Tornadoes expected Christmas Day

Published 11:00 pm Monday, December 24, 2012

The National Weather Service is projecting that Alabama will be at a substantial risk of severe weather, including long track tornadoes, on Christmas Day.

“Tuesday afternoon we could have some storms ahead of a squall line that is expected to develop and move through our area between 1 and 3 a.m.,” said Pike County Emergency Management Director Jeanna Barnes. “It will be an overnight event, most likely.”

That means Pike County residents should have a method of getting weather alerts while they are asleep. Barnes suggested either a NOAA weather radio or one of several smartphone apps available to download.

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“Don’t rely on an outdoor warning system to wake you up in the event of severe weather,” Barnes said.

NWS reported that a powerful low pressure system will sweep across the state that will likely produce large hail and bring the risk of twisters.

“Forecasters aren’t talking about short lived tornadoes,” Barnes said. “These could be big, strong long track tornadoes.”

Barnes said people should go to bed Christmas night with batteries in flashlights and an emergency kit ready, just in case.

“Be prepared, have somewhere safe to go. Go to the lowest level and the most interior room of your home in case of bad weather,” Barnes said. “If you have a mobile home, it would be good to find a relative or friend to stay with Tuesday night. If we do have a tornado watch, evacuate immediately and go to a more stable building.”