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WEATHER ALERT: Tornado watch issued for Central AL until 11 p.m.

CENTRAL ALABAMA (WIAT) - Click here to watch live coverage from the CBS 42 Storm Team

All the tornado warnings have been canceled. 

Click here for interactive radar

9:50 -  Right now, about 15,000 customers are without power, Alabama Power says

9:33 p.m. - JSU Athletic Director Greg Seitz says the Pete Mathews Coliseum sustained major roof damage. He says the Pete is not completely destroyed. He confirms extensive damage in Jacksonville.

9:30 - All tornado warnings have been CANCELED. 

9:24 - Oxford Police Chief Bill Partridge says Oxford PD are on the way to Jacksonville to assist with damage, which he says is severe.

9:23 - Calhoun County Sheriff Matthew Wade reports homes damaged in Wellington, including two deputies' homes. 

9:13 - Tornado warning has expired for majority of Jacksonville as the storm moves into Cleburne County. 

9:07 - We have a new tornado warning including Anniston and Choccoloco. Anniston, Chocoolocco, get in your safe place, This area of rotation north and west of Anniston is moving at 50 mph. 

9:05 - Kirsten Fiscus with the Anniston Star reports Jacksonville Fire Officials report roof off Dollar General near JSU Coliseum, a car in a tree, and Gamecock Village and Reserve Apartments have been hit. 

Rotation moving east from Alexandria, possibly towards Jacksonville.

8:52 - There is another tornado inbound for Jacksonville, the National Weather Service says. Remain in a safe place. 

8:49 - Confirmed tornado moving out of Jacksonville now into Cleburne County. 

8:45 p.m. - Rotation in Jacksonville is a visually confirmed tornado, tracking east into northern Cleburne County.

8:43 - We're tracking 3 areas of rotation, one south east of Ragland, one near Jacksonville, and one east of Centre.

8:39 p.m. - Tight area of rotation west of Ashville tracking toward Calhoun County. 

8:37 p.m. - Everyone from Jacksonville eastward needs to be in their safe place. Visual confirmation of the tornado continuing to track toward Holley Crossroads. 

8:34 p.m. - Rotation looks to be just east of 431 tracking toward Jacksonville.

8:28 p.m. - 5 minutes to Centre. Moving right down 411. Calhoun County under tornado warning until 9 p.m. Mark says looking at rotation, it looks pretty substantial. 

8:24 p.m. - Anywhere from 431 E from Union eastward, treat it as a tornado on the ground Mark Prater says. Get in your safe place NOW. Headed right towards Jacksonville. 6 min to Union, 10 min to Angel, 15 min to Tredegar.

8:15 PM - Tornado Warning for Calhoun and Etowah County until 9:00pm. Rotation moving towards HWY 77 and Union. Markton, get in your safe place. Colwell, 10 minutes--seek shelter immediately. 

8:11 p.m. - Getting reports of trees down in Summit in Blount County. 

8:10 p.m. - Calhoun County now under a severe thunderstorm warning. 

8:09 p.m. - Seeing rain now near Warrior, Gardendale. 

8:07 p.m. - Woody Jacobs, the mayor of Cullman, tells us vehicles have taken substantial damage from hail sized like baseballs to softballs this evening.

8:05 - Leesburg, Center, Cedar Bluff - a tornado warning has been issued for Cherokee County as a line of storms with possible radar indicated tornado heading your way. 

8:02 - Most of these active thunderstorm warnings are likely for the hail--which are massive. 

Mark says a storm traveling up 411 toward Ashville looks like a tornado but a warning from the NWS has not been issued. 

8:00 - By 10 to 10:30, most of this system will have cleared I-65. Our area will quiet down after midnight. It appears the main threat will stay north of I-20.

7: 56 - Hail will be in all of these storms. We're receiving photos of baseball sized hail from Welti--if you would like to send us photos after you are out of danger, email them to

7:46 - Things beginning to quiet down around Double Springs. 

Blountsville dealing with intense storm as it moves off to the east.

This storm is stretching all the way up to Reece City and Turkeytown.

7:37 - The tornado on top of Blountsville is 4 minutes out from Royal, looking at Susan Moore in about 10 minutes. Altoona, get in your safe place. Strong storm tracking toward Turkeytown, Reese City, eventually tracking over I-59 in Etowah County. 

7:29 p.m. There is a new tornado warning for the northern half of Etowah County until 8:30 p.m.

Mark says the rotation is showing signs of gate to gate shearing. Boaz, get in your safe place immediately. 

7:25 p.m. - Who has active weather right now: Double Springs seeing heavy rain and lots of lightning.

Moving east, Jones Chapel and Crane Hill up to Hwy 157 seeing a strong thunderstorm.

Holly Pond dealing with hail right now.

Blountsville, the rotation is headed straight towards you. about 3-4 minutes. 10 minutes to Royal.

7:23 p.m. - Cullman, should be clear of any rotation at this time but there is still hail falling. Blountsville, you need to be in your safe place now. 

7:20 pm - Blount County is under a tornado warning until 8 PM. This rotation will make it's way to you in about 11 minutes. We still have thunderstorm warnings for Cullman County. 

There is also rotation north of Holly Pond.

7:19: Blountsville and Cleveland, the rotation is starting to track south and east.

7:18 PM - Central Cullman County, Hanceville, Welti, get in your safe place. 

7:12 PM - Reports of baseball sized hail falling southwest Cullman and Good Hope.

7:08 PM - Cullman down to Good Hope, get in your safe place now. 

7:05 PM - The hook echo of the Cullman County Storm is just outside of Cullman, tracking East. 

7 PM - Just south of Jones Chapel, is a radar indicated tornado tracking east toward the City of Cullman.

6:58 p.m. - If you're in Fairview, go to your place of safety as this storm is tracking towards you. 

6:56 p.m. - EMA reports a possible tornado on the ground near Vinemont in Cullman County. You will likely not see this tornado, as it appears to be rain wrapped according to our radar.

6:52 p.m. UPDATE: Cullman County is under a tornado warning, and a severe thunderstorm warning, until 7:15 p.m.

5:18 PM UPDATE from CBS 42 Storm Team meteorologists Mark Prater and Ashley Gann:

We’re still looking at a tornado watch in effect until 11 p.m. for all of our viewing area, with a portion of our northern viewing area in the moderate risk for tornadoes and large hail, and the rest of Central Alabama in the enhanced or slight risk area. It’s really just a matter of time until the severe storms start to move into Central Alabama.

North Alabama is seeing a tornado warning right now from Russellville to Cherokee—we’re tracking this closely now, because this is the type of system that will affect us this evening.

Tune into the CBS 42 News at 6 as we continue to track these storms.


From Chief Meteorologist Mark Prater:

There’s a new tornado warning just on the other side of the Alabama Mississippi state line that will be tracking into the far northwest corner of the state in the Huntsville market.

Other storms we're looking at across the area have been limited which is both good and bad news. We’re watching a line back into Mississippi as it continues to move east and south east, moving into an area with a very unstable atmosphere. I anticipate we will begin to see tornado warnings around Tupelo and Amory, Miss., and eventually track into our northwest counties. After that, I expect to see more and more of these storms begin to rotate.

What we’re looking at as area of biggest concern: In the area of moderate risk, that is the high-end potential for severe thunderstorms becoming very dangerous. We could also deal with large, long-track tornadoes in this area, or even into the enhanced risk area.

What’s most concerning right now is clear skies across the area, with the sun baking our surface and further destabilizing our atmosphere.

We’ll have another update on CBS 42 and at 4:30 p.m.

Notes from Gov. Ivey's 4 p.m. press conference:

Stronger storms can come now, through the night and into Tuesday morning.

Northern Part of State under a moderate risk, chances for hail and damaging winds from Tennessee Valley to Birmingham area.

Now is the time to make plans to leave and get to a safe location. Could see 70 mph winds, baseball sized hail, even tornadoes.

Exact locations of where the storms will form is unpredictable 'it is paramount we prepare ahead of time'

We do not anticipate a widespread event, but those who do experience storms will experience strong and more severe storms.

Heed directions from state and local officials

As we head into spring season and warmer weather approaches, this will not be the last time we face severe weather this year.

We are ready to support the people of Alabama, and to respond should the need arise.

A PDS is a "particularly dangerous situation." The threat decreases in North Alabama as storms move south this evening, but threat continues overnight.

A number of storms developing in Eastern Mississippi and will move into Alabama between 4 and 6, exit Alabama around 2 a.m.

Jeff Smitherman: Alabama EMA --

Activation levels of State Emergency Operations center increased to level 3, increased staff and extended hours.

We can never stress enough how serious the threat of severe weather can be.

At the time implement the safety plan. Commend school superintendents for taking the proactive step to keep children safe by scheduling around storms.

March is the 1st month of severe weather season. More info on, and Twitter at @AlabamaEMA

3:30 PM UPDATE – From Mark Prater:

We have a weather ALERT in place all Monday into the night. We’ve already had several storms producing large hail.

A tornado watch is in effect for Central Alabama counties until 11 p.m. Monday evening.

Sunshine is breaking through the clouds, destabilizing our atmosphere, which we do not need.

Right now, a decent thunderstorm is pushing through Cullman County, and a few other light showers popping up. We have a new line, a dry line, pushing into northeast Mississippi—this is what we’ll likely see develop into more of a broken line of super cellular thunderstorms, and I would not be surprised to see a couple of additional larger cell storms develop ahead of that line, and would not be surprised if they become tornadic somewhere along Tupelo into Hamilton along I-22.

We’re watching for all of these showers and storms to get going—once they get going, they’re all going to get going. CBS 42 is ready, and will alert you first when these severe storms get underway. 

We’ll have a live update at 4 p.m. on CBS 42, live on and on CBS 42 Facebook Live.


3:28 PM UPDATE: - Tornado Watch for Bibb, Blount, Calhoun, Cherokee, Chilton, Clay, Coosa, Cullman, Etowah, Fayette, Greene, Hale, Jefferson, Marion, Pickens, St. Clair, Shelby, Tuscaloosa, Walker and Winston County until 11:00pm. 


NEW INFORMATION: The threat for severe weather will be upgraded from Enhanced Risk to Moderate Risk, by the Storm Prediction Center. This means that conditions are looking more favorable for tornado development later this afternoon. The main bulls eye will still be North Alabama, but a risk is a risk. Don't get too bogged down on slight vs. Enhanced vs. Moderate...They all share one key component and that is there is still a risk. 

Stay tuned to CBS 42 and for top and middle of the hour updates on the forecast.

School closings, early dismissals for Central Alabama for Monday, March 19, 2018

All modes of severe weather are possible today. This will include heavy rain, large hail, and tornadoes. It is important that you have a plan of action in place for you and your family. Go over the safe places in your home and for families with children leaving school early make sure they know where their safe place is at home if a parent is not there.

There will be 2 phases of active weather. One occur this afternoon as a warm front lifts through our viewing area and provide scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms. A lot of activity will be confined east of I-65, but I will not rule out showers west of I-65.  Then, a potent cold front and an area of low pressure will move through later this evening and that will create a line of thunderstorms to move west to east and will include more active weather as well. 

Where we see a few more peeks of sunshine, temperatures will easily climb quickly, this will add to the potential for severe weather. Highs in most spots will reach into the upper 70s. It will feel very much like a spring day. This is obviously a developing situation today so stay close to a good source for weather information like our CBS 42 Weather app -- click here to download.

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