It has been a very active start to the year in regard to severe storms for not only the Tennessee Valley but the entire continental United States. Multiple rounds of severe storms that tracked through the country have produced around 410 tornadoes in the first three months of this year. Some of the strongest tornadoes ripped through states in the Deep South like Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee.
Trash Pandas’ severe weather protocol
From January to March, there have been about 410 tornado reports. This number may change as storm data continues to be finalized. This year holds the record for the most tornado reports across the nation within the first three months of the year, surpassing 2017 by 12 reports. March 31 of this year is also ranked fourth for most tornadoes to form in a single day with 122 reported. This date is four reports away from passing the third-place record set on December 15, 2021.
Southeast Prone To Nighttime Tornadoes
The Rolling Fork Community in Mississippi sustained catastrophic damage when a long-track violent EF4 tornado tore through the small town. This tornado led to 16 fatalities and over 160 injuries. Wynne, Arkansas is another community that sustained significant damage from a tornado. This community saw a long-track EF3 tornado rip through their community. In the Los Angeles, California area, an EF1 tornado that touched down on March 22 was one of the strongest there since 1983. As we continue to get deeper into the severe weather season, the national tornado report will continue to rise.
Latest Tornado Statistics For Alabama:
Here in the state of Alabama, there have been a total of 52 tornadoes since the start of the new year. When looking at the year-to-date comparison, that is 13 less than this time last year. January was the most active month so far with 29 tornadoes being reported and over half of the total tornadoes have occurred in central Alabama.
Severe Weather Awareness Week In Alabama
Here in North Alabama, specifically in the National Weather Service of Huntsville Forecast Office area, there have been a total of 13 tornadoes. These are the most tornadoes in this area since 2020 and we still have plenty of 2023 to go. The total tornado count for 2022 and 2021 was eight, which we quickly passed in early March. The worst tornado so far in our area was an EF3 tornado that tracked through the Hazel Green Community northeast before lifting near Elora, Tennessee. Here in the Tennesee Valley, tornadoes can happen any time of the year but they are more common in the spring and fall.
Staying weather aware and having multiple ways to receive weather alerts will keep you safe when severe weather occurs. You cannot just solely rely on outdoor warning sirens as they are meant to be heard by people outside. If the moment comes that a tornado warning is issued for your location it is crucial that seek shelter immediately.
What To Know About Outdoor Warning Sirens
The best location to protect yourself and your family will be the most interior room at the lowest level of your home. When we say the most interior room, we mean that if all four walls of that room were to fall you would still be located within your home. If you seek shelter in a room with a wall on the outer part of your home that wall could collapse or debris could penetrate the wall. One other great location to seek shelter would be in your basement.
Above is a look at some other great tornado safety tips from the Weather Authority. Along with seeking shelter in an interior room, a storm shelter above or below ground is a great way of protection. Make sure you have closed-toed shoes and a helmet on. If you live in a mobile home, it is important that you leave your home and seek shelter in a sturdier structure prior to a warning being issued.
Having a severe weather safety kit full of useful items like water, nonperishable food, a first aid kit, flashlights and more is a great way to prepare ahead of a severe weather event. Downloading the Live-Alert 19 app and setting your location will ensure that weather alerts are immediately sent to your phone when they are issued!
Stay with the Weather Authority during severe weather events for the most up-to-date information.