The Storm Prediction Center has upgraded its severe weather forecast for most of Northwest and Central Alabama to the “High Risk” category, the highest severe and dangerous weather threat level.
The U.S. NWS Huntsville Office is asking folks to get ready for severe and dangerous weather beginning at noon. The following Facebook post from the office is clear – PREPARE NOW:
2:17 AM | The Storm Prediction Center has upgraded the severe potential for today to a “High Risk” for the NW half of our area, and keeps a “Moderate Risk” for the rest of northern Alabama and southern Middle Tennessee. To put this into perspective, we haven’t had a “High Risk” day in Northern Alabama since April 28, 2014.
We are expecting destructive winds, strong tornadoes, large hail, and flash flooding across our entire area, despite the location of the “High Risk”. We need y’all to take this seriously. The best thing you can do for you and your family is to make sure you are prepared. Know where you are going to go, make sure your storm shelter is stocked with supplies, and make sure you keep an eye on the weather today. We want you all in our community to stay safe today. We’ll get through this together.
Last week, we all witnessed on St. Patrick’s Day an outbreak of 20+ tornadoes statewide. There were no fatalities because Alabamians were prepared.
One of the best websites to prepare you for tornadoes and severe weather is found at: https://www.weather.gov/safety/tornado-prepare
Below is an excerpt from the site. As you can see, you need to make several plans, ranging from a communication plan, a plan where to shelter with your family and even a plan if your place is hit by a tornado.
- Be Weather-Ready: Check the forecast regularly to see if you’re at risk for tornadoes. Listen to local news or a NOAA Weather Radio to stay informed about tornado watches and warnings. Check the Weather-Ready Nation for tips.
- Sign Up for Notifications: Know how your community sends warnings. Some communities have outdoor sirens. Others depend on media and smart phones to alert residents of severe storms capable of producing tornadoes.
- Create a Communications Plan: Have a family plan that includes an emergency meeting place and related information. If you live in a mobile home or home without a basement, identify a nearby safe building you can get too quickly, such as a church or family member.
- Pick a safe room in your home, such as a basement, storm cellar, or an interior room on the lowest floor with no windows. Check more ideas for your family plan at: https://www.ready.gov/make-a-plan
- Practice Your Plan: Conduct a family severe thunderstorm drill regularly so everyone knows what to do if a tornado is approaching. Make sure all members of your family know to go there when tornado warnings are issued. Don’t forget pets if time allows.
- Prepare Your Home: Consider having your safe room reinforced. You can find plans for reinforcing an interior room to provide better protection on the Federal Emergency Management Agency website.
- Help Your Neighbor: Encourage your loved ones to prepare for the possibility of tornadoes. Take CPR training so you can help if someone is hurt.
Need more? The Bama Buzz’s sister publication Bham Now also published in 2020 a detailed severe weather checklist.
Read it – HERE.
Charge Your Electronics
Along with your local television stations, we encourage folks to follow on social media the U.S. National Weather Service Office in your community.
- U.S. National Weather Service Huntsville Office
- U.S. National Weather Service Birmingham Office
- U.S. National Weather Service Mobile Office
- U.S. National Weather Service Tallahassee Office
This Thursday morning, don’t forget to charge all your electronics. Prepare the kids and family members.
Be prepared Alabama.