By Jim Stefkovich, Meteorologist, Alabama Emergency Management Agency
CLANTON – Sunday, 7:30 am January 22, 2023
Models continue to indicate a very dynamic system moving across Alabama from late Tuesday night through Wednesday morning. The highest instability (for thunderstorm growth) is currently forecast to remain generally south of a Livingston – Clanton – Opelika line. In this region, supercell development, both as discrete cells and within a line of storms appear likely. Straight-line damaging winds, hail and tornadoes will all be possible, including EF2 (strong) or greater in intensity.
In addition, very strong non-thunderstorm winds will develop across the state late Tuesday afternoon or evening ahead of the line of storms and continue through the night. Sustained winds of 15-25 mph with gusts 30-40 mph will occur.
Since this event is still more than 48 hours away, expect some changes to the threat area, timing and even risk level. Although confidence is currently low, “if” more instability occurs than currently forecast, it would result in a more widespread and significant event.
Since severe weather will occur at night, it is VERY IMPORTANT you have at least two methods to receive severe weather warnings that will wake you up, one of which does NOT include an outdoor warning siren.
NOAA Weather Radio, making sure Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) for your cell phone is turned “on”, and other Apps from a trusted source are all options. Why two methods? First, outdoor warning sirens are meant for people outdoors, and they can fail. Second, any other source can fail at times for a variety of reasons. Don’t let a single point of failure make you miss a life-saving warning!
As we just experienced a severe weather/tornado outbreak on January 12th, you know severe storms occur during the winter months and will continue into May. If you have never developed a severe weather plan or haven’t reviewed your current one in some time, go to Severe Weather | Ready.gov . Do it today and be prepared before severe weather strikes. Trying to figure out what to do in a middle of a warning is a recipe for disaster.