UPDATE: Birmingham Mayor William Bell said there are no reports of injuries from severe weather that damaged roofs and broke windows in one part of the city.
The severe weather struck about 4:45 a.m. Monday in the area around Finley Avenue. Residents reported seeing a funnel cloud, but the mayor said officials have not yet confirmed if it was a tornado. He said the city is providing tarps to residents whose roofs were damaged.
Homeowner Clint Thornton told WBRC-TV (http://bit.ly/Z5ieB6) that he was about to leave for work when he saw a funnel cloud. He said he got into a closet with his wife and started praying. The Thorntons are fine but nearly all the windows in their home are broken.
Crews were assessing possible damage in the Birmingham area after thunderstorms slammed the area as a tornado watch was issued for areas southwest of the city.
The National Weather Service in Birmingham received several reports of houses damaged along 24th Avenue North in Birmingham early Monday morning.
The reports indicated that roofs were blown off homes, and some power lines were down.
The National Weather Service was predicting that storms in parts Alabama would intensify by 10 a.m. Central Time. A cold front was expected to move through the state Monday evening, when the severe weather threat is expected to end.
The tornado watch issued Monday morning covered 14 Alabama counties and was to be in effect until 3 p.m. Central Time.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.