By Jim Stefkovich, Meteorologist, Alabama Emergency Management Agency
CLANTON – Tuesday, 6:00 am October 25, 2022
Southerly winds will be on the increase this morning. From mid-morning through 7 pm, non-thunderstorm gusts from 25-35 mph will occur with a few gusts up to 40 mph possible over the northern half of the state. For the southern half, winds will gust from 15-25 mph. Make sure you secure any light-weight objects that can easily be blown around.
A line of thunderstorms will enter the western portions of the state after 12 pm, continue eastward during the afternoon and evening and exit the southeastern sections by early Wednesday morning. This will be a fast-moving, quick hitting system with pockets of straight-line winds from 45-55 mph and a few higher gusts reaching severe criteria at or above 60 mph. Some hail up to quarter size is possible as well.
In addition, a few tornadoes may occur within the line as well.
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 Tuesday afternoon.
Make sure your Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) is turned on for your cell phone. This can be found in your phone settings.
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.
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, here’s an Alabama county map. Print it. Study it. Memorize not only what county you are in but your surrounding counties to give you a buffer with approaching storms. Even go as far as knowing surrounding towns and landmarks. The National Weather Service (NWS) issues warning for specific areas within a county or counties.
When the time comes, you need to be able to quickly make decisions!