:58 AM ET
It’s not yet June, but I want to treat the thermometer the way Snookie treats Italian police cruisers: I want to smash them up. The heat is back for the Mid Atlantic, S, and MW. Heat advisories are up for DC, Baltimore, and northern VA. It’ll feel like 100F-105F this afternoon when you take into account the humidity. The heat index will be in the upper 90s for Eastern MI today too, so you guys have the heat advisory also.
Cooler air is sliding into the Plains today, and the cold front in the lead will spark up more severe storms today. Check the map. Unlike yesterday (with 20 tornado reports in NE/SD) I think the main severe threat will be damaging straight-line winds and large hail. The timing looks like mid afternoon when the storms start to shoot up near Chicago and spread to Detroit by this evening. More updates and radar action on the show.
The heat stretches back to TX and the SW, but the rain will be found along the CA coast up to the NW coast. I’ll have that plus a look at the tricky travel spots in the air today. That’s a quick look at the weather headlines, enjoy the Tuesday.
May 30, 2011
Posted: 05:55 AM ET
Joe Carter showed you some of this clip during "Morning Express with Robin Meade." Here's the full video of his amazing stunt (if you can make it past the helmet-cam shot at the top of the ramp... YIKES!).
May 27, 2011
Posted: 09:31 AM ET
*About a week after tornadoes ripped through Tuscaloosa, Alabama a message popped up in the @morn_eXpress twitter feed... it read: "@winnieawright: Turned down an internship with HLN and the Morning Express with Robin Meade so I can stay in Alabama and rebuild." Well, we couldn't just let that go. We contacted @winnieawright (real name: Winnie Wright) and asked if she'd keep us posted on Tuscaloosa. This is her second of 4 planned entries about how that community is recovering:
Alabama Head football Coach Nick Saban recently told a group of volunteers “In Tuscaloosa, we aren’t just a team on Saturdays.” After the tornado that ravaged much of the South a month ago, I have found this to be very true. The University of Alabama athletics department and their alum have really impressed me lately. Many former tide players have come back to Tuscaloosa, despite their busy schedules to help with relief efforts in our broken city.
Photo by iReporter Leigh Darilek
Marcel Dareus, Julio Jones, Javier Arenas, and many more have all shown their support, made donations, and offered a helping hand. I’ve seen many athletes tweet that they hate what has happened to Tuscaloosa because it is their home away from home. I can appreciate that because Tuscaloosa has done the same for me. Every year this town welcomes thousands of students with open arms.
Coach Saban, basketball coach Anthony Grant, and the current Alabama Crimson Tide athletes have been putting in work all over Tuscaloosa County. Coach Saban’s charity "Nick’s Kids" and Coach Grant’s "Sweet Home Fund" are both raising money for those affected by the recent tornadoes. I find it really respectable that these athletic teams have shown so much support and compassion. They aren’t paid to help, but they want to. I take pride in the fact that they want to help rebuild, and didn’t just pack up and leave for the summer.
It is no secret that Tuscaloosa is one of the most sports obsessed cities in America. Many will say the University is why Tuscaloosa had the more media coverage than any other city in Alabama. It makes a good story I suppose. Football isn’t just a sport here; it’s a way of life. The players are celebrities. That’s why I feel it is important for these famous faces to show they care.
A friend of mine is helping me put together an event we are going to call “Barbequing with the NFL Pros” in July to raise money for the victims of the April 27 tornado. We think people would love to have their favorite Alabama alum serve them barbeque, cold drinks, and maybe some motivation. We wanted to put this event together because we heard that a lot of the graduates want to help, they just weren’t sure how. I think this would give many of the athletes a chance to show Alabama that they care and have not forgotten Tuscaloosa.
I really can’t say enough about the support the University of Alabama and its athletic teams have shown Tuscaloosa in her time of need. The University was not affected, most of the athletes made it out scotch free. They could have easily gone about their business, but they were there to help. Just an encouraging word, or a helping hand means so much more than a donation. People like to see that the athletes they so adamantly support also support them. We are a team, not just on Saturdays.
If you would like to donate to “Nick’s Kids” please visit nickskidsfund.com.
Posted: 07:09 AM ET
A little dog, carried away by one of the Alabama tornadoes, somehow made it back home, two weeks later, walking on two broken legs! His name is "Mason" and he was in his owners' garage, when the storm blew him away. They couldn't find him... But two weeks later, he showed up on their porch.
Now Mason is on the mend. His vet says the little guy is doing GREAT so far!
**UPDATE: Mason will be able to go home with his owners: VIDEO
You can help your neighbors (and their pets) who have been impacted by recent floods, fires and severe weather by visiting cnn.com/Robin and clicking on the "Impact Your World" link to find groups that need your financial support and your volunteer hours.
Posted: 03:56 AM ET
*Bonnie Schneider is filling in for Bob Van Dillen who started his Memorial Day weekend early! He'll be back on Tuesday next week.
Memorial Day Weekend is the “unofficial” start of the summer season. As thousands of you head to the lake, the ocean, the river or bay of your choice, keep in mind that you can have fun and be safe too. The National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration and the Safe Boating Council announce this week is “National Safe Boating Week”.
Before you set sail, check the weather forecast. If thunderstorms are expected, don't go out. If you are out on the water and skies are threatening, get back to land and find a safe building or safe vehicle. According to NOAA, statistics show that boating in bad weather can very dangerous:
• Adverse weather can play a major role in boating accidents. In 2009, 74 people died and 119 were injured in 260 accidents where the weather was a primary factor.
• Rough seas and strong winds can certainly lead to boating accidents and deaths, but the majority of those occur in calm seas and light wind. In 2009, 27 people died when winds were greater than 25 mph, while 332 people died in winds between 0 and 6 mph.
• Don’t be fooled into thinking you’ll be okay if you’re thrown overboard into warmer waters. In 70- to 80-degree F water, it can take only a few hours to exhibit signs of hypothermia, such as such as exhaustion, slurred speech or unconsciousness. Alcohol consumption also increases your risk of hypothermia, which can be fatal.
Other tips for a safe boat outing include:
Have a great holiday weekend!
May 26, 2011
Posted: 01:27 PM ET
AJ is a floor director for HLN's "Morning Express with Robin Meade". She has been obsessed with this season of Idol, and takes notes to share with the Morning Express writers and producers. The opinions below are AJ’s alone and do not necessarily reflect those of the staff of "Morning Express with Robin Meade" or HLN. For one last time this season... these are her impressions of last night:
For whom does the confetti fall? It falls for thee, Scotty McCreery, and how he lapped it up. Taste the rainbow, Scotty! It tastes like victory.
Despite faux drama and suspense brewing since Tuesday night, the country boy’s coronation capped off two hours so chock-full of performances and celebrity appearances it’s like they were being doled out by Oprah. You get a Beyonce! And you get a Jack Black! You! I don’t like you, you get a Marc Anthony. Don’t feed him after midnight.
Of course there was a series of tepid numbers reuniting the top 13. If you cocked your head and thought “Who dat?” You weren’t alone…a handful of these people might as well have been strangers. Remember Ashthon? Thia? Yeah, me neither. But They Were Born This Way, clad in white and waiting to be raptured. The girls did a Beyonce medley, joined by Ms. B herself, but in my opinion they were far overshadowed by the men singing Tom Jones, or more specifically, Tom Jones himself. Tom freaking Jones! What kind of legend are you if you’re still picking ladies undergarments off your suit at 70 years old?
In the spirit of Dreams Coming True n Stuff, our final few got paired off with some of their own idols. James, coiffed, bedazzled and in fine spirits, hollered with Judas Priest, Jacob preached it with Gladys Knight and Kirk Franklin, and Haley sang beautifully and danced awkwardly with Tony Bennett. Casey sang a bizarre bromantic Fat Bottom Girls with Jack Black, during which they tried, and failed, to out-weird each other. Let’s call it a draw, boys. As for our final two, Lauren sang “Before He Cheats” before Carrie Underwood and her greased up legs joined her. It was a fine performance, but it looked like they were really into pantomiming like, “Yeah, it really sucks he cheats! No? We really can’t relate on any other level!” Scotty leathered up to sing “Live Like You Were Dying” with Tim McGraw, a song with the implicit wisdom that if you are, in fact, dying, you should participate in activities like skydiving and bull riding. Although my dying wish would be to just look at Tim McGraw a little more…Scotty’s been touted as a sex symbol in the making, but standing next to that t-shirted man mountain, it’s clear he has a long way to go.
As far as solo performances, a few Idol mentors returned to show the little kiddies how it’s done. Beyonce slunk around and taught us that the best bedroom conversations involve math. Marc Anthony emerged from his goin’ out coffin and sang in Spanish while JLo-hontas shimmied her fringe in his face. The whole thing there was kind of icky. Lady Gaga, looking like a Star Wars extra perched on cliff, groped and gasped through her new single, “Edge of Glory”. She’s on the edge, get it? Literally and, uh, maybe figuratively. Double ick. Then she made out with the shirtless man and they jumped. Yawn. Typical Gaga. Some Steven. Some piano. Ah, memaw Tyler never gets old.
Then it’s Scotty, everyone, and he crumpled over before making out with Lauren, I think, and hugging everyone in ‘tarnation while singing his victory song, “I Love You This (shudder) Big”. He was probably trying his hardest to avoid actually singing the song. Boss move, McCreery! A pro already. He got a little loopy, poor boy, catching confetti in his mouth and generally being odd, and somewhere someone was probably whispering his ear, “Hey kid, millions of people are watching you make a fool of yourself on TV,” but he didn’t care, dernit, he’s just a fancy singing sweet pea who just won American Idol, and if he wants to pretend confetti pieces are delicious snowflakes and ramble on about Lauren Alaina and God and sit down on the stage and weep as the credits roll, that’s what he’ll do, thankyouverymuch!
So that’s the season, Idol watchers. Through angst (why so country?) and shocking eliminations (Pia!), frustrations and threatened boycotts (Idol hates women!), a very deserving fellow prevailed, with equally deserving contenders trailing behind. Only one can win. Was it the one you wanted? What did you think of the season? Will you watch again? I thought it was pretty awesome, guys!
Let’s have one for the road: was it…'in it to win it?'
Special thanks to AJ for really going above and beyond the duties of "Floor Director" to write these recaps all season. We hope they made you smile at LEAST as much as they did for all of us at "Morning Express with Robin Meade." Maybe we'll be able to convince her to be our "Idol Expert" again next year.
Posted by: Morning Express Floor Director AJ
Posted: 07:07 AM ET
I want you to see yesterday's severe weather reports, and this is crazy (note the cluster over northern CA):
I know we are in the peak of Spring severe weather season, but this week has been filled with violence and heartache. I can share this with you today though: there is much less of a tornado threat today. The big cyclonic circulation in the atmosphere over the last few days is beginning to break down, stretch apart, and weaken.
With that in mind, I think today’s storms won’t be as potent. A cold front and surface low will head to the OH Valley, East, and S this afternoon, and that will stir up the atmosphere with strong storms. The main threat should be damaging winds and hail, with isolated tornadoes possible in PA and NY.
The warm air creeps up the East coast to New England and rounds out to the South today, but much cooler temps are all around the Great Lakes with the clouds and rain hanging in there. Air travel delays will blanket Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland and Cinci.
The Rockies will be breezy as the next storm sails by, and that means snow in ID and WA today. There are a couple of winter storm warnings up there that I will show you. I know, why do we call it ‘Winter storm warning’ when it is Spring? I don’t know why, same reason why they call them the NY Giants when they play in NJ I guess.
I’m watching more rain pepper the coast of the NW today too, but that is pretty typical for this time of year.
Hey I’m off for Memorial Day see you next Tuesday.
May 25, 2011
Posted: 12:10 PM ET
AJ is a floor director for HLN's "Morning Express with Robin Meade". She has been obsessed with this season of Idol, and takes notes to share with the Morning Express writers and producers. The opinions below are AJ’s alone and do not necessarily reflect those of the staff of "Morning Express with Robin Meade" or HLN. These are her impressions of last night:
I should have known things would be wonky tonight when our final two first walked out, Lauren in her typical prom queen and/or Dynasty cast member getup, and Scotty in…a t-shirt. Like he was about to go bale some hay. Scotty, this could be one of the most important nights of your tender little life. Get a shirt with a collar, or at least one with some glitter on it. It went about this way for the whole hour, Scotty being handed proverbial t-shirts of songs, and Lauren spinning super-special sugary moments with her mom, herself, and her wardrobe. Is this payback for Scotty’s crazy emotional hometown visit last week? Or maybe they’re trying to even the field, because honestly, before last night I would have bet it all on Scotty to be the first warbling pony over the finish line. Now, am I sure? Am I not sure? I’m not sure. But something was off.
First up was Lauren’s doctor, with one of the best performances of the night, delivering cautionary yet hopeful news that Lauren had blown a vocal chord (that’s the technical term) during rehearsal, but was on some serious meds and would do great. Yo yo dawg, not the best excuse for me personally, but I think you rocked it, Doc. Nice scrubs.
And so Scotty, after a gentlemanly deferral of a coin toss, was up first with his favorite song of the season, “Gone”. He did Montgomery Gentry right again, with more restraint and exactitude, not to mention a merry band of musicians caravanning behind him. His personal Idol, George Strait, did himself a personal favor and chose “Check Yes or No” as Scotty’s second song. Yay! This was my JAM when I was like, nine! It would have been nice to hear a more interesting song choice, but you gotta appreciate the combination of youthful rhetoric and oh-so-subtle pleas to for fans to check “yes” when Scotty hands them that ballot. There was more toddler talk for Scotty’s hypothetical coronation single “I Love You This Big”. Are. You. Kidding. Who let this happen? Is this the appropriate song for someone with a shot at being the country Justin Bieber? Then again, take a scan of country radio and you’ll find songs like “Billy’s Got His Beer Goggles On” and “Honky-Tonk Badonkadonk” . Sooo the bar for song titles is pretty low. I kid because I love. Should we even get started on the use of profoundly un-lyrical words like “experience”? No, we shouldn’t.
Let’s go instead to glitterbomb Alaina, who wisely chose Carrie Underwood’s “Flat on the Floor”, a virtually fool-proof song. She killed it dead, but probably left her personal Idol Carrie with a conundrum. To pick one of her own songs, or to not pick one of her own songs? The latter, leaving Lauren with Pam Tillis’ “Maybe It was Memphis”. Maybe it was pretty good, if you could take your eyes off all that gold. I guess cowgirl ballerina is going to be her trademark now? Is it weird I find it endearing? Finally, her possible single: “Like My Mother Does”, which was appropriate for many reasons, not the least is the obvious fact that she looks and sounds exactly like her mom, to a nearly creepy extent. This was emotional, guys! Couldn’t you feel the emotion? No? Try harder! It’s really important you feel this way! If you need more persuasion, here’s a hug with Alaina Senior! But seriously, meh. Maybe I’m allergic to this particular brand of sap, but others seemed to deem it Lauren’s emotional apex, and her victory, at least for the evening, was set. The judges, after an hour of sitting and bobbing in near silence, overwhelmingly preferred Lauren. Yeah they’re entitled to their opinion, but why you gotta do Scotty like that?
I’m in a bind, you guys. Was it just me, or was last night’s show a little loaded with Lauren? Granted, she probably did have the better night. Her singing was pretty excellent, but Scotty has been consistently better the entire season. Are we underestimating Scotty’s rabid tween fan base and it won’t even matter? Really, am I late to the grumblefest because the spin is finally jeopardizing a contestant I favor? (Save, of course, Casey, who never had a chance). American Idol: The real source of life’s important questions. Fret not, all will be answered in tonight’s finale. Be there or be a square dancer.
Posted: 07:16 AM ET
**UPDATE 9:51 am ET:
Tornado weather just won’t stop. The parent storm and all it’s energy will be heading into the mid MS and OH valleys today, but will be a little weaker than yesterday. The initial shot of storms are rolling into the Great Lakes and OH valley now. These are actually the remnants of last night’s horrible action. By this afternoon, the atmosphere will destabilize again in that region allowing for more storms to pop. The initial mode of the weather will probably be supercell storms capable of producing large hail and destructive tornadoes in the late afternoon, followed by lines of storms with damaging winds in the evening and overnight hours.
It’s been a horrible week so far, and I think we’ll see more of it to round out the work week in the East. I’ll follow it all along the way for you.
More rain is stretching into the NW this morning, and that will bring some delays down to San Francisco today too. If you are headed to the MW, be prepared for more delays too. All that rough weather causes chaos at the airports!
Posted: 03:44 AM ET
Hi rock star! If you've been waiting to get my New York Times best-seller "Morning Sunshine! How to Radiate Confidence and Feel It Too!", you have great timing.
Its out NOW in paperback at your fave book store, and online. You know what paperback means: same info, CHEAPER! Great gift for new graduates!
It's Morning Express like you've never seen it before! Hear from Robin Meade and the rest of the show crew for our thoughts on everything from politics to sports... to those bizarre stories that have us buzzing behind the scenes. Plus, plenty of material you might not see on the air. Don't miss OUR TAKE on what's happening in the world. Then tell us YOURS!