Severe Weather

Forecasters say severe storms including tornadoes are possible from eastern Texas across the Deep South later this week.

The Storm Prediction Center says more than 9 million people live in parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana where there's an enhanced risk of severe weather on Friday. Storms will move eastward on Saturday, with the potential bullseye covering millions of people across much of Mississippi and Alabama, plus parts of eastern Louisiana and the Florida Panhandle.

Forecasters say heavy rains are possible in addition to damaging winds.

Tornado Death Confirmed in Columbus, MS

Feb 24, 2019
Columbus tornado
Rogelio V. Solis / AP

Weekend storms raked parts of the Southeast, leaving deaths and injuries in their wake as a tornado smashed into a commercial district in a small Mississippi city and drenching rains fed a rising flood threat.

A woman was killed when a tornado hit Columbus, Mississippi, according to officials.

Columbus Mayor Robert Smith Sr. said 41-year-old Ashley Glynell Pounds of Tupelo and her husband were renovating a house Saturday evening, and when the husband went to get them something to eat, the building collapsed and killed her.

Severe Weather Awareness Week in Alabama

Feb 23, 2017

This week is Severe Weather Awareness Week in Alabama. The National Weather Service says the peak storm season in Alabama begins in March and can last until May. While there are no major storm outbreaks in the forecast, now is the time to get ready.

Jason Beaman is a warning coordination meteorologist at the national weather service in Mobile. He says residents should remain prepared because Alabama sees tornados every year.

Four Killed in Severe Weather Outbreak

Jan 3, 2017
Rehobeth
Jay Hare / Dothan Eagle

Four people were killed in Alabama as severe storms moved through the region yesterday.

Kris Ware, a spokeswoman for the Dothan – Houston County Emergency Management Agency, says the deaths occurred in the Rehobeth area in southeast Alabama, a community of around 1500 people. A suspected tornado caused a tree and power lines to fall onto a mobile home, killing four people inside.

The Dothan Eagle reports another tornado apparently touched down in nearby Taylor, Alabama, downing trees and causing some property damage.

NWS Confirms Tornadoes in several Alabama counties

Nov 30, 2016

The National Weather service has confirmed that tornadoes touched down last night in Pickens and Winston counties. 

Meteorologists say there were at least two tornadoes overnight Tuesday. Emergency managers headed out at daybreak to survey the areas where the twisters are believed to have touched down.

There were reports of homes and businesses destroyed or damaged in Pickens and Winston counties. The National Weather Service office in Huntsville is also investigating possible tornado losses.

3 Killed, More Injured In Severe Weather Outbreak

Nov 30, 2016

At least three people were killed and many more were injured after powerful storms and tornadoes swept through Alabama last night.

The Jackson County coroner’s office has confirmed that three people are dead and several more are injured in the community of Rosalie, Alabama, north of Fort Payne. County officials say the three killed were victims of a possible tornado and were all in a mobile home.

In DeKalb County, a 24-hour daycare was completely destroyed near the town of Ider. Four children were injured and are in critical condition.

Little impact expected in Alabama from Gulf system

Aug 29, 2016

Forecasters say a tropical weather system in the Gulf of Mexico probably won't have much of an effect on Alabama.

The National Weather Service says a tropical depression located southwest of Key West, Florida, will mean bigger waves and increase the risk of rip currents on Alabama's beaches.

But the system is expected to make a turn to the northeast eventually. That means it will likely head toward the western coast of Florida rather than Alabama and the rest of the northern Gulf Coast.

Alabama’s latest unemployment numbers remain unchanged from this time last year. APR’s student reporter, Katie Willem, has more…

The newest jobless figures from the Alabama Department of Labor are for May. The State’s unemployment rate stands at 6.1 percent, which is unchanged compared to the month before, or May of 2015. 

The state is less than twenty-five thousand jobs away from having two million people at work around the state.  This is the highest number the state economy has supported in the last twenty years. 

The Alabama Department of Education has restored funding to a reading program that educators feared was in danger at many public schools.

Earlier this week, superintendents were scrambling for funding to replace a $7.5 million cut to the Alabama Reading Initiative, which allows for reading coaches in public schools. The cuts were performance-based, and many schools with above-average reading scores were in danger of cutting out their Reading Initiative programs entirely.

As Alabama's 2016 legislative session quickly nears its end, a state senator is making a final push for a lottery.

The Senate Tourism and Marketing Committee voted today for a bare-bones constitutional amendment that would allow Alabamians to vote on the issue but provides few other details.

Several senators say they voted in favor of the amendment with the understanding Republican Sen. Jim McClendon would rework his bill with more details before bringing it to a vote on the Senate floor.

Much of Alabama was hit by storms and severe weather last night, and at least two tornadoes touched down in various parts of the state.

Eldridge, Alabama was reportedly hit by a tornado around 8 p.m. last night according to Walker County Emergency Management director Harry Markham. There were no immediate reports of major damage or injuries.

Limestone County Emergency Management director Rita White says a second tornado hit near Ardmore about an hour before. There have been no reports of damage or injuries associated with that tornado either.

Forecasters say storms moving toward Alabama could produce hail, damaging winds and tornadoes throughout the state.

Officials say there's a moderate chance for tornadoes and large hail in the Mobile area and throughout north and central Alabama, where meteorologists expect winds of up to 70 mph.

They say an elevated threat area covers Birmingham, Gadsden, Tuscaloosa and other parts of central and west Alabama.

Alabama State House
Jay Williams / Flickr

The next session for Alabama’s state legislature will convene at noon today.

State lawmakers are starting the 2016 session on Groundhog Day to some very familiar budget issues, but there will likely be some new debates as well.

Alabama’s legislative session gets underway tomorrow and the focus, is expected to be on the budget.

The state’s two spending plans were center stage during last year’s session, and lawmakers are expecting another tight year this time around. Many General Fund agencies like the one that handles Medicaid are now asking for more money.

State House member Bill Poole says the General Fund budget will be a challenge for legislators, but he believes agreements will be reached.

NWS: Severe weather possible in Alabama on Tuesday

Jan 31, 2016

Forecasters say Alabama could be in for a round of severe weather this week.

The National Weather Service says northwestern Alabama faces an elevated risk of damaging winds and isolated twisters beginning Tuesday afternoon.

Forecast models show a lesser threat of severe weather extending south and east across the state on Tuesday evening.

Weather service meteorologist Jim Stefkovich says forecast can change before Tuesday. But he says the question right now is how far the severe weather extends eastward across the state.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley says loans administered through the federal Small Business Administration are available to help victims of late December storms repair damage to their property.

Bentley says low-interest loan assistance has been approved for more than 20 counties -- including Jefferson, Montgomery and Tuscaloosa -- based on damage assessments after storms and floods.

Bentley says renters and homeowners can borrow up to $40,000 to replace property or up to $200,000 to replace or repair their home.

The National Weather Service in Mobile will be sending out assessment teams tomorrow following a day of rough weather along the gulf coast. 

Forecasters say residents of Baldwin and Escambia counties were among those dealing with seventeen tornado warnings stretching from Mississippi to Florida.

Alabama had the most with ten.

beachfront mansion
Jay Reeves / AP

Alabama is using a chunk of BP settlement money to renovate a beachfront governor's mansion that's been abandoned on the Gulf Coast for nearly two decades.

Work began earlier this month near Gulf Shores to fix the 7,500-square-foot gubernatorial mansion that was never repaired after Hurricane Danny badly damaged the home in 1997.

A spokeswoman for Governor Robert Bentley says no taxpayer money is being used in the project. She says BP grant money remaining from the 2010 oil spill is being used to cover the cost, estimated at as much as $1.8 million.

Forecasters say parts of Alabama could see severe weather including possible tornadoes tonight and tomorrow. APR’s Alex AuBuchon has the details.

The National Weather Service is warning Alabama residents of possible severe weather moving into the area this evening through tomorrow morning.

Michelle Obama comments, Alabama Launchpad competition

May 11, 2015

Forecasters say scattered strong thunderstorms are possible across northern Alabama, with the potential that some could become severe.

The National Weather Service says the main threats from Monday's storms will be damaging winds of up to 60 mph, large hail and frequent lightning.

Forecasters expect the storms to develop Monday afternoon and evening ahead of a slow-moving cold front.

Severe weather impacts Northern Alabama

Apr 4, 2015

Forecasters say severe thunderstorms may have also produced tornadoes in parts of northern Alabama and southern Tennessee.

The National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for Madison and Jackson counties in Alabama, and south Lincoln County, Tennessee on Friday night.

Madison County Emergency Management Agency operations coordinator Jim Pockrus says authorities were told of downed trees shortly after the tornado warning had expired.