As new data is available to us in the WAAY 31 Storm Tracker Weather Center, the risk seems to solidify, as does our confidence, for severe thunderstorms capable of producing tornadoes and destructive winds Monday night through Tuesday morning.
Severe Weather Timing
While a few showers can form Monday afternoon and evening, the main risk for severe thunderstorms will increase between 10 PM and midnight Monday night across the Shoals. Severe thunderstorms will gradually shift eastward toward Athens, Decatur, and I-65 between midnight and 3 AM early Tuesday morning. Storms will arrive in Huntsville, Madison, and Fayetteville between 2 AM and 4 AM early Tuesday morning. Sand Mountain will be impacted starting between 3 AM and 5 AM.
The last of the storms will exit the Tennessee Valley between 5 AM and 7 AM Tuesday morning.
Severe thunderstorms will be capable of producing tornadoes, some of which could be strong. The biggest threat for the stronger tornadoes will be for areas between the Mississippi state line and I-65. Destructive winds over 70 mph are also growing increasingly likely. Winds of that magnitude can cause damage similar to tornadoes. Hail an inch in diameter or larger can also cause significant damage.
What To Know
Severe weather is always dangerous. Severe weather at night is especially dangerous for two major reasons: first, many people are sleeping and are caught off guard when storms arrive; second, tornadoes are virtually impossible to see at night, giving the idea that they are not there.
NOAA Weather Radios with an alert feature are especially important. Most retailers carry them. The alert feature is loud enough to wake you if dangerous weather threatens your area. They are also programmable so you receive warnings only for your area.
What To Do Before The Storms Arrive
On Sunday and Monday before the storms arrive, make sure batteries are fresh in your NOAA Weather Radio and in flash lights. Make sure your cell phones and tablets are charged. You can use them to watch WAAY 31 News live for constant updates. You can watch online at WAAYTV.com or on the WAAY 31 Storm Tracker Weather App.
Be sure to fuel up your vehicles. If power is out, gas pumps may not work. Also be sure to secure outdoor lawn furniture and other outdoor objects.
Make sure you know what to do if dangerous weather, including tornadoes, threatens. Also make sure everyone in your house knows what do to and where to go. Where is your tornado safe place? It should be on the lowest floor of a sturdy house or building in a small interior room. Basements or storm shelters are preferred if you have them. Bathrooms or small hall closets near the middle of a house are the best alternatives alternatives. If your home doesn't have a small room, a central hallway is another alternative.
If you live in a mobile home you need to find a stronger place of safety, even if they have storm ties on them. A nearby community storm shelter may be the best option. Be sure you know how to get there and how long it will take you to get there. As a last resort, a low spot or a ditch is safer than a mobile home or a car in a tornado.
Remember to cover up with jackets, pillows, blankets, couch cushions, or even backpacks. Protect your head, neck, and back. A football or bicycle helmet can even be beneficial. Also remember to put on your shoes. They may be difficult to find after a tornado, and you will most certainly need them.