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Severe Storms Likely Across Alabama Tomorrow

| January 10, 2020 @ 5:57 am

MILD, BREEZY TODAY: The sky will be mostly cloudy across Alabama through tonight with a south wind averaging 10-20 mph. A few showers are possible by afternoon, but a decent part of the day should be dry. But, to the west, a very active severe weather day is likely for parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana.

THE ALABAMA SEVERE WEATHER THREAT TOMORROW: All of Alabama has a risk of severe thunderstorms during the day tomorrow. SPC has defined an “enhanced risk” (level 3/5) for areas south of a line from Vernon to Birmingham to Opelika, with the standard “slight risk” (level 2/5) up to the Tennessee state line.

TIMING: While storms could enter far West Alabama as early as 10:00 a.m…. it looks like the core threat will come from 12:00 noon to 7:00 p.m. This will be generally a daytime event.

THREATS: Storms tomorrow across Alabama will be capable of producing damaging straight line winds and a few tornadoes. A strong tornado (EF-2 or higher) can’t be ruled out.

IMPORTANT NOTE CONCERNING WARNINGS: A long squall line will move across Alabama tomorrow. The low level jet (5,000 feet off the ground) is forecast to be in the 50-80 knot range, and it won’t take much to get some of that transferred down to the surface with these thunderstorms. The line will capable of producing widespread wind damage, and on a day like tomorrow, I would suggest going through your tornado safety action plan if you are in a severe thunderstorm warning. Many trees will likely be blown down by this line of severe storms. Bottom line is to take severe thunderstorm warnings seriously tomorrow.

GRADIENT WIND: Even away thunderstorms, tomorrow will be a very windy day. South winds will average 15-30 mph, with gusts to 40 mph. A wind advisory is in effect for most of the state.

RAIN: Rain amounts of 1 to 2 inches are likely tomorrow; thankfully the storms will be moving quickly, which should help to mitigate major flooding issues.

CALL TO ACTION: Everyone will need a good, reliable way of getting severe weather warnings Saturday if they are needed. Be sure WEA (“emergency alerts”) are enabled on your phone, and download the free ABC 33/40 weather app as well. Have a NOAA Weather Radio in your home and business. Never rely on an outdoor siren.

Identify the safe place in your home… in a site built home, it is a small room on the lowest floor, near the center of the home, and away from windows. Be sure everybody in the family knows where that safe place is, and in that room you need helmets for everyone in your family. We also recommend having a portable air horn for everyone, as well as hard sole shoes. If you live in a mobile home, you cannot stay there if you are in a tornado warning polygon. Know the location of the nearest shelter or site built structure that is available. And, tomorrow I would recommend not being in a mobile home if you are under a severe thunderstorm warning.

We walk a fine line with events like this; we have to spread the word and clearly outline the danger, but at the same time we won’t want to spread storm anxiety. Understand, just have a way of warnings and have a good plan, and we will get through the day together just fine. You can also help us by spreading the word; many Alabamians have no idea we have a severe weather threat tomorrow. Let them know the day will be active, and they must be in a position to hear warnings.

Sunday will be dry with a partly sunny sky and a high in the mid 60s.

NEXT WEEK: Moisture returns Monday with a chance of rain by afternoon, and we will have periods of rain Tuesday and Wednesday. Temperatures will remain mild; in fact there is a good chance we reach the low to mid 70s Tuesday and Wednesday. A few strong storms are possible at mid-week ahead of a cold front; cooler air returns Thursday and Friday, but still no sign of any really cold Arctic air. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

ON THIS DATE IN 1975: At least 13 tornadoes touched down in Alabama, including an EF-3 that moved through St. Clair county. Here is the storm summary of the damage area from Bob Ferry, Meteorologist-In-Charge of the Birmingham NWS at the time:

“Friday afternoon January 10, 1975, a tornado moved northeastward acorss the center of downtown Pell City, Alabama, and stopped the First National Bank Clock at 4:11 pm. Many buildings, mostly homes, were heavily damaged by large trees (some 5 to 6 feet in diameter near the trunk) uprooted and falling across them. Seven mobile homes were completely destroyed in a small trailer park (Smith’s) which is about one mile northeast of Pell City. The Red Cross reported that 33 people were taken to the hospital for treatment where only three were admitted-those, not too serious. There were no injuries in the trailer park becausd residents had taken shelter in a nearby brick building. None of the trailers had tie-downs.” In total along the path, at least 54 homes were destroyed and 307 homes were damaged. 15 trailers were destroyed and 27 businesses were damaged or destroyed. One person was killed at a service station.

BEACH FORECAST: Click here to see the AlabamaWx Beach Forecast Center page.

WEATHER BRAINS: Don’t forget you can listen to our weekly 90 minute show anytime on your favorite podcast app. This is the show all about weather featuring many familiar voices, including our meteorologists here at ABC 33/40.

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Look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon… enjoy the day!

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Category: Alabama's Weather, ALL POSTS, Weather Xtreme Videos

About the Author ()

James Spann is one of the most recognized and trusted television meteorologists in the industry. He holds the AMS CCM designation and television seals from the AMS and NWA. He is a past winner of the Broadcast Meteorologist of the Year from both professional organizations.

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