SPIRO, Okla. -Used for three years by the Haskell County Oklahoma Emergency Management during the tenure of manager Angela Hensley, and with roots from Booneville, the WALT (Wayne Adams Lancaster Tornado) Model is now on sale in Google Play and soon will be available in Apple apps stores.
WALT, released by newly developed company Sonfire Almanacs, produces grib file models and almanacs through app development to reach into the personal lives of the American people in hopes of saving lives but also giving back to the community.
This journey began Feb. 20, 1997 , in Western Arkansas, Eastern Sebastian County, according to Sonfire’s Wayne Adams.
“A warm front was coming from the south and had set the stage for bow segments and suapercell formation,” Adams said. “Unfortunately a bow segment developed and produced a non-tornado warned quasi linear convective system tornado in Booneville that evening. This tornado took the life of Patty Lancaster and with a better warning she might still be alive today.”
WALT does not give live warnings but does take the forecast down to street level from 24 hours to over seven days in advance at times, according to Adams.
“Because I was working on a system (in 1997), novice at best, I had no clue a tornado would actually form. The system that had been used then never panned out, but it did give me a sense of urgency to go to college and figure out a new localized model,” said Adams. “Sonfire has been able to predict tornadoes that are not tornado warned using the WALT Model over a number of years.”
Adams said the first WALT model was coded at Northland College by his former professor Luke Van Roekel.
“As we formed the company in November we coded the WALT Model into what it is today,” said Adams.
NOAA gave Sonfire the WRN — Weather Ready National Ambassador Seal — in December.
“The Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador initiative is an effort to formally recognize NOAA partners who are improving the nation’s readiness against extreme weather, water, and climate events,” said Adams. “As a Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador, your organization is committing to work with NOAA and other ambassadors to strengthen national resilience against extreme weather.”
Sonfire, after becoming a stable company will give back to the community, church and local governments as God urges, Adams said.
“We follow the will of Jesus Christ,” he states. “Without Jesus Christ this model would not be possible and lifting Jesus name up is very important. Son stands for Jesus Christ and Fire stands for Holy Ghost in the name of our company. We follow after Luke 19:8.”
The WALT Model is Sonfire’s second app release in three months.