Saturday, March 25, 2023

New Tornado Warning - Confirmed - Affects Fort Payne

 The tornado was reported near Cottonville and Grant in Marshall County. So like I keep saying, take the warnings seriously tonight. Although in the squall line now, this is the same storm that produced a tornado with about a 100-mile track in Mississippi with a lot of damage earlier tonight. 

Move to a basement or a small central room or hallway on the lowest floor of a sturdy house, do not stay in a mobile home if this tornado is coming at you. It's best if you can protect your head in some way, whether you have a helmet or just something simple like a pillow or cushion, just in case of falling or flying debris if this were to hit you directly.

1:17 - I may have misspoke earlier about an injury near Hartselle. I think it was more of someone trapped but rescued safely. These things are hard to sort out sometimes until the next day or two. Don't want to alarm anyone necessarily. The important thing is to shelter in the path of the storms still going on, esp this tornado. So that people can AVOID injury...

1:22 - Here is a closer view of the tornado warning polygon. Remember this tornado is confirmed, and you need to treat it seriously if you are anywhere within this polygon, near any of these communities. 

1:25 - Another possible tornado affecting Northern Dekalb County, Please stay sheltered in either of these polygons. 

1:29 - Two separate tornado circulations close together. The southernmost one is the one that was definitely confirmed earlier. Please stay sheltered in ANY of these communities until this is over. 

1:32 - And now another tornado spinning up and heading for Flat Rock. It looks rough on radar. 

1:33 - Radar shows this storm is picking up debris - radar confirmed tornado - and it could do fairly signiicant damage. 

Things are very busy right now, and you have to stay sheltered if you are in any of these warning polygons. 

1:36 - Wide view, the squall line is pushing into Northeast Alabama now, potential for strong, maybe still damaging winds in parts of it. But got to give priority to these tornadoes. Tornadoes at night are extra dangerous, and they have a bad history today and tonight. 

1:46 - All right, two of the tornado warnings were cancelled. The only one we still have is the tornado warning here for Dekalb County. And soon that storm will be over into Georgia. I always felt bad for Dekalb County when I tried covering storms over a wide area in the past, because they are the last county and it's like all the people covering it are ready for it to be over with. They seem to get hit a lot and are mostly rural. But people still live there. And they need protection like other people. 

1:49 - OKAY, and now this one was cancelled. There are no longer any tornado warnings in North Alabama or Southern Middle Tennessee. And overall the severe weather threat is winding down. But if we get new warnings, I plan to report them on here. Until the tornado watch is cleared for all of us. 

If my coverage has been not as great as you remembered when I kept a weather blog years ago, my only excuse is that my technology is not as good, I'm kind of rusty, and I have some challenging circumstances lately, including some family members in the path of that storm that produced the really bad tornado in Mississippi. One family was okay but had to take shelter from it, had power out but no damage, and more importantly, nobody hurt. And the other branch of my family tree, sadly a closer branch, I say it's sad because I was unable to get hold of them either before or after the tornado warning. I think it went south of their location, but there was so much going on, I was not quite sure. When I tell you that you can "be the hero" as NWS Birmingham puts it and call someone, that is still good advice for most of you. But I think I may stop doing it myself. People know I'm weather-obsessive and tend to just find it annoying. Everyone in my family and circle of friends has heard me say they need a weather radio. If they are unwilling to have one (and I'd buy them one if they needed it), then that is their decision, and I have to leave them on their own even when it looks fairly dangerous. 

Sometimes these events take a lot out of a person. 

Kind of dreading hearing about Mississippi tomorrow, probably had injuries or even deaths. I know the damage was extreme in some places. I would guess it was at least E/F2-F3 damage with that tornado that had a 100-mile track (sort of reminds me of Mayfield Kentucky back in that December event), and of course we won't know about that for sure until the professionals go in there and survey this. 

I really appreciate the National Weather Service offices around here and the broadcasters who take the time to do it right on days/nights like this. If you happen to read my stuff, you people are awesome, and hey, I tried to work for you at one time. I need this blog to keep a clear head these days while looking into other things. If anybody catches any serious mistakes, please comment or otherwise contact me so I can correct them. 

And hey, for what it's worth, the more distant relative, that I had to rely info to through another person (did not have current contact info) did leave their home and get to a public shelter. Came home to power out, no damage. This was one of those tornadoes that could have blown away an entire house, and if somebody has the chance to get to a storm shelter ahead of something like that, I want them to. And they did, the whole family. As far as I know, everyone I know is okay. And after a day and night like this, I don't take that lightly. 

1:59 - That severe thunderstorm warning in Northeast Dekalb County goes for 15 more minutes, until 2:15 AM. And then that moves into Georgia. Let's take a look at who's in and out of the tornado watch now. It was set to expire at 3 AM. Once the squall line is past, completely past, then the severe weather threat is over for those counties. Things got so busy I haven't had much time or energy to give the all clear to other folks. 

Ok so the only counties we have still under the tornado watch are: Fayette, Walker, Cullman, Marshall, Dekalb, and Jackson. 

They may cancel this before 3 AM for the rest of the area, but I guess they are waiting for any last-minute surprises. And I've seen those happen many times. You can't say it's over until you are sure. And the Huntsville and Birmingham personnel understand that very well. We're lucky to have such hardworking offices covering our weather around here. They really try to do it right. 

2:04 AM - We still have some strong thunderstorms that can produce some really strong, gusty winds. These are under severe limits, but once in a while there can be minor tree damage or something. Basically just stay inside away from windows and you should be fine. Not seeing any new severe storms firing up. 

2:08 - Yeah, now that I've had time to catch my breath, eat a quick bite, and get a radar reset, I can see why these counties remain under the tornado watch. Even though the atmosphere has stabilized quite a bit, the squall line has not completely finished moving through these counties still under the tornado watch. Now everybody else, you've got the all clear, no severe weather until at least late next week, and maybe not even then. 

But the NWS Huntsville and Birmingham are both being smart here. When I used to do this more frequently and was in school for meteorology, I lost count of how many times I was sitting there thinking, it's over, why don't they just cancel this watch already . . . and then something else would fire up all of a sudden. When I would have bet money it was over. And I remember those lessons. Especially in a pretty organized event like this was, you don't fool around and take goofy chances. You wait and make sure it's over before you call it a night. 

2:12 - By the way, we do have a flash flood warning back in Winston, Marion, and Lamar Counties. Remember in the forecast discussions I was saying a supercell could dump a lot of rain really quick . . . well that actually happened there I guess, with that storm that produced such a long-track, damaging tornado and mainly moved through Marion County but I guess the larger storm clipped those other two counties. 

To explain the other colors on that map, the yellow is the remaining parts of the tornado watch. That dark brown is what I just mentioned, the flash flood warnings back in Northwest Alabama. That sliver of orange in Dekalb County was a severe thunderstorm warning, which is expiring as I write this. You can see it's been extended into Georgia. And that pink in Georgia is a severe thunderstorm watch. Their tornado threat is very low tonight, but they may have some wind damage from these storms as they move through. I just noticed that Marion County, Tennessee is also included in that severe thunderstorm watch. Will not be covering any weather for them the rest of tonight. I only covered the broad area like the in the good old days because of the widespread nature of several tornadoes trying to form, felt like if I was gonna' do this, do it right. 

And that green for Maury, Marshall, Lawrence, and Giles Counties in Tennessee is a flood advisory for minor flooding could happen in low-lying and poor drainage areas. 

2:23 - Cullman, Marshall, and Jackson Counties have been cleared from the Tornado Watch. Dekalb County is still under it for now just in case of a last-minute surprise. 

I think the threat is over for Fayette, but I totally support the decision to keep them and Walker County under the watch until the line has completely cleared the county. Nights like this, you don't mess around, you wait until it's over for sure before you tell people all clear. 

2:31 - Saw a storm chaser, whom I won't name, though he posted it publicly, say that he'd seen things today that really were hard to see, and that it might be a while before he will feel like he can storm chase again. 

Anybody who lived around here in 2011 will be able to relate to that feeling. There are times you can feel like you never want to deal with another tornado again. For the most part, we were fortunate in Alabama and into Southern Tennessee. But that tornado did last into Marion and I think Franklin and Lawrence Counties. And we did have some more tornadoes, that was probably the only "big monster" one. I am really glad that some forecasters, especially Jim Stefkovich in his posts for Alabama EMA, mentioned the potential for a supercell or two with tonight's event. I think he started mentioning that before anyone else whose discussions I read. And sure enough, a supercell with a confirmed, extra-damaging tornado did last into at least Marion County. I think I saw a report of a tornado near Bear Creek with that storm also from earlier, but to be frank, a lot of things are running together in my head this late at night. And we've got the weekend and next week to sort things out and see what all happened and where. I am just glad this event is winding down for us. 

Oh and by the way, I wasn't comparing today's event to the 2011 superoutbreak. Far as I know, we only dealt with one tornado that was probably up in the violent category around here - or at least in the "strong" category, have to be rated at least E/F2-F3. But it reminded me that one is one too many. It sure seems like the warning process worked well in our neck of the woods. But you really don't know what all happened until the next day usually. I slept through most of the Mississippi stuff, because I needed to rest before trying to post updates on our stuff. But from what I have seen, man, at least that one tornado that lasted all the way into Marion County, AL was rough. 

2:38 - All right, now we can finally give the all-clear. The Tornado Watch has been cancelled for all counties, and my coverage of severe weather here tonight ends. Will try to post the bare bones of a forecast before calling it a night. Not worried about any severe weather for at least another week, and even then, it's just a little something to keep an eye on. This is such an active time of year. The severe weather threat for us in North Alabama and those counties we watch right across the TN border, is over. 


WFUS54 KHUN 250608





Tornado Warning

National Weather Service Huntsville AL

108 AM CDT Sat Mar 25 2023

The National Weather Service in Huntsville Alabama has issued a

* Tornado Warning for...

  Northeastern Marshall County in northeastern Alabama...

  Southern Jackson County in northeastern Alabama...

  Central DeKalb County in northeastern Alabama...

* Until 145 AM CDT.

* At 108 AM CDT, a tornado producing storm was located over Grant, or

  11 miles north of Guntersville, moving east at 60 mph.

  HAZARD...Damaging tornado.

  SOURCE...Radar confirmed tornado.

  IMPACT...Flying debris will be dangerous to those caught without

           shelter. Mobile homes will be damaged or destroyed.

           Damage to roofs, windows, and vehicles will occur.  Tree

           damage is likely.

* This tornadic storm will be near...

  Section around 125 AM CDT.

  Fyffe and Powell around 130 AM CDT.

  Rainsville and Sylvania around 135 AM CDT.

  Fort Payne and Henagar around 140 AM CDT.

Other locations impacted by this tornadic thunderstorm include

Dutton, Pine Ridge, Langston, Rosalie, Columbus City and



To repeat, a tornado is on the ground. TAKE COVER NOW! Move to a

basement or an interior room on the lowest floor of a sturdy

building. Avoid windows. If you are outdoors, in a mobile home, or in

a vehicle, move to the closest substantial shelter and protect

yourself from flying debris.


LAT...LON 3444 8564 3446 8640 3450 8640 3450 8639

      3452 8639 3451 8637 3452 8635 3451 8634

      3454 8631 3456 8631 3457 8633 3458 8632

      3472 8570

TIME...MOT...LOC 0608Z 261DEG 54KT 3452 8628





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