The threat for dangerous severe thunderstorms will increase across parts of the Tennessee Valley this weekend. Even if you are not directly impacted this weekend, you can benefit from knowing how to respond to the approach of dangerous weather in the future.
Now is the time to be informed and stay informed with new information. The forecast can and will change as new data is available over time. Stay with the WAAY 31 Severe Storm Tracker Team on WAAY 31 News, on WAAYTV.com, and with the WAAY 31 Severe Storm Tracker App. Make sure you have a NOAA Weather Radio with the alert feature. The alert can wake you in times of dangerous weather when you are asleep.
In the days before, take time to review your severe weather safety plan. Make sure everyone in your home knows what to do if dangerous weather occurs. The safest place to shelter from a tornado is in the middle of your home and on the lowest floor. Small rooms in the middle of your house - hall closets and bathrooms - are the best place to be. In bathrooms, the plumbing in the walls can offer added protection. If you are in a mobile home, you should exit that mobile home and find a stronger safe spot. If you don't have one available, lying flat in a ditch or other dip in the ground can actually be safer than a mobile home. Remember the little things, too: make sure you have your shoes on; wearing a helmet can help protect your head; make sure your cell phone battery is charged; know where your tornado safe spot is; remember you can grab things like jackets, pillows, blankets, couch cushions, or even small mattresses to cover up for protection.
If the threat from a thunderstorm is damaging wind, remember that wind can do damage similar to that of tornadoes. You should take the same safety steps if damaging wind is the threat.
Know the difference between a WATCH and WARNING
A severe thunderstorm or tornado WATCH is issued when conditions are favorable for severe thunderstorms or tornadoes to form. A severe thunderstorm or tornado WARNING issued when a severe thunderstorm or a tornado is occurring or is developing. When the WATCH is issued, keep a close eye on the weather. When a WARNING is issued, take action and move to your safe spot.