Today is Fall Severe Weather Awareness Day across the state of Alabama. The purpose of the day is to highlight the uptick in severe weather and tornadoes that occur from late October through early December and to remind people that severe weather can sometimes occur thru the winter months.
By far, March to May are historically the most active months for tornado activity, but after a lull in the summer months, tornado activity reaches a secondary maximum during the month of November. However in the last 10 years we have seen more days with tornadoes in the month of October than in November.
Here's a list of some recent fall severe weather events from the National Weather Service in Huntsville:
Recent Fall Season Severe Weather Episodes across the Huntsville NWS Forecast Area
- 2010: Numerous severe thunderstorms and a few tornadoes affected the Tennessee Valley during late October. One of these was an EF-2 tornado which affected Jackson and Dekalb counties.
- 2009: Severe thunderstorms produced widespread wind damage across much of North Alabama and Southern Middle Tennessee on October 9th. An EF-1 tornado touched down just south of Fayetteville, Tennessee resulting in extensive damage around the Timber Lake community.
- 2007: Severe thunderstorms caused considerable straight-line wind damage across Northwest Alabama on October 18th. An EF-1 tornado tracked into southern Lawrence County, downing several trees in Bankhead National Forest.
- 2004: Severe weather occurred before the typical November secondary peak. Tornadoes struck Lauderdale and Colbert Counties on October 18th.
- 2003: A significant line of thunderstorms plowed through the Tennessee Valley on November 18th, resulting in significant straight-line wind damage. Damaging wind gusts can be just as destructive as tornadoes.
- 2002: The infamous Veteran's Day Tornado Outbreak produced an F3 tornado in Cullman County, which damaged more than 150 structures.
- 2001: Six of the eight tornadoes that hit Northern Alabama this year occurred with the November 24th outbreak. This event broke a record for the number of tornadoes that occurred during a 24-hour period in the state of Alabama.
- Of course, the infamous 1989 Huntsville tornado occurred in November as well. This F4 tornado (207-260 mph winds) tore through south Huntsville on November 15, 1989, touching down on Redstone Arsenal at 4:30pm. The tornado eventually killed 21 people, injured more than 460 people, and caused more than $250 million in damages.
Now is a good time to review your severe weather preparedness plan and make sure all your family members know where to take cover if severe weather is moving in. Here are some different ways you can stay weather aware:
- NOAA Weather Radio--Having a NOAA weather radio in your home is just as important as a smoke detector as it can alert you to dangerous weather while you are sleeping.
- WAFF.com--The latest weather alerts can be found on our website and when severe weather is moving in the WAFF 48 Storm Team will be streaming live weather coverage online.
- WAFF 48 On-Air--We'll always break in on television giving severe weather updates and go into continuous weather coverage when the most dangerous severe weather is occurring.
- Alerts on your cellphone--Sign up for free weather alerts sent to you cell phone.
- Weather App--Download our free Weather App to your smart phone or mobile device.
- Facebook--Like the WAFF 48 Fan Page on Facebook
- Twitter--Follow us @48StormTeam
WAFF 48 Storm Team