Alert notification manager Scott Murphree confirmed the agency received updated briefings from the National Weather Service containing information about a potential squall line extending more than 200 miles toward the northeast side of the state.
“The line that they have pretty much (identified) as the greatest severe threat appears to be northwest of a line from Linden in Marengo County up to near Anniston,” Murphree said. “The greatest chance of severe weather is from midnight to 6 a.m. Sunday. The main threat is damaging winds and isolated tornadoes. The tornado threat is expected to decrease during the day on Sunday, but the damaging winds are still possible.”
Murphree said the EMA will continue to work with the NWS and make updates available as they receive them.
“Right now, they’re still uncertain about the convection, the actual squall line itself, but the super cell development ahead of the line is where the potential for the tornadoes and all that could happen,” Murphree said. “That line could vary in any direction. Right now the line contains part of northwest Talladega County, but that’s not to say it couldn’t move southeast and envelop the entire county.”
For residents who aren’t out and about trying to find last-minute Christmas gifts, Murphree suggested ensuring those individuals have their disaster plans and preparedness kits in order. These kits include a battery powered radio, battery powered flashlight, extra batteries, one gallon of water per person per day, non-perishable foods, a manual can opener, a first aid kit, spare keys, toiletries and a variety of other essential items dependent upon a person’s medical needs.
“If we have done our job here, they all have a severe weather plan, a safe place to go in their home and a weather radio so they can receive weather updates,” Murphree said. “Everyone should have a kit in case of a power outage. All the planning that we’ve done and families should have done, it’s time to get them together and put them in place.”
For those in less-than-secure structures such as mobile homes or campers, Murphree stressed the importance of mindfulness.
“They need to be aware of the weather and the possibility of severe weather,” he said. “By no means are we saying that it is going to happen, but there is the possibility that it could happen. I would advise them to look at their situation and if there’s threatening weather, to please be prepared.”
While there’s an increased risk for damaging winds and isolated tornadoes, Murphree noted there was only a low risk for hail or flooding in the anticipated storms he called typical for the month of December.
“Usually, December is in what we call our fall tornado season,” he said. “There’s been several tornadoes reported (in the past) on Christmas day throughout the state. Our normal tornado season happens during March, April and May, but we have another tornado season in October, November and December. Anytime you have temperatures in the 70s, then it falls to the 30s, there’s always that possibility. It’s just a part of living in Alabama.
“We don’t want to scare anybody,” Murphree said. “We just want to make sure everyone is aware and (that) they’re paying attention to the weather and their surroundings.”
For more information or to receive updates from the county EMA, residents may visit the agency’s website, www.talladegaema.org, follow EMA on Twitter @readytalladega or like the agency’s Facebook at www.facebook.com/readytalladega.
Contact Shane Dunaway at email@example.com.