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Severe Weather Awareness Week


Severe Weather Awareness Week

Introduction Weather Hazards Sales Tax Holiday Past Events
Important Information Resiliency Tornado Safety Drill Additional Info

Introduction

Alabama is no stranger to severe weather, including tornadoes. They can happen any month of the year and any time, day or night. However, our primary severe weather season is considered to be in the spring (March through May). The National Weather Service, the Alabama Emergency Management Agency, and other supporting organizations ask for your help in providing the public with information about severe weather safety. Advance planning and increased awareness will help residents of Alabama survive these deadly storms.

Last year, 82 tornadoes touched down across Alabama. Unfortunately, 25 lives were lost, and over 100 were injured. For more information regarding 2019 Alabama tornadoes, please visit our tornado database.

 

Important Information

There are many aspects to being prepared for severe weather, but first and foremost, KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE!! No matter what you have in your severe weather plan, it will never be complete until you can pinpoint your location on a map. Take a few moments NOW to learn some local geography so you can be more prepared when severe weather  strikes. Don't just stop at your home location, learn surrounding counties and communities. This extra bit of knowledge will help you determine if storms in other areas are heading your way.

To help you with this, we've put together a Story Map that highlights some information about each of the 39 counties in Central Alabama. It can be found here

(Note: Story Map does not include tornadoes that occurred after 2017.) 

Knowledge is power, a power that could SAVE YOUR LIFE!!

Story Map

 

Alabama NWS Offices Watch vs Warning Olygon Warnings Safety Plan

 

Weather Hazards & Safety

Severe weather comes in many forms here in Alabama. From tornadoes to flooding, we see it all. It's important to know the different weather hazards and some simple safety tips. Please review the graphics below to learn how to prepare and keep you and your family safe from each type of hazard. (Click on images for a larger view.)

Spanish versions of the graphics below can be found here.

NEW! We are proud to offer safety videos with ASL interpreting courtesy the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind, as well as captioning with each video!

 

Weather Hazards & Safety Tips

Severe Thunderstorms
Severe Thunderstorms
Damaging Winds
Damaging Winds
Hail Safety
Hail
Flood Safety
Flooding Safety
Flood Types
Flood Types
Flood Safety
Flood Safety
Tornado Safety
Tornado Safety
Tornado Stats
Tornado Stats
Tornado Stats
Tornado Stats
Lightning Safety
Lightning Safety
Lightning Safety
Lightning Safety
Lightning Safety
Lightning Safety
Receiving Weather Alerts
Receiving Alerts
Wireless Emergency Alerts
Wireless Alerts
NOAA Weather Radio
NOAA Weather Radio

 

 

Resiliency & Manufactured Homes

Resiliency is defined as the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties. Here in Alabama, we find ourselves at the unique intersection of risk and vulnerability that makes us more subject to major effects from high impact weather events. Severe weather is inevitable in this state, and we also have a large manufactured home population. The more dispersed nature of these manufactured homes makes them 4 times more likely to be struck by a tornado than those in Kansas! The ultimate goal is to make Alabama more resilient when it comes to severe weather. So, how do we do this? Well, the answer isn't simple, and it will take some time, but together we can do it.

The following graphics include data and illustrations based on research conducted by Dr. David Roueche (University of Auburn) on Structural Successes and Failures for Mobile Homes in Alabama, and also by Stephen Strader (Villanova University) and Walker Ashley (Northern Illinois University) on Mobile Home Tornado Vulnerability in Alabama.

Resiliency
Manufactured Home Anchoring
MH Anchoring
Manufactured Home Survivability
MH Survivability
Manufactured Home Failures
MH Failures
Manufactured Home Stats
MH Statistics
 
 

"Tornado Safety Drill" - Wednesday, February 19, 2020

In Alabama, we do not conduct a statewide tornado drill.  However, we encourage everyone to conduct their own safety drill on Wednesday, Feb 19th.  This "tornado safety drill" will be accomplished in conjunction with our weekly NOAA All-Hazards Radio Test that will be run at a special time of 9 am. An actual tornado warning WILL NOT sound, but this is an excellent opportunity for schools, civic organizations and businesses around Central Alabama to practice what they would do in the event of a tornado warning.

**Please note that some NOAA Weather Radio models do not have an audible sound for the Routine Weekly Test (they only show a flashing light).  If you are conducting a drill, please go ahead and conduct the drill even if your weather radio does not audibly alert.**

 

Alabama Sales Tax Holiday: February 21-23, 2020

At the end of the week, the state of Alabama will hold a sales tax holiday for severe weather preparedness items. Don't miss this great opportunity to purchase any items you may be missing from your emergency kit. Below is a list of tax exempt items. You can find out if your city/town is participating here.

Sales Tax Holiday

 

Past Events

Severe weather can happen at any time. Here are some events from the last few years:

Tornadoes of March 3, 2019:  Six tornadoes touched down in southeast Central Alabama, including an EF4 tornado that killed 23 people in Beauregard, AL.  

Tornadoes of March 19, 2018:  Six tornadoes and hail up to 3 inches in diameter affected the northern areas of Central Alabama on the afternoon and evening hours of March 19th.  

17 Tornadoes from January 19-22, 2017:  A multi-wave severe event impacted the Southeast from January 19-22, 2017, which resulted in a total of 17 tornadoes across Central Alabama.  

Tornado Outbreak of April 28-29, 2014:  This was the largest tornado outbreak in Central Alabama since the infamous weather back in April 2011. A total of 18 tornadoes were confirmed in Central Alabama. 

Severe Weather & Flooding of April 6-7, 2014:  There were many reports of wind damage, but the biggest story was the flooding. Generally, 3-5 inches of rain fell across Central Alabama with locally higher amounts up to 7 inches. 

Tornadoes of April 11th, 2013:  7 tornadoes touched down in Central Alabama as a squall line and discrete supercells moved across the area during the afternoon and evening hours. 

Tornado Outbreak of January 23, 2012:  11 tornadoes touched down around central Alabama during the morning hours of January 23rd. 2 people lost their lives and 76 people were injured.

Historic Tornado Outbreak of April 27, 2011:  Two distinct waves of widespread severe weather produced a total of 29 tornadoes across Central Alabama. This was not only one of the largest tornado outbreaks in Central Alabama history, but also in U.S. history.

Tornado Outbreak of April 15, 2011:  As part of a system which wreaked havoc across the eastern half of the United States on April 14th-16th, a total of 29 tornadoes developed across Central Alabama.

For a more comprehensive list of past severe weather events, click here. 

 

Additional Information