Alabama severe weather

Alabama State House
Jay Williams / Flickr

Time is running out for the Alabama Legislature to work out a general fund budget, but the state Senate is beginning to iron out the details.

State agency heads told members of the Senate Budget Committee yesterday that proposed cuts will close circuit clerk offices, slash Medicaid services and send state prisons into a danger zone of crowding and violence.

Committee Chairman Arthur Orr says there are close to $150 million in revenue-generating bills under discussion that could reduce the cuts if they win legislative approval.


The National Weather Service says conditions could get rough starting this afternoon. The forecast is calling for straight line winds and the possibility of isolated tornadoes starting later today and into Wednesday. Today’s outlook calls for a lot of rain in Tuscaloosa and Birmingham and south of those cities. Tomorrow’s forecast includes rain for more southern areas of the state. Forecaster Gary Goggins says the fact that people are travelling for Christmas could complicate things…


Forecasters say strong storms -- with the potential for a few isolated tornadoes -- are possible across a large part of Alabama in the days before Christmas.

 The National Weather Service said the severe weather is expected from Tuesday afternoon through early Wednesday morning.

Forecasters say they expect the storms to arrive in western Alabama from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday, and then move into eastern Alabama Tuesday evening into early Wednesday.

National Weather Service

Temperatures plummeted across Alabama after storms left flooding and scattered damage across the state. reports that crews from the National Weather Service were being sent to Pike, Bullock and Russell counties to determine whether tornadoes snapped trees and caused other damage in those areas.

Weather service reports show temperatures fell as much as 15 degrees from midnight until morning rush hour Monday. And forecasters say overnight lows could drop to the mid-20s as far south as the coast.

U.S. Small Business Administration

Officials from the U.S. Small Business Administration say more than $1 million in disaster assistance loans have been approved for Alabama residents trying to recover from severe weather in late April and early May.

SBA field operations director Frank Skaggs said in a statement Monday that the department has approved 33 loans for $1,017,000 for Alabama residents trying to recover from recent storms, tornadoes and floods.


Victims of the severe storms and flooding last week in Alabama may qualify for some tax relief.

The Internal Revenue Service says the four counties declared disaster areas by the president - Limestone, Jefferson, Lee and Baldwin - also qualify for extended tax deadlines.

The IRS says some tax deadlines between April 28 and Oct. 15 have been postponed to Oct. 15. This includes the May 15 deadline for tax-exempt organizations to file their annual Form 990. It also includes the June 16 and Sept. 15 deadlines for making quarterly estimated tax payments. / City of Tuscaloosa

Emergency officials are trying to learn why Tuscaloosa's emergency alert system failed to warn people of a tornado that struck parts of the city and county.

The EF-1 twister struck the community on April 28.

The Tuscaloosa News reports that the system failed to make automatic phone calls or send text notifications to the 25,000 numbers or email addresses registered.

Alabama's governor is seeking federal assistance for five more Alabama counties that suffered damage from severe weather last week.

Gov. Robert Bentley says his administration submitted an application to the president on Tuesday for individual disaster assistance in DeKalb, Etowah, Blount, Tuscaloosa and Mobile counties.

The state is already receiving federal assistance for Limestone, Jefferson, Lee and Baldwin counties for the tornadoes and flooding that hit the state last week and claimed five lives.

National Weather Service

As a weekend with little rain in the forecast approached, residents in many parts of Alabama were still mopping up after more than two feet of rain fell in some areas in a two-day span.

The storms also brought ferocious winds and possible tornadoes to some areas.

Some of the heaviest totals of Tuesday and Wednesday rains ranged from 22 inches to 26 inches over Perdido Bay, Wolf Bay, Foley and Orange Beach, based on radar estimates, reported.

Ryan Vasquez / APR News

Alabama's congressional delegation has written a letter to the president supporting the governor's request for an emergency declaration for Alabama.

Gov. Robert Bentley is seeking the declaration for severe storms, tornadoes and flooding that hit the state this week.

The letter from the congressional delegation urges approval of federal financial support for debris removal and emergency protective measures.

Bentley's request noted that at least 19 counties suffered damage and three people died in the severe weather.

Alabama Power / Wikipedia

Thousands of people are without power in northern and central Alabama after waves of severe storms crossed the state.

Alabama Power Co. says about 20,100 homes and businesses lost electricity in central and western Alabama as severe weather including tornadoes stuck Monday.

Huntsville Utilities says about 4,200 homes and businesses were in the dark to the north in the Tennessee Valley. Falling trees pulled down electrical lines in areas including Limestone County, where damage was worst and at least two people died.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley has declared a state of emergency in response to a severe weather system that crossed the state.

Bentley said in a statement Monday evening that the declaration covers every county in Alabama, and that heavy damage has been reported in some areas that were in the path of a suspected tornado.

Bentley says all state agencies are ordered "to take necessary actions to respond to Alabama communities that need help."

The governor says 100 Alabama National Guard members are on stand-by and are ready to help in impacted areas if necessary.

National Weather Service

Forecasters are predicting a mixture of rain, snow and sleet across parts of northern Alabama Tuesday before the precipitation changes to all snow late Tuesday night.

The National Weather Service predicts less than a half-inch of new snow and sleet accumulation in cities such as Huntsville and Florence. Higher amounts will be possible at higher elevations of northeast Alabama, such as areas near Lookout Mountain.

Forecasters say that some icy and slick spots on roads will develop, especially on bridges, overpasses and less-traveled secondary roads.

Flood watches and warnings continued for much of Alabama, as heavy rain continued to fall on already saturated ground.

   In northern Alabama, emergency managers reported flooding across parts of central Morgan and much of central and eastern Lawrence counties.

   In Moulton, authorities said several roads were impassable and several houses had flooded near the city's downtown area.

   Authorities said numerous roads were also impassable in and around Decatur and Hartselle.

National Weather Service Birmingham /

Heavy rains have prompted the National Weather Service to issue flash flood warnings for several Alabama counties.

Huntsville forecasters placed northwest Madison County under a flood warning Thursday until 6 p.m. CDT. A warning was also in effect until 5:15 p.m. for central Morgan County, southeast Limestone County, southeast Lawrence and northwest Cullman County.

Meteorologist Jennifer Schuller says the weather service received many phone calls from people reporting heavy rain and roads blocked by flooding in north Alabama.

Forecasters are predicting severe storms for much of Alabama, but the risk of tornadoes will be relatively low.

   The National Weather Service says the main threats from the Thursday afternoon and evening storms will be damaging straight-line winds and large hail.

   The storms are expected to fire up ahead of a cold front that will enter northern Alabama early Thursday afternoon and push south into most of the state through the evening hours.

Bob Gathany |

An unconfirmed tornado has knocked down trees, flipped Dumpsters and damaged the roof of the nearby WalMart in Athens.

A forecaster at the National Weather Service in Huntsville said the suspected tornado started about a mile south-southeast of Athens and moved in a line toward southwest Ardmore Friday.

The unsettled weather system continued to concern forecasters as it moved north toward Tennessee.

Athens Police Chief Floyd Johnson says he saw the backside of a wall cloud that had a tail. Police followed as it moved up Route 31 to Interstate 65.

Wind damage was reported after a severe weather system moved across Alabama Friday morning.

However, forecasters said the chances for tornadoes appeared to be diminishing.

A hazardous weather advisory said the storms could produce isolated damaging winds as the system moved from Alabama to Georgia Friday afternoon, and there was "a very small chance" for an isolated tornado. / The National Weather Service

Forecasters say there's a chance of severe weather across Alabama, and many areas already are taking precautions.

The weather service says there's a medium risk of tornadoes, flooding and damaging winds across central Alabama on Thursday, although chances are lower in the northern and southern ends of the state.

Dozens of school systems in central counties are dismissing students early as a precaution, and emergency managers are monitoring conditions in case the weather turns violent.

Forecasters say severe storms will be possible in coming days over Alabama, bringing the threat of damaging straight-line winds and isolated tornadoes.

The National Weather Service in Birmingham says powerful storms will be possible during the overnight hours of Wednesday night and into Thursday.

Forecasters say a strong low pressure system will approach the region from the west on Wednesday, touching off the storms Wednesday night and Thursday.

Along with the potential for some hail and isolated tornadoes, forecasters say localized flash flooding is also possible.

Nearly 100,000 customers were without power across Alabama early Tuesday after storms with the force of hurricane winds toppled trees and utility lines.

Alabama Power said early Tuesday morning that 98,200 customers were without power as of 6 a.m., down from more than 222,000 customers after the Monday storms.

Most of the customers who remained without power -- about 50,000 -- were east of Birmingham in communities such as Gadsden, Oneonta, Anniston and Pell City. Dozens of communities around the state experienced significant damage, authorities said.

Robert Sutton | The Tuscaloosa News

Strong storms that moved across much of Alabama on Monday plunged thousands in the dark and also pummeled the state with hail, high winds and heavy rainfall.

The National Weather Service said the strongest of the storms had wind gusts nearing 60 mph and there also was hail the size of quarters.

Strong storms are expected across much of Alabama, bringing the potential for hail and high winds as a cold front passes through the state.

The National Weather Service warns that the strongest storms will capable of producing wind gusts up to 60 mph and hail the size of quarters.

More than a dozen counties on Monday were covered by a severe thunderstorm watch, which is scheduled to be in effect until 3 p.m. Monday. It includes the cities of Athens, Huntsville, Florence, Hamilton and Jasper.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

Forecasters say severe storms are possible in southwestern Alabama, and strong winds are likely in north Alabama.

A cold front is moving in from the west, and a warm front is pushing north out of the Gulf of Mexico.

The National Weather Service says the colliding systems are creating a risk of severe storms in Mobile and the surrounding area on Monday. Rainfall totals could exceed 4 inches.

Wind gusts up to 30 mph are possible in central Alabama, along with heavy rains.

Strong storms moving through Alabama left thousands of people without power and forced schools to delay opening as a precaution.

Alabama Power Co. said about 7,000 homes and businesses were in the dark early Tuesday, mostly in the western part of the state.

Officials say numerous trees are down near Fayette and in heavily wooded Winston County, but no injuries are reported.

Numerous school systems delayed opening because of what forecasters say is a high risk of damaging winds. The University of Alabama also opened late.

Dozens of Alabama schools are opening late because of the threat of damaging winds and other severe weather, which struck western parts of the state during the pre-dawn hours Wednesday.

The National Weather Service said the storms would post a threat through mid-day Wednesday.

A county emergency manager reported that numerous trees were down just northwest of Fayette in western Alabama early Wednesday morning.

Forecasters say clashing weather systems are creating a chance for severe weather in Alabama.

The National Weather Service says severe storms with damaging winds, heavy rains and isolated tornadoes are possible Tuesday night into Wednesday.

The problem is an advancing cold front that's moving toward Alabama from the west. Forecasters say strong storms could develop as the cooler air meets with warm, moist flowing northward from the Gulf of Mexico.

Alabama's second annual Severe Weather Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday will be the weekend of Feb. 22-24.

The state Revenue Department says the state will waive its 4 percent sales tax on items used to prepare homes and businesses for hurricanes and tornadoes. Some cities and counties will do the same.

Items covered by the sales tax holiday include batteries, battery-powered radios, flashlights, tarpaulins, duct tape, plywood, self-contained first aid kits and fuel containers costing up to $60 per item. Also included are portable generators costing up to $1,000 each. / The National Weather Service

The remnants of Hurricane Isaac are still causing problems in Alabama.

The National Weather Service says storms caused as much as 4 inches of rain in parts of west Alabama early Tuesday, and another 1 or 2 inches of rain was possible.

Forecasters issued flash flood warnings because runoff from the downpours could cause flooding in areas including Brent, Centreville and parts of Tuscaloosa. Areas of Dallas and Lowndes counties were under flash flood warnings in central Alabama.