Severe weather looking increasingly likely for Wednesday

Tim Lockette, The Anniston Star, Ala.
·2 min read

Mar. 14—Much of Alabama, including the Anniston area, is in for a stormy day on Wednesday, National Weather Service forecasters predicted this weekend.

Forecasters on Sunday released a map showing much of the state at "enhanced" risk of tornadoes, damaging winds and hail as storms blow across the state Wednesday.

Calhoun and Cleburne counties are outside the "enhanced"" risk area, but forecasters say tornadoes are possible on Wednesday, along with damaging winds up to 60 mph and hail up to quarter-sized.

"The whole region is going to see a threat from this," said Gerald Satterwhite, a forecaster at the weather service office in Calera.

March and April are the state's peak period for tornadoes, and past spring tornado outbreaks have often come with ominous warnings from forecasters days before storms actually arrived.

Satterwhite said it's too early to say much about the potential timing of Wednesday's predicted storms, though he said it's likely they'll come in more than one wave throughout the day. He said today's predictions are "an initial heads-up" that should alert people to keep an eye on the weather toward mid-week.

"Make sure you're thinking about where you're going to be on Wednesday, and make sure you have a plan to get to shelter if you need to," he said.

Satterwhite said it's best to plan to take shelter in an interior room on the lowest level of your house, and to bring a blanket and a helmet to protect from injury from debris.

"Make sure you're wearing shoes with a hard sole," he said. "If you ever do need to walk around in tornado debris, you don't want to do it in flip-flops."

Updated forecasts are available at: https://www.weather.gov/bmx/.

Capitol & statewide reporter Tim Lockette: 256-294-4193. On Twitter @TLockette_Star.