By Jim Stefkovich, Meteorologist, Alabama Emergency Management Agency
CLANTON –Friday 3 pm April 23, 2021
Two rounds of potential severe thunderstorms will occur Saturday with an increasing tornado threat Saturday afternoon and evening.
Latest model data indicates multiple bowing clusters/supercells will move across areas south of I-20 after 12 am and last until 8-10 am. Damaging straight-line wind is the main threat, but there is also concern with an increasing tornado potential. Although a couple of straight-line wind gusts and/or hail may occur north of I-20, the highest threat will be south of I-20.
Additional thunderstorms are expected to form in a line ahead of a cold front around 12 pm Saturday somewhere between I-20 and the AL/TN state line. However, the latest data also suggests scattered severe storms, including supercells, could form ahead of the line as well. Because of this, note the earliest starting time has been changed to 12 pm statewide. Because the storms both within and ahead of the line could become supercells, confidence has increased that tornadoes are possible, including the potential for EF2+ intensity. Severe straight-line winds and hail larger than golf balls are also possible.
Make sure you have at least two methods to receive severe weather information 24 hours a day, which does NOT include an outdoor warning siren. You should make sure whatever method you use can wake you up with an alarm, like a weather radio programmed for the county you live in.
When a warning is issued, if you can safely get to a sturdy building, then do so immediately.
- Go to a safe room, basement, or storm cellar.
- If you are in a building with no basement, then get to a small interior room on the lowest level.
- Stay away from windows, doors, and outside walls.
- Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You’re safer in a low, flat location.
- Watch out for flying debris that can cause injury or death. Use your arms to protect your head and neck. You need helmets for everyone, including adults, as many injuries and deaths in severe weather occur as a result of blunt force trauma to the head.
- If you live in a mobile/manufactured home, do not stay in it when a warning is issued for your area, instead opting for a more secure shelter.