It is Friday April 26, 2024.

Thirteen years ago today, we were in the middle of one of the greatest super tornado outbreaks in U.S. history. It was the largest, costliest and one of the most significant tornado outbreaks ever.

The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) was right on it. They issued a moderate risk of severe weather for three consecutive days, centered over Arkansas through Tennessee. The SPC issued a particularly dangerous situation (PDS) tornado watch for much of Arkansas and parts of Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, and Louisiana. Alabama and Mississippi were later added to the PDS watch. The first heads-up from SPC and National Weather Service Field Office in Birmingham came five days before the outbreak.

On the 25th several tornadoes were reported in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma. Some of them were significant EF-3 or better. A total of 42 tornadoes and five tornado-related deaths were confirmed on the 25th.

On the 26th a high risk of tornadoes was issued for states west of Mississippi. A total of 55 tornadoes were confirmed that day, although no fatalities occurred.

The 27th became the "Day of the Killer Tornadoes" across the mid-south. The Storm Prediction Center received 292 reports of tornadoes, 59 touched down in Alabama. More than 200 tornado warnings were issued across Alabama alone that day.

The human toll from the outbreak in Alabama was astonishing. Alabama Emergency Management Agency officials recorded 249 fatalities in our state. Cullman, Hackleburg and Tuscaloosa were among the hardest hit.

After touching down briefly in Greene County a monster EF-4 tornado crossed into Tuscaloosa County at 5:10p.m. It was one of the best documented twisters ever, as TV station tower cams and ALDOT traffic cams focused on the storm.

The first to be hit was the Tuscaloosa County Emergency Operations Center, the loss of which made the emergency response more difficult. The funnel then wrecked the Rosedale Public Housing Courts, destroyed a student apartments complex, cut across Hackberry Lane and destroyed an apartment complex and a neighborhood as it heavily damaged houses in the Forest Lake neighborhood.

Moving just south of and narrowly missing DCH Medical Center the twister saved some of its worst for last as it devastated Alberta and portions of the Holt Community.

Considering that more than 13% of the city was damaged or destroyed, it is remarkable that the death toll reached only 44. It could have been so much higher had the city not been prepared.

We remember those who lost their lives and lost loved ones or friends with sadness. But we remain thankful that the hundreds of injured survived.

Moving east, the superstorm system dropped tornadoes on Georgia and South Carolina and east coast states before moving out into the Atlantic on the 28th.

According to the National Weather Service, in terms of violent tornadoes, the event ranks third with 15 EF4/5 storms, behind only the 1974 Super Outbreak and 1965 Palm Sunday outbreak.

Gratefully there is no severe weather in the forecast for West Alabama anytime soon.

The Forecast:

Mostly sunny, with a high near 84. South wind 5 to 15 mph.

Mostly cloudy, with a low around 65. South wind around 10 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.
Partly sunny, with a high near 83. Southeast wind 10 to 15 mph.
Saturday Night
Partly cloudy, with a low around 64. Southeast wind 5 to 10 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.
Mostly sunny, with a high near 83. Southeast wind around 10 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph.
Sunday Night
Partly cloudy, with a low around 62.
The New Work Week:

95.3 The Bear logo
Get our free mobile app

Topping the News:

There were two overnight shootings in the area. The first involved a man and a woman being shot at Oakley Apartments on Tuscaloosa’s Southside. Their wounds were not life-threatening.
Later last night Northport Police attempted to make a traffic stop on McFarland Blvd. when shots were reportedly fired at them by the vehicle’s occupant. A high-speed chase ended on I20/59 when the suspected reportedly again fired at officers from several agencies near the Knoxville exit. The suspect was killed.

The full-court press from state officials against the United Auto Workers organizing attempt at Mercedes is continuing. In an opinion writing, House Speaker Nathan Ledbetter is calling the union corrupt, shifty and a dangerous leech.

Meanwhile in a social media post Gov. Ivey wrote on X (formally Twitter) that the UAW is not the good guy.


U-S Labor Secretary Julie Su is warning the State of Alabama to not infringe on the union vote coming next month at the Vance Mercedes plant. Her admonition comes as the Alabama House passed a bill that would remove state economic incentives from companies that recognize a union without a secret ballot vote.

Gov. Ivey has voiced concern that unionization will put an end to Alabama’s auto production boom. Auburn Industry Expert Rusty Adair told news partner ABC334, she may be right.

The union vote begins May 13th.

The lengthy United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) strike at Warrior Met Coal in Brookwood ended in February of last year, but the union and company are still negotiating a new contract to replace the one that expired three years ago.

During yesterday's Warrior Met shareholders meeting UMWA presented several proposals that they say will eliminate conditions that led to the strike.

UMWA President Cecil Roberts to shareholders that workers, "...deserve competitive wages and benefits for their hard work, and yet Warrior Met has still not reached an agreement with the mine workers."


40-year-old Montevallo resident Timothy Joseph Page will spend 405 months in prison followed by a lifetime of supervised release. He was sentenced yesterday on child pornography charges.


Topping Sports News:

Former Alabama Head Football Coach Nick Saban had more 1st round NFL picks made last night. The Los Angeles Chargers chose offensive tackle J.C. Latham at No. 7, the Vikings traded up to get linebacker Dallas Turner at No. 17 and the Detroit Lions also made a trade to get into position to take cornerback Terrion Arnold at No. 24.

Bama DB Kool aide McKinstry is expected to go early tonight in the second round.


Saban did a professional job as the new member of the College GameDay ESPN analyst team covering the draft on ABC. He smiled, laughed and seemed to genuinely be enjoying himself.

Saban was on air for the six hours of coverage after being introduced by Bama grad Rece Davis, “We are delighted to welcome Nick Saban to our ball club,” Davis said. “How is this running out here compared to, say, leading a team into a game?”

“Hey, I’m glad to be part of a team, that’s something that I thought I would always miss, this is our crowd now, so I’m all with them,” Saban said, motioning to the Detroit crowd behind the set.

Day two and three of the draft are tonight and tomorrow.

From UA Athletics: Alabama baseball paired a standout start from Greg Farone with big-time offense to earn a 12-0 run-rule victory over Ole Miss on Thursday evening at Swayze Field. With the victory, the 18th-ranked Crimson Tide is now 27-15 overall and 8-11 in Southeastern Conference play.

Farone (4-1) earned the win with a complete game shutout. The senior allowed just six hits and did not issue a walk while striking out six in his 7.0 innings of work. Alabama's offense gave him one run of support in the third before a nine-run fourth blew the game open. The Tide added two more in the fifth to cap the scoring at 12.

Alabama's bats accumulated 16 total hits on the way to 12 runs with eight of the nine starters recording at least one hit and one run scored.

The Tide and Rebs tangle again tonight at 6:30 and again Saturday.


Alabama Softball hosts Tennessee this weekend for the "Power of Pink" weekend to fight breast cancer. They play at 6:00 tonight and tomorrow night and again at 1:00 Sunday afternoon.

#17 Bama is 31-12 overall and 8-10 in SEC play. The #3 Lady Vols are 35-8 overall and 14-4 in the SEC.

This is the final SEC home series of the season. Games two and three will both air on ESPN2.


From UA Athletics: With a collective 15 birdies across the back nine, the No. 9 Alabama men's golf team carded an 8-under par 272 in Thursday's second round at the 2024 Southeastern Conference Men's Golf Championships. As a result, the Crimson Tide vaulted into seventh place overall after 36 holes with a team total of 5-under par 555 (283-272).

The top eight teams after 54 holes played will advance to the championship's match play portion, which will tee off Saturday morning.


Have a wonderful and safe weekend and ROLL TIDE!!!

More From 95.3 The Bear