Severe Weather Awareness Week in Alabama

Published 3:00 am Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Alabama residents are urged to learn about and prepare for severe weather this week.

The week of Feb. 15 is Severe Weather Awareness Week in Alabama. Each day of the week focuses on a different type of severe weather, and the National Weather Service in Birmingham is providing information each day.

Monday focuses on severe thunderstorms, Tuesday is lightning, Wednesday is tornadoes, Thursday is flooding and flash flooding and Friday will focus on receiving weather alerts.

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In order to survive severe weather threats, it is important to understand the details of each situation so the correct precautions can be taken. It is also important to know the surrounding geography.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA, and the National Weather Service is encouraging the state to conduct tornado drills on Wed. Feb. 18.

There is not a statewide tornado drill, but schools, businesses and organizations across the state are encouraged to conduct their own drill.

After the tornadoes that have occurred in the past years, it is important to go over the safety procedures for tornadoes and other types of severe weather.

Outdoor weather alert systems are in place to warn of severe weather; however, it is important to have another source of warning.

“We have been performing our routine maintenance in preparation of severe weather season, which runs from March through May,” said Jeanna Barnes, director of the Pike County Emergency Management Agency. “This maintenance includes batteries, electrical repairs, etc. I would like to ask that if anyone happens to see any individual not clearly identified as EMA personnel tampering with a county siren to please notify us immediately. Unfortunately, there have been some of them tampered with, resulting in electrical damage.”

Weather radios and weather apps are easily accessible and are extremely helpful when looking out for severe weather. While weather radios are convenient for home use, weather apps can send alerts to cell phones, allowing anyone to be alerted anywhere at anytime.

“We always like to stress the use of multiple alert systems, because the outdoor warning system is intended for people that are outdoors,” Barnes said. “The sirens have approximately one-mile radius, but that radius was determined for a clear day. If you’ve got a loud storm with heavy rains and potentially strong winds, the sound of the sirens will be quickly drowned out. And, the sirens are susceptible to a lightening strike or malfunctioning.”

To learn more about Severe Weather Awareness Week, visit

Monday night’s rain brought colder temperatures and lingering winds. Tuesday will see cloudy skies with a high near 46 degrees. The northwest winds will be between 10 and 15 mph. throughout the day, the skies will gradually become mostly sunny.

The cloud cover will return in the early evening, but the skies will gradually become mostly clear. Tuesday night’s low will be near 27 degrees. Winds will remain between 5 and 10 mph.