It is Thursday March 21, 2024.

On this date in 1932 one of the worst tornado outbreaks in Alabama history devastated Northport. 32 people died and more the 2,500 were injured. Some 10,000 people across the state were left homeless. Nine died and 30 homes were also destroyed in Moundville. Twisters also struck Bibb, Marengo and Perry counties.

My mother Audrey was a little girl living just off what was back then called Broad Street (now University Blvd.). Her parents house overlooked what now is the site of the Mercedes Amp. She told me they saw the twister strike downtown and watched as the debris lifted up, then it was gone.

She always referred to the quiet that was left behind, nothing stirred, then the sirens started. She recalled how for hours ambulances, fire trucks and police cars ran back and forth across the old drawbridge with sirens blaring and red lights flashing.

There were so many injured that there were not enough ambulances to transport them all. She remembered seeing injured people in the backs of pickups being taken to DCH, which was on the UA campus then.

She always remembered how UA students helped, fraternity boys, football team members and others helped get people from under the rubble.

Current meteorological estimates are the tornado on today's Enhanced Fujita Scale would have been rated an EF-4 with wind speeds 208-260 mph.


There are scattered light showers across southern Sumter County with a larger rain mass moving into western Mississippi this morning. That should set us up for the beginning of rain chances late today through tomorrow night. A few rumbles of thunder are possible but nothing severe is expected.

It was a memory that was with her the rest of her life and only surpassed by the April 27, 2011, EF-4 tornado that struck Tuscaloosa.

What contributed to so many deaths and injured? Remember, in 1932 there was no weather radar, no TV meteorologists, no tornado warnings, no warning systems and no community tornado shelters.


Today's Pollen Count:

  • Tree Pollen: High
  • Grass Pollen: Moderate
  • Ragwood: Low

The Forecast:

Mostly cloudy, with a high near 74. Calm wind becoming southeast around 5 mph in the afternoon.

A 20 percent chance of showers after 1am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 52. East wind around 5 mph.
Showers, mainly after 10am. High near 61. East wind 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.
Friday Night
Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm before 1am, then a chance of showers. Cloudy, with a low around 53. Northeast wind 5 to 10 mph becoming north after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 70%.
Mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming sunny, with a high near 67. Breezy, with a north wind 10 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 35 mph.
The Weekend: 
Mostly clear days with highs in the 70s. Clear to partly cloudy nights with lows in the upper 40s and lower 50s.

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Topping the News:

The University of Alabama is examining the impact the ban on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion law signed by Gov. Ivey will have on campus. The bill prohibits DEI offices on state college and university campuses, all K12 schools and state agencies.
Republican lawmakers call DEI a "divisive concept" because, they claim, its objective is to make person feel ashamed of their race or gender.
UA students have protested the ban. Opponents claim the ban itself is divisive and turns back the clock on race relations. They have threatened a lawsuit.

The U.S. Department of Education has included the Tuscaloosa City School System with Rochester New York Schools as examples of how to work at the community level.

What drew the attention to Tuscaloosa is its summer Learning Program. The program transition from summer school to summer learning seven years ago.
The federal government is investing $8 billion in improving learning loss during the summer. The National Police Council points to Tuscaloosa City Schools as an outstanding example of what can be accomplished.
3,00 of the systems 11,500 students attend summer learning each year.

It is now unlawful for a person to pick up absentee ballots and deliver them under the state's new "anti-ballot harvesting law" signed by Gov. Ivey yesterday. In a written statement Ivey vowed there will be, No funny business carried on in Alabama elections.

Republican lawmakers were anxious to pass the law and get it in place before the fall general elections.
Greensboro State Senator Bobby Singlton calls the bill an effort to restrict minority voting strength in Alabama.

The Alabama House will consider legislation passed by the senate that will ban gender identity or sexual orientation discussions in schools K-12. The legislation would also ban the display of "gay pride" flags on school property.

The Huntsville Space Camp was removed from the bill sponsored by Rainbow City GOP Rep. Mack Butler who believes the bill is needed tom "purify Alabama."

According to a new study by UA's Center for Business and Economic research; the university added almost $2.8 billion to the state's economy during the 2020/21 academic year during the height of the pandemic.

On the sports side, the UA football program contributed $134 million to the state's coffers. More than $100 million to the City of Tuscaloosa alone.

A new "Crime Victim Notification System" has been rolled out in Alabama. State Attorney General Steve Marshall told a press conference a new website lets victims and others concerned know when criminals are up for parole, release or have any change in status or custody.

People are dying because rural healthcare in Alabama is insufficient. That is the message activist organizations are sending to the Alabama legislature as they debate rural healthcare legislation.

House Bill 310 would set up the Rural Hospital Investment Program to incentivize donations to rural healthcare through the creation on income tax credits for individuals or entities that donate.

Topping the Sports News:

The Alabama Men's basketball team begins its post-season NCAA March Madness play tomorrow night. The 4th seeded Tide meets 13th seeded Charleston at 6:35 in Spokane, WA.
Bama will encounter a bit of a mirror image from the Cougars. Both teams like to run and gun, shooting the three. Analysts say, unlike UA, Charleston plays some defense. They point out that the game may not be a cake walk for the Tide if they don't play better than they have the last month.
Alabama is favored by 9.5 points.
You can catch the game on Tide 100.9 and 95.3 The Bear. It will be telecast on truTV.

The Alabama Women's Basketball Team (23-9) open NCAA play tomorrow. The Tide takes on Florida State at 4:30 Tuscaloosa time in the Austin, TX regional.

From UA Athletics: Alabama softball was knotted up in a close battle against in-state foe UAB Wednesday night at Rhoads Stadium, with a go-ahead sixth inning RBI single from Jenna Johnson ultimately making the difference in the 4-3 win.

Alabama hosts Virginia Tech Friday and Saturday.

Have a thrilling Thursday, March Madness is here!!

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