When most TV or radio weather personalities are not on the air as scheduled, not many folks notice. That is not the case when the meteorologist is Alabama's James Spann.

Last night, viewers missed Spann on his regularly scheduled "WeatherBrains" at 10 p.m. on ABC 33/40, broadcasting out of Birmingham. By this morning, as Spann continued absent without leave, there were questions across North and Central Alabama.

The questions were answered Tuesday by Spann himself on his X account.

"I missed WeatherBrains last night due to severe abdominal pain, and wound up going through a quick middle of the night surgery. It was a closed loop bowel obstruction, which came out of nowhere. But all is well and I will be back at full speed in a few days. Thanks to everyone at Grandview for their kindness and professionalism in the middle of the night. And, we are enjoying the "grand view"….".

Spann, 67, is an author, mostly about weather and Alabama storms. He went from well-known to iconic when the tornado of the century hit West and North Alabama on April 27, 2011. Spann went on a 15-hour broadcast marathon of TV warnings as the storm traveled and reported damage, injury and death afterward.

His book, "All You Can Do Is Pray," is the definitive stories (plural) of the storm, chronicling the people hunkered down as it approached, the rescue efforts after, and the recovery of lives, homes and businesses.

Over 300 were killed in the April 2011 storms, including 252 in Alabama. There were 362 confirmed tornadoes.

Spann once tickled the innards of viewers in the area north of Birmingham who knew what he was talking about. He identified the location of a tornado as near "Wesley's Booby Trap," a strip joint near I-22 from Birmingham to Jasper. Some knew.

Spann may hold a record as being the only meteorologist to be on the air covering a tornado when it hit his own home – and he knew it. Blessedly, there were no injuries and little damage,

Spann is a native of Huntsville. 

Jim Zeigler is a former Alabama Public Service Commissioner and State Auditor. You can reach him for comments at ZeiglerElderCare@yahoo.com.

Don't miss out! Subscribe to our newsletter and get our top stories every weekday morning.