National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

 Summer Weather Safety

Alabama's severe weather seasons may be in the spring and fall, but the summer months are no time to let your guard down. From heat-related illnesses to land-falling tropical systems, summer brings quite a variety of potential weather hazards. It's never too early to prepare yourself and your family for dangers that lie ahead.

Select a topic below for more specific safety information.


Air Quality

Air pollution and high ozone concentrations can be a health hazard to many different people.  Young people, the elderly and those with heart conditions are among the most susceptible to these colorless and odorless gases in the atmosphere. Poor air quality is responsible for an estimated 60,000 premature deaths in the United States each year. It can trigger a variety of health problems such as lung irritation and inflammation, asthma attacks, wheezing, coughing, chronic bronchitis, painful breathing and increased susceptibility to respiratory illnesses.

Before you go out, check the air quality forecast to ensure you aren't doing yourself more harm than good. If an air quality alert is in effect for your area, stay inside if possible, particularly if you have respiratory concerns or other health problems, are a senior or child. If you must go out, try to limit the amount of time you are out to strictly essential activities.

Types of Air Pollution AQI & Health Air Quality Forecast  
Types of Air Pollution  AQI & Your Health  Air Quality Forecast  

Informational Links


If you're from the South, you know summers can get pretty hot and humid in this part of the country. Whether the temperature is 90 degrees or 105 degrees, prolonged exposure to the heat can become life-threatening. Heat is one of the leading weather-related killers in the United States, resulting in hundreds of fatalities each year and even more heat-related illnesses.

It's important to take the necessary precautions to protect yourself, your family and your pets from the heat. Some basic safety tips are included in the following graphics. For more safety information, visit the links listed below.

Heat Products Heat Safety Child Heat Safety Heat Health Hazards
Heat Products  Heat Safety  Child Safety  Health Hazards

Informational Links


Hurricane season officially runs from June 1st through the end of November. The week of May 5-11, 2019, as been proclaimed as Hurricane Preparedness Week in Alabama.

The National Weather Service, in cooperation with the Alabama Emergency Management Agency, takes time during this important week to draw attention to the threat of hurricanes. During Hurricane Preparedness Week, residents both near the coast, as well as those in interior locations, should review preparedness plans and be ready for the next Gulf Coast hurricane. Everyone is urged to use Hurricane Awareness Week to formulate and review hurricane preparedness plans. Even inland communities need to make plans for hurricanes, such as assisting coastal evacuees and dealing with flooding, tornadoes and high winds.

Only one major hurricane hitting the United States coast could cause billions of dollars in property damage and many fatalities. Let's take time now to be prepared, because it is not a matter of if, but when. 

#ItOnlyTakesOne   #HurricaneStrong

Local Graphics
Hurricane Basics Forecast Process Forecast Products Storm Surge
Hurricane Basics Forecast Process  Forecast Products  Storm Surge
Fatalities High Winds & Tornadoes Inland Flooding Get a Plan
Fatalities High Winds & Tornadoes Inland Flooding Get a Plan
Take Action Evacuations Important Links  
Take Action Evacuations Inland Flooding  
National Graphics
Hazard Risks Evacuation Plan Update Insurance Hurricane Supplies
Hazard Risks Evacuation Plan Update Insurance Hurricane Supplies
Strengthen Your Home Hurricane Information Be Prepared  
Strengthen Your Home Hurricane Information Be Prepared  

Informational Links


Lightning is a common occurrance across Alabama considering we have our fair share of thunderstorms in this part of the country. Although most lightning occurs in the summer, people can be struck at any time of year. Lightning kills an average of 49 people in the United States each year, and hundreds more are severely injured.

There is no safe place outside when thunderstorms are in the area. If you hear thunder, you are likely within striking distance of the storm. Just remember, When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors. Stay in safe shelter at least 30 minutes after you hear the last sound of thunder.

Lightning Fatalities Lightning & Sports
Lightning Fatalities  Lightning & Sports    

Informational Links

Rip Current

While we aren't directly impacted by rip currents here in Central Alabama, many of our residents frequently visit the beach. The beauty of the Gulf Coast, including Alabama's beaches, attracts thousands of vacationers each year. However, that beauty can diguise danger!  Rip currents are responsible for dozens of drownings every year, and they are the leading cause of surf zone fatalities in the United States.

Check water conditions by looking at the local beach forecast BEFORE you leave for the beach and talking to the lifeguard at the beach. Only swim at a beach with lifeguards, and don't assume that great weather means it's safe to swim or even play in the shallows. Rip currents often form on calm, sunny days.

What is a Rip Current? Beach Warning Flags Forecasts  
What is a Rip Current? Beach Warning Flags  Rip Current Forecasts  

Informational Links

Safe Boating

Safe boating practices aren't something that should only be followed while on the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico or Atlantic Ocean. Many Central Alabamians enjoy recreational boating on many of it's beautiful lakes and rivers. While wave heights on Alabama lakes are much smaller in comparison to what occurs out in the ocean, there are many other hazards of which boaters must be aware. Below are some general safety tips to follow prior to and during your boating adventure.

Boating Safety Boating Statistics    
Boating Safety Boating Statistics    

Informational Links