Confidence Increasing For Severe Weather Including  Long-Track, Strong Tornadoes

By Jim Stefkovich, Meteorologist, Alabama Emergency Management Agency

CLANTON – Wednesday, 11:00 am December 14, 2022

…Portions of southwest Alabama have been upgraded to Moderate Risk due to the increasing threat of numerous supercells and several strong, long-tracked tornadoes…

It is expected that numerous supercell thunderstorms will develop in southeast Mississippi and move into Alabama south of I-20 and west of I-65 during the afternoon   All modes of severe weather are possible, including the potential for several strong (EF2 or greater), long-track tornadoes.

Then, a broken line of storms will enter western Alabama between 3 and 7 pm, and exit the southeastern portions of the state between 12 am – 2 am.   Supercells are expected within the line as well and damaging straight-line winds, tornadoes, and large hail are all possible.

There could be pockets of 4-6 inches of total rainfall with this system across the western and northern sections of the state, producing flash flooding anytime from this afternoon through the overnight hours.  

Both the Moderate Risk (shaded in red in the graphic above) and Enhanced Risk (shaded in orange) areas have the highest potential of strong, long-track tornadoes (EF2 or greater) and widespread damaging straight-line winds.  The Slight (yellow-shaded) and Marginal (green-shaded) Risk areas also have the potential for severe storms, including tornadoes, but to a somewhat lesser extent than the Moderate and Enhanced Risk areas.

There could be pockets of 4-6 inches of total rainfall with this system across the western and northern sections of the state, producing flash flooding anytime from this afternoon through the overnight hours.  As a result, much of western and northern Alabama are under a Flood Watch today and tonight. 

It’s important to have a severe weather plan in place.  Trying to figure out what to do during an emergency is a recipe for disaster.  For more information, go to www.ready.gov

Make sure you have at least two methods to wake you up in case a warning is issued which does NOT include an outdoor siren.  Also, make sure your Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) notification is turned on.  This can be found in the settings section on your cell phone.

If a warning is issued, get to the lowest floor possible and put as many walls as you can between you and the outside.  Interior bathrooms, basements, and safe rooms offer the best protection.

Many severe weather injuries and deaths occur due to blunt force trauma to the head.  Wear a sturdy helmet (baseball, softball, football, biking, construction, etc.) for protection.

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