Severe Weather Awareness Week in AlabamaRickey Stokes
Posted by: RStokes
Date: Feb 06 2024 12:39 PM
Alabama is no stranger to severe weather, including tornadoes. They can happen any month of the year and any time, day or night. However, we have two distinct severe weather seasons. Our primary severe weather season is considered to be in the spring (March through May). There is also a secondary season that typically runs from the beginning of November until mid-December. The severity of each severe weather season varies from year to year, but it’s imperative that you stay prepared year-round.
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.
In 2023, 70 tornadoes touched down across Alabama. Unfortunately, 9 lives were lost, and over 29 were injured. For more information regarding 2023 Alabama tornadoes, please visit our tornado database.
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.
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.
In Alabama, we do not conduct a statewide tornado drill. However, we encourage everyone to conduct their own safety drill on Wednesday, Feb 7th. 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.**