Inside the Fort Campbell Weather Detachment That Sent Out Early Dec. 9 Tornado Warning

Dec. 9, 2023, was Master Sgt. Janeen Hansen Lewis’ first shift alone at the weather station, covering for a forecaster who’d called in sick. It was also the day of the deadly tornado that ripped across north Clarksville. Before her shift was over, Hansen Lewis sent out a prescient Tornado Watch with an hour lead time. She also issued a Tornado Warning seven minutes before the tornado hit – faster than the National Weather Service.

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Hansen Lewis is the non-commissioned officer in charge of Detachment 4 of the 18th Combat Weather Squadron. Part of the Air Force’s 15th Operational Weather Squadron out of Scott Air Force Base, the detachment monitors conditions in and around Fort Campbell 24 hours a day.

Detachment 4’s forecast has to be very specific. As the non-commissioned officer in charge, Hansen Lewis manages weather support for the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade’s flights and exercises on and off Fort Campbell.

Because different flights require different conditions, Detachment 4 cannot use percentage point forecasts. Hansen Lewis said that the detachment is responsible for briefing aviators and giving them a go or a no-go for flights, which fall into very specific criteria.

Beege Welborn

As the mother of the Air Force's finest meteorologist and knowing the hours, training, and dedication these guys put in, I am so tickled to see them getting their props. 

This is a tremendous team they've got there.

Well done, all. 

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