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Archive for March 18th, 2013

Last of the Watches and Warnings Have Expired

| 7:59 pm March 18, 2013

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WOW, what a day! Widespread severe weather impacted much of Alabama with very large hail and damaging winds, but luckily no tornadoes around us. Some incredibly large hail fell across the state, something very rare for Alabama as usually our freezing level is so high. Numerous reports of golf ball to baseball size hail with widespread and significant damage in places. All watches and warnings have been cancelled for our part of the state and things should begin to get back to normal. Last of the thunderstorms are pushing out of Barbour and Pike Counties. Looks as though it will be several days before a threat of severe weather returns anywhere across the country.



Today’s Storms

| 7:29 pm March 18, 2013

A band of severe storms blew through Alabama today with a ferocious wind and hail stones to the size of baseballs. Damage has been widespread, and severe in many cases.

Go to our Flickr feed here to see many of the damage and hail images from today.

The NWS will send out survey teams tomorrow to begin the damage assessment, but from all I have seen and heard today, it looks like all of the damage was caused by straight line winds of 50-75 mph.

We always have people that want their damage to be the result of a tornado… but I have seen zero evidence of tornado activity today despite the damage.

A gustnado or two was certainly possible, if not likely… that is a vortex on the leading edge of a thunderstorm’s gust front. Ground based, and not really related to a true tornado in a classic sense.

You have to remember…

*Damaging straight line winds can, and will cause damage just like a tornado.

*You can have twisting type damage with a microburst due to the eddies generated by the air parcel after hitting the ground at extremely high speeds.

*A load roar can also be associated with straight line winds, much like a tornado.

We will get the final results in coming days, but I will really be surprised if a tornado was involved any of today’s damage. Meteorological parameters did not favor tornado formation, and we saw no signatures on radar that would suggest a tornado was involved, other than one or two over DeKalb County of Northeast Alabama late today.

Congratulations to the NWS in Birmingham for their excellent, timely warnings. If you didn’t get a warning today, then the time has come for a NOAA Weather Radio, or a smart phone app like MyWarn or iMap WeatherRadio. Very surprised to see a number of people on the news saying “they got no warning”. Here is a great example… the warning for Tuscaloosa and Walker Counties, issued about 30 minutes before damage started.

BULLETIN – IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BIRMINGHAM AL
228 PM CDT MON MAR 18 2013

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BIRMINGHAM HAS ISSUED A

* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR…
TUSCALOOSA COUNTY IN WEST CENTRAL ALABAMA…
WALKER COUNTY IN ALABAMA…

* UNTIL 330 PM CDT

* AT 228 PM CDT…THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE INDICATED A LINE OF
SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS CAPABLE OF PRODUCING QUARTER SIZE HAIL…AND
DESTRUCTIVE WINDS IN EXCESS OF 70 MPH. THESE STORMS WERE LOCATED
ALONG A LINE EXTENDING FROM ASHRIDGE TO 7 MILES EAST OF BLUFF TO
MILLPORT TO ETHELSVILLE…AND MOVING EAST AT 60 MPH.

* LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE…
CARBON HILL…JASPER…CORDOVA…DORA…NORTHPORT…SUMITON…
TUSCALOOSA AND HOLT.

THIS INCLUDES…
US 78 EXIT NUMBERS 39 THROUGH 78…
INTERSTATE 20 EXIT NUMBERS 62 THROUGH 100…

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

THESE STORMS HAVE A HISTORY OF PRODUCING WIDESPREAD WIND DAMAGE.
THIS IS AN EXTREMELY DANGEROUS SITUATION. SEEK SHELTER NOW INSIDE A
STURDY STRUCTURE AND STAY AWAY FROM WINDOWS.

Here is the warning issued for Etowah, St. Clair, and Shelby… way before any damage happened. Note how the warning says this is “an extremely dangerous situation”. I could do this for every county in the Birmingham NWS county warning area…

BULLETIN – IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BIRMINGHAM AL
334 PM CDT MON MAR 18 2013

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BIRMINGHAM HAS ISSUED A

* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR…
ETOWAH COUNTY IN NORTHEAST ALABAMA…
ST. CLAIR COUNTY IN ALABAMA…
SHELBY COUNTY IN ALABAMA…

* UNTIL 430 PM CDT

* AT 332 PM CDT…EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT REPORTED A LINE OF SEVERE
THUNDERSTORMS PRODUCING QUARTER SIZE HAIL…AND DESTRUCTIVE WINDS
IN EXCESS OF 70 MPH. THESE STORMS WERE LOCATED ALONG A LINE
EXTENDING FROM 5 MILES EAST OF MCLARTY TO 6 MILES WEST OF ASHVILLE
TO MOODY TO VESTAVIA HILLS TO TANNEHILL IRONWORKS STATE PARK…AND
MOVING EAST AT 65 MPH.

* LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE…
ODENVILLE…HELENA…PELHAM…ALABASTER…MONTEVALLO…PELL CITY…
CHELSEA AND RAINBOW CITY.

THIS INCLUDES…
INTERSTATE 65 EXIT NUMBERS 228 THROUGH 247…
INTERSTATE 20 EXIT NUMBERS 144 THROUGH 162…
INTERSTATE 59 EXIT NUMBERS 148 THROUGH 188…

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

THESE STORMS HAVE A HISTORY OF PRODUCING WIDESPREAD WIND DAMAGE.
THIS IS AN EXTREMELY DANGEROUS SITUATION. SEEK SHELTER NOW INSIDE A
STURDY STRUCTURE AND STAY AWAY FROM WINDOWS.

Thankfully we don’t see any more severe weather around here at least for the next 7 to 10 days.

Only 4 Counties Left in Tornado Watch

| 7:19 pm March 18, 2013

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Russell, Barbour, Bullock and Pike Counties are the only counties in our area left in an tornado watch.

THIS INCLUDES THE CITIES OF…EUFAULA…PHENIX CITY…
TROY AND UNION SPRINGS.



Latest Watch Changes

| 7:05 pm March 18, 2013

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Tornado watch has been cancelled foe Autauga, Elmore and Lee Counties but remains in effect for Lowndes, Montgomery, Barbour, Bullock, Pike, Macon and Russell.

THIS INCLUDES THE CITIES OF…EUFAULA…FORT DEPOSIT…
LOWNDESBORO…MONTGOMERY…PHENIX CITY…TROY…
TUSKEGEE AND UNION SPRINGS.

Severe thunderstorms watch called for Dallas and Marengo Counties.

Severe Thunderstorm Warning: Barbour/Bullock/Pike until 7:45 PM

| 6:52 pm March 18, 2013

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3-18-2013 6-53-12 PM

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BIRMINGHAM HAS ISSUED A

* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR…
BARBOUR COUNTY IN SOUTHEAST ALABAMA…
BULLOCK COUNTY IN SOUTHEAST ALABAMA…
PIKE COUNTY IN SOUTHEAST ALABAMA…

* UNTIL 745 PM CDT

* AT 650 PM CDT…THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE INDICATED A LINE OF
SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS CAPABLE OF PRODUCING QUARTER SIZE HAIL…AND
DAMAGING WINDS IN EXCESS OF 60 MPH. THESE STORMS WERE LOCATED
ALONG A LINE EXTENDING FROM MIDWAY TO 6 MILES SOUTH OF INVERNESS TO
BRADLEYTON…AND MOVING SOUTHEAST AT 45 MPH.

* LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE…
GOSHEN…TROY…EUFAULA…BRUNDIDGE…CLIO…ANSLEY…COMER AND
SPRING HILL.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

FOR YOUR PROTECTION…MOVE TO AN INTERIOR ROOM ON THE LOWEST FLOOR OF
YOUR HOME OR BUSINESS.

Watch Changes

| 6:21 pm March 18, 2013

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Chambers and Tallpoosa Counties have been cleared from the tornado watch, but the watch remains in effect for Autauga, Elmore, Montgomery, Lowndes, Barbour, Bullock, Pike, Lee, Macon, and Russell.

THIS INCLUDES THE CITIES OF…AUBURN…EUFAULA…FORT DEPOSIT…
LOWNDESBORO…MILLBROOK…MONTGOMERY…OPELIKA…PHENIX CITY…
PRATTVILLE…TROY…TUSKEGEE…UNION SPRINGS AND WETUMPKA.

Dallas and Marengo Counties remain under a severe thudnerstorm watch as well.
THIS INCLUDES THE CITIES OF…DEMOPOLIS…LINDEN AND SELMA.



Severe Thunderstorm Warning : Lee County until 6:30

| 6:17 pm March 18, 2013

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3-18-2013 6-19-34 PM

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BIRMINGHAM HAS ISSUED A

* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR…
SOUTHEASTERN LEE COUNTY IN EAST CENTRAL ALABAMA…

* UNTIL 630 PM CDT

* AT 612 PM CDT…THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE INDICATED A SEVERE
THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING GOLF BALL SIZE HAIL…AND
DAMAGING WINDS IN EXCESS OF 60 MPH. THIS STORM WAS LOCATED NEAR
SMITHS…AND MOVING EAST AT 35 MPH.

* LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE…
MAINLY RURAL AREAS OF EXTREME SOUTHEASTERN LEE COUNTY.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

FOR YOUR PROTECTION…MOVE TO AN INTERIOR ROOM ON THE LOWEST FLOOR OF
YOUR HOME OR BUSINESS.



Watches Being Trimmed

| 5:46 pm March 18, 2013

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Severe thunderstorm watch cancelled for Bibb, Calhoun, Cherokee, Cleburne, Green, Hale, Perry Sumter, Shelby Talladega. Tornado watch is cancelled for Chilton, Clay Coosa and Randolph Counties.

Tornado watch remains in effect for Autauga, Barbour, Bullock, Chambers, Elmore, Lee, Lowndes, Montgomery, Macon, Pike, Russell and Tallapoosa Counties.

THIS INCLUDES THE CITIES OF…ALEXANDER CITY…AUBURN…EUFAULA…
FORT DEPOSIT…LANETT…LOWNDESBORO…MILLBROOK…MONTGOMERY…
OPELIKA…PHENIX CITY…PRATTVILLE…TROY…TUSKEGEE…
UNION SPRINGS…VALLEY AND WETUMPKA.