It is Wednesday February 7, 2024. Severe Weather Awareness Week continues today with tornadoes being the highlight.

The annual average number of tornadoes reported in Alabama doubled from 17.2 for the 20-year period of 1980-1999 to 34.4 for 2000-2019 and we continue to see increases.

The unforgettable year of 2011 leads the way with an amazing 145 tornadoes hitting the state. Nobody around on April 27, 2011, will ever forget that day. A high-end EF4 multiple-vortex tornado destroyed portions of Tuscaloosa, Birmingham as well as smaller communities and rural areas between during the late afternoon and early evening. 52 people died and the $2.5 billion cost in damages makes it one of the costliest tornadoes ever record.
Remembering that tragic event serves as a wake-up that it could happen again, so we need to be prepared and know how to respond. Tornado Safety is critical during the primary season of March - May and secondary season of November - December.
If you receive a Tornado Warning on your smartphone, broadcast station, NOAA Weather Radio or any other device you need to follow these steps: Go to the basement or an inside room without windows on the lowest floor (bathroom, closet, center hallway). If possible, avoid sheltering in any room with windows. For added protection get under something sturdy (a heavy table or workbench). Cover your body with a blanket, sleeping bag or mattress.
Tornado Watch: Means conditions are favorable for the development of tornadoes in and close to the watch area. You should be prepared to seek shelter should a warning be issued.
Tornado Warning: An actual tornado or funnel cloud has been spotted or indicated by weather radar in your area, you should take proper safety precautions immediately. 

Tornado Emergency: There’s a third type of tornado alert that trumps them all. The tornado emergency was added in 1999 and it’s basically a tornado warning on steroids. If a tornado is in progress and will have a significant impact to human life, with catastrophic destruction to property, a tornado emergency will be issued.

The Forecast:

Today: Sunny, with a high near 65. Southeast wind 5 to 10 mph.

Tonight: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 41. Southeast wind around 5 mph.

Thursday: Partly sunny, with a high near 63. Southeast wind 5 to 10 mph.

Thursday Night: Cloudy, with a low around 53. South wind 5 to 10 mph.

Friday: A 30 percent chance of showers, mainly before noon. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 71. South wind 5 to 10 mph.

Friday Night: A 30 percent chance of showers, mainly after midnight. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 59.

Saturday: A chance of showers and thunderstorms, then showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm after noon. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 70. Chance of precipitation is 70%.

Saturday Night: Showers and possibly a thunderstorm before midnight, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms after midnight. Low around 56. Chance of precipitation is 80%.

Super Bowl Sunday: Showers and possibly a thunderstorm. High near 66. Chance of precipitation is 80%.

Super Bowl Sunday Night: Showers and possibly a thunderstorm before midnight, then showers likely. Low around 51. Chance of precipitation is 80%.


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Topping the News:

Gov. Ivey made her seventh trip down the hall to the old Alabama House Chamber for her State of the State Address last night and West Alabama got a lot of attention.

Gov. Ivey’s agenda for the new legislative session includes Alabama’s Primary Election security, prohibiting ballot harvesting, controlling artificial intelligence, school safety, jobs, prisons school choice, literacy and a lottery and gaming bill.

The governor also promoted legislation creating an Alabama High School of Healthcare Sciences in Demopolis.

This morning, a budget committee is taking up Ivey’s controversial proposal for Education savings accounts (ESAs) in K-12 education which would establish for parents a publicly funded, government-authorized savings account with restricted, but multiple uses for educational purposes, such as school choice.


 

Demopolis State Senator Bobby Singleton has told reporters that Democrats are concerned about the governor's school voucher plan. He says the proposal would have to be based on equality and equity to get any type of Democrat support.


Tuscaloosa Mayor Maddox has posted a social media message discounting another post by environmentalists claiming the city has allowed a sanitary sewer to overflow in the 4400 block of Reese Phifer Avenue and two other locations in the city.

Maddox says every city has such overflow issues when excessive rain falls like last weekend. He adds, even in historic flooding events Tuscaloosa has had 99.6% of the wastewater enter the city’s system.


Flags are at half-staff at the Lawrence Mill Volunteer Fire Department in Fayette County this morning after a 71-year-old firefighter Tony Baumgartner died yesterday in a single vehicle crash on his way back to the fire station after battling a house fire.

The Alabama Fire College in Tuscaloosa has dispatched a support team, including a chaplain to assist the 39-year-old veteran firefighter’s family and other volunteers.


West Alabama Democrat Congresswoman Terri Sewell was the only member of the Alabama house delegation to vote against the impeachment of Biden Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. All six Republicans cast yea votes in the failed attempt to impeach him for refusing to comply with the law and making alleged false statements about border security.


How to you take down, disassemble and transport a 200-foot radio tower without anyone noticing? That is the question facing Jasper Police after the tower at WJLX radio was reported missing. Station management told police they are uninsured and don’t have the some $200,000 to replace the tower.


 

Through a partnership with the Alabama Forestry Commission and Alabama Power, the City of Tuscaloosa will give out over 1,500 bare root tree seedlings in honor of Arbor Week. The tree seedling giveaway will be held at the Tuscaloosa River Market on Saturday, February 24 from 7 a.m. until supplies run out.



In Sports:

The Alabama men's Basketball Team (16-6 overall, 8-1 SEC) plays the second Iron Bowl on Hardwood game tonight at Auburn (18-4 overall, 10-1 SEC). Tipoff is 7:00pm in the "The Jungle".

Alabama is ranked No. 16 and Auburn is No. 11 in the Coaches Poll. Alabama leads the all-time series 100-59 but the Tigers are 5.5-point favorites tonight.

The Tide edged Auburn 79-75 at Coleman back on January 24.

You can catch the game on the Crimson Tide Sports Network 100.9 The Tide and 95.3 The Bear. Pregame begins at 6:00pm. The game will be televised on ESPN2.


 

Have a Wonderful Wednesday and ROLL TIDE!!

 

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