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Severe Storms Move Into North Alabama Tonight

| March 31, 2023 @ 3:23 pm

QUIET AFTERNOON: We have a generally cloudy afternoon across Alabama with a few sprinkles on radar… temperatures are in the 70s. The focus is on the severe weather threat tonight; to the west SPC has issued a rare “high risk” (level 5/5) of severe thunderstorms around Memphis and into eastern Arkansas. A significant tornado moved through North Little Rock, Arkansas at mid-afternoon, and a few strong/violent tornadoes could touch down northwest of Alabama through the evening hours.

TONIGHT: There is a “moderate risk” (level 4/5) of severe thunderstorms for the northwest corner of the state tonight, around the Shoals. An “enhanced risk” (level 3/5) extends to Scottsboro, Cullman, Jasper, and Reform. A “slight risk” (level 2/5) has been defined down to Anniston, Hoover, and Moundville… and a marginal risk (level 1/5) is in effect down to Alexander City, Prattville, and Thomasville.

The window for severe thunderstorms will begin around 10-11 p.m. across Northwest Alabama, with the risk extending southeastward through the night. Highest tornado threat is in the level 3/4 risk areas north and west of Birmingham tonight. A few strong tornadoes (EF-2 or higher) are possible.

The greatest threat will shift to strong straight line winds after 2:00 a.m. as the line drops southward, but an isolated tornado can’t be ruled out.

Non-thunderstorm gradient winds could gust to 40 mph in spots tonight; a wind advisory is in effect for the northern half of the state.

With events like this it is very important that you have a way of hearing weather warnings in the middle of the night. The baseline for every home and business is a NOAA Weather Radio. Those WILL wake you up. Never, ever rely on an outdoor siren. Be sure your phone has WEA (Wireless Emergency Alerts) enabled, and “Do Not Disturb” and “Sleep Mode” are not active. Know the safe place in your home, and have helmets for everyone in the family there.

If you live in a mobile home, know the location of the nearest shelter (or business that is open 24/7 that can serve as a shelter), and the fastest way of getting there. Have transportation available. It sure isn’t convenient going to a shelter during the pre-dawn hours, but you can’t risk your life staying in a mobile home if you are in a tornado warning polygon.

The weakening line of storms will shift into South Alabama tomorrow morning, and should be out of the state by early afternoon. Severe storms are not expected across South Alabama tomorrow. For North/Central Alabama… tomorrow will be a dry day after the lingering early morning showers with a mostly sunny sky and a high between 75 and 80 degrees.

Sunday will be a nice day; with a sunny sky the high will be in the low to mid 70s.

NEXT WEEK: At this point it looks like there will be some risk of rain on a daily basis. Strong storms are possible late Tuesday night into Wednesday as a cold front settles into the state, but it is too early to know if we have a meaningful severe weather threat. The front becomes stationary, meaning showers and storms will remain possible Thursday and Friday. Highs through the week will be in the 70s and 80s. See the video briefing for maps, graphics, and more details.

ON THIS DATE IN 1962: A tornado struck the town of Milton, Florida killing 17 persons and injuring 100 others. It was the worst tornado disaster in Florida history.

ON THIS DATE IN 1973: A devastating long track F3 tornado took a nearly continuous 75-mile path through north-central Georgia causing more than 104 million dollars damage. The tornado first touched down near Jonesboro, GA aroud 5:30 pm and carved an 75 mile long path through Clayton, Henry, Dekalb, Rockdale, Walton, Oconee, Clarke, and Oglethorpe counties before finally dissipating 10 miles ENE of Athens. Two were killed, one near Conyers and a second victim in Athens.

ON THIS DATE IN 2020: A tornado moved through the southern part of Eufaula. The most significant damage occurring in the Country Club of Alabama neighborhood along the south side of Pebble Beach Drive. Large sections of roofs were removed from a few well built residences with collapse of some exterior walls. The tornado crossed the Walter F. George Reservoir along the Chattahoochee River and continued into Quitman County in Georgia.

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

Look for my next video briefing here by 6:00 a.m. Monday… enjoy the weekend!

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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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