When LeBron James announced that he was taking his talents to South Beach in 2010, he didn't say amateur meteorology was one of them. But on Saturday, James posted photos of flooded Miami streets to Instagram, prompting the National Weather Service to issue a storm report crediting the Miami Heat forward as its source.
"Miami ain't always sunshine!" James wrote in an Instagram post that included a collage of photos taken while driving through what appeared to be more than a foot of water. "Mother nature ain't nothing to mess with."
The National Weather Service subsequently issued this alert:
PRELIMINARY LOCAL STORM REPORT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MIAMI FL
820 PM EDT SAT APR 13 2013
..TIME... ...EVENT... ...CITY LOCATION... ...LAT.LON...
..DATE... ....MAG.... ..COUNTY LOCATION..ST.. ...SOURCE....
0215 PM FLOOD CORAL GABLES 25.73N 80.27W
04/13/2013 MIAMI-DADE FL PUBLIC
LEBRON JAMES, NUMBER 6 OF THE MIAMI HEAT, REPORTED
SIGNIFICANT STREET FLOODING IN THE CORAL GABLES AREA.
REPORT RELAYED THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA
It's not the first time an athlete's firsthand storm account has been useful for weather officials.
Last April, catcher Mike Napoli, then a member of the Texas Rangers, filmed video of a funnel cloud that formed over Rangers Ballpark in Arlington from the dugout.
In July, former NFL linebacker Dhani Jones took a dramatic photo of a violent storm over New York City from the window of an airplane. Jones posted it to Instagram and Twitter, and "within hours it was all over the Internet."
And last fall during Superstorm Sandy, New York Knicks forward Amar'e Stoudemire posted a photo of his Range Rover almost completely submerged in floodwater.