ABC 33/40 Weather: James Spann on the threat of severe weather - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

ABC 33/40 Weather: James Spann on the threat of severe weather in Alabama next week

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Timing, threat levels and daily impact of the severe weather threat in Alabama beginning Monday, April 28, 2014. Timing, threat levels and daily impact of the severe weather threat in Alabama beginning Monday, April 28, 2014.
ABC 33/40 Chief Meteorologist James Spann shared his thoughts on the threat of severe weather in Alabama next week, breaking down the timing and possible intensity of the storms, which could arrive in the state Monday morning.

From Spann on the ABC 33/40 Weather Blog, Saturday, Apr. 26:

As stated here for days, Alabama will have the dual threat of severe thunderstorms and flash flooding Monday through Tuesday night.

SPC has defined a “moderate risk” of severe weather for the northwest corner of our state for Monday and Monday night, while most of Alabama is in the standard “slight risk”…



Then, on Tuesday (Day 4), once again there is a risk of severe weather for most of the state.


TIMING:

The National Weather Service in Birmingham generated this graphic with their thoughts on the timing of the rounds of severe weather…

Let me caution you this is very difficult and could change. But, it looks like one batch of storms could enter Alabama Monday morning; they should slowly weaken as the better dynamic support will be west of the state.

A more significant round of severe storms is likely Monday night into early Tuesday morning… all modes of severe weather will be possible, including large hail, damaging winds, and few tornadoes. Severe weather parameters are not overwhelming, but certainly supportive of severe thunderstorms.

And, a third round is possible Tuesday afternoon or Tuesday night, but it remains to be seen if the air can sufficiently destabilize after the Monday night event for a major threat.

FLOODING:

Rain amounts of 3-4 inches are likely Monday through Wednesday morning, and people in flood prone areas will need to pay attention to flash flood warnings if they are needed.

IS THIS LIKE APRIL 27, 2011?

The event responsible for 62 tornadoes three years ago tomorrow is generational (those events happen about every 40 years). I am surprised people ask that question every time there is a severe weather threat. This is the core of the spring tornado season in Alabama, and severe weather events are expected this time of the year. I don’t answer that question any more because all it takes is just one tornado in the state that happens to come down your street to make it YOUR April 27.

There are some media outlets and cable channels that seem to hype severe threats endlessly, perhaps in an effort to gain viewers or readers. Yes, there are times we have to use strong words and be very bold in our forecasts, but you can’t hype every single tornado threat that comes along. That is not good for anyone.

CALL TO ACTION:

As part of your severe plan, you need to be able to hear warnings, know where you are going as a place of safety in the event you are in a tornado warning polygon, and have a readiness kit in that safe place.

GETTING THE WARNING:

You should have multiple layers of getting tornado warnings. A NOAA Weather Radio is the baseline; you can buy them at places like Publix and Academy Sports for about 30 dollars. We have spend many weeks on the road programming them at our events, but you can program them yourselves… it isn’t too difficult.

The Birmingham transmitter is operating at reduced capacity for about one week… if you live in the Birmingham metro are not getting the test warnings, you will need to go the the next way of getting warnings. Understand this impacts the Birmingham metro only, NOT any other part of Alabama.

There are very few weather apps that provide reliable, timely warnings through push notifications. Very few. The two we recommend are MyWarn, and iMap WeatherRadio. Both are available for iPhone, iPad, and Android devices. You can also watch ABC 33/40's long form tornado coverage through those apps. Links to download the ABC 33/40 apps:  News, Weather, Spann 24/7.

If you still have a home phone, WeatherCall is a good option.

Sirens are a last resort for a small number of people that are outdoors. You will not be able to hear a siren in most homes, businesses, churches, and schools. The “siren mentality” has killed so many people in our state.

Never totally rely on social media for warnings. I use it heavily, but remember Facebook filters what you see in your timeline… much of what I post there you won’t see unless you come over to my profile. There is no filtering on Google Plus or Twitter, but with all the traffic it is easy to miss warnings.

SAFE PLACE:

You should know the rules… small room, lowest floor, near the center of the house, and away from windows. You have to leave mobile homes for a substantial shelter or building. No vehicles. Identify the same place and be sure your kids know.

READINESS KIT:

In that kit you need helmets for everyone in your family. Bicycle helmets, batting helmets, etc. We have had much loss of life due to head injuries in tornadoes in Alabama. Also, hard sole shoes, whistles or air horns for everyone (paramedics can find you if you need help via the sound they generate), etc. See more ideas here.

There is no need to panic or be alarmed. This is April in Alabama, and severe weather threats happen this time of the year on a routine basis. We post frequent, detailed updates here on the blog, and you can also access all of these products through the James Spann 24/7 app, available for iPhones, iPads, and Android devices. This is a weather briefing app where you can find everything we produce in one place.

Just stay in touch and we promise to keep you posted!

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