Editor's note: Mobile County Emergency Management says damage assessment crews will head out Wednesday morning to learn the extent of the toll from the violent weather that hit near Mobile on Christmas evening.
Pat Duggins, News Director
MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — Forecasters say a large tornado is heading for downtown Mobile with tornado watches in effect throughout much of southwestern Alabama. National Weather Service forecasters say the Mobile area will be under tornado watch until 10 p.m. Tuesday, and the approaching cloud was visible from downtown Mobile around 5:15 p.m. Forecasters are expecting damage reports as the storm system moves across the state, and information on existing damage was not immediately available. The storm is part of a severe weather system that has already impacted areas of Louisiana and Mississippi. A National Weather Service meteorologist based in Birmingham says a tornado watch is not in effect for the Birmingham area, although forecasters there are expecting damaging winds and hail in central Alabama.