By Jim Stefkovich, Meteorologist, Alabama Emergency Management Agency
CLANTON – Tuesday 4:00 pm, March 22, 2022
A Flood Watch is in effect for the counties shaded in the green through tonight.
A Wind Advisory is in effect for much of the state with gusts from 30-40 mph outside of thunderstorm activity from 12 pm through 12 am Wednesday.
As you can see from the graphic below from the Storm Prediction Center (SPC), the Moderate Risk has been expanded into western Alabama. In honesty, it doesn’t matter much between the Moderate or Enhanced Risk areas as both will have similar threats.
Models continue to indicate the development of supercells in west Alabama beginning as early as 1 pm and spreading eastward to the I-65 corridor into the early evening. Any thunderstorm that develops will quickly become severe. Then, a line of storms will move into the state between 4-8 pm and exit the southeast portions by 6 am Wednesday. A timing graphic is shown above.
The Moderate and Enhanced Risk regions will have the highest concentration of severe weather, including damaging wind gusts of 70+ mph, large hail and tornadoes, some of which could be EF2 or greater.
Although not as concentrated as in the Enhanced Risk area, significant severe weather is still possible in the Slight Risk area, but with a slow decrease in overall severe weather coverage through the night. As the line of storms approach the I-65 corridor, mainly a straight-line wind event is expected, but there could still be embedded tornadoes within the line.
Don’t let your guard down and think you are “only” in a Slight or Marginal Risk area. Event after event proves that devastating and deadly severe weather has occurred in both of these risk areas.
Finally, widespread 1-3 inches of rainfall is forecast with 3-4 inches north of I-20 and west of I-65. Some spots could have higher amounts. This could lead to flash flooding since soils are already saturated in many areas.
Stay tuned to this developing event and keep up-to-date with the latest forecasts from a trusted source.
Make sure you can receive severe weather warnings from at least two methods, one of which is NOT an outdoor siren
If you live in a mobile/manufactured home, you should abandon them for a safer structure when a warning is issued. If you don’t have a friend or relative with a sturdier structure, contact your county Emergency Management Agency (EMA) today and ask where shelters are located so you know where to go ahead of time.
Make sure your wireless emergency alert (WEA) is activated on your phone.
Don’t assume your friends and family have received a warning. Give them a quick call and let them know! You could end up being a hero and saving their life!
Finally check your action plan or develop one before tomorrow’s severe weather. Go to www.ready.gov for more information.