January 2023 is all alone when it comes to tornado activity
This month has brought more tornadoes to Alabama than many entire years have
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - I’m sure it’s no secret at this point that January has been incredibly active in Alabama. Two tornado outbreaks separated by just nine days have resulted in 28 tornadoes across the state.
That number is significant as it’s the most tornadoes Alabama has ever seen in January since records began in 1950. It’s the highest number of tornadoes of any state in the U.S. for the month so far.
The 28 tornadoes this month is more than the state saw in 39 entire years dating back to 1950.
Wait, what?! Yep! You read that sentence right: Alabama had 39 different years in which it saw less tornado activity than we’ve seen in just a 9-day stretch this month! Talk about incredible.
Unfortunately that’s not a statistic we were even slightly interested in achieving. But here we are. So where do we go from here? Straight into what’s typically our most active stretch for severe weather.
The good news is there’s really no correlation between January activity and what follows for February, March, April, and May. It could be a quiet late winter and early spring in Alabama. There’s a chance that the next four months end up close to average. There’s also a chance that things wind up being hyperactive.
There’s truly no way to tell you how active -- or inactive -- the next 120 days will be. What we can say is that history suggests we will see some severe weather. March through early May is known as the busiest stretch of the year for severe thunderstorms and tornadoes statewide. Of course it’s important to remember that tornadoes occur throughout the year in Alabama.
But this time of year it’s imperative to have your tornado plan ready regardless of location (home, school, work). Make sure you have a safe place to go, supplies to protect yourself like helmets and pillows, and multiple reliable ways to receive watch and warning information.
A NOAA weather radio and our WSFA 12 News First Alert Weather app make a fantastic combination. If you need help programming a weather radio, click here.
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