by Jim Stefkovich, Meteorologist, Alabama Emergency Management Agency
CLANTON – Friday, 11:00 am March 3, 2023
As of 10:45 am, the line of storms was located west of I-65 and north of I-20, moving eastward at 40-50 mph. Tornado Watches are in effect north of a Carrollton – Clanton – Alexander City – Wedowee line until the line of storms moves east of a particular county.
The areas of potential widespread damage with the line of storms will occur near and north of I-20. Between I-20 and Hwy 80/I-85, the line of storms will begin to weaken, but there is still the threat of a few damaging wind gusts. Only isolated severe weather is expected south of Hwy 80/I-85 and severe weather may not occur at all in this region.
There have been numerous reports of trees down north of I-20 and west of I-65, due to both winds within the line of storms and non-thunderstorm winds ahead of the line.
Additional wind damage may occur after the line of storms passes, especially north of I-20 due to very strong winds behind the line of storms. Winds will be sustained statewide at 20-30 mph and gusts from 30-50 mph, with gusts from 50-65 mph well north of I-20.
To put this in perspective, much of the state will experience tropical storm-force wind gusts and approaching hurricane strength in the northern sections.
Due to all the recent rainfall and wet soil conditions, the potential exists for additional and numerous trees to be downed including on roads, some structural damage, and power outages after the line move east of your location. The wind intensity will decrease quickly after 9 pm.
All outdoor loose and lightweight objects should already be secured. Make sure you know where your safe location is and go there immediately if a warning is issued.