By Jim Stefkovich, Meteorologist, Alabama Emergency Management Agency
CLANTON –Monday, 730 am October 25, 2021
As you can see from the graphic above, we are entering our secondary severe weather season from late October through February. A potent upper-level disturbance and strong cold front will sweep through the state Wednesday night into Thursday morning. This will likely occur as a line of strong to severe thunderstorms that will potentially contain straight-line wind damage, hail, and a couple of tornadoes.
Although the threat area is currently across the southwest sections of the state as shown in the graphic below, this area could change over the next couple of days depending on how far northward low-level moisture will be to fuel thunderstorm growth.
Unfortunately, and as is typical for fall/winter events, the bulk of the severe weather potential will occur from around 12 am – 8 am Thursday.
NOW is the time to ensure you have at least two methods to receive severe weather watches and warnings that can wake you up in the middle of the night. One should be a NOAA Weather Radio. Do NOT depend on an outdoor warning siren. If you own a Weather Radio and haven’t changed the battery in some time, you should do so before Wednesday.
Develop and practice a family plan that includes an emergency meeting place and related information. If you live in a mobile home, identify a nearby safe building you can get to quickly, such as a church or family member.
Pick a safe room in your home, such as a basement, storm cellar, or interior room on the lowest floor with no windows. For more ideas on a family plan, go to: https://www.ready.gov/make-a-plan
Finally, keep up to date with the latest forecasts from a trusted source as we head into Wednesday night. Even if severe weather is not expected where you are, now would be a good time to prepare and be prepared for future events. It’s not a question of “if” Alabama will have severe weather, it’s “when”.