Primary severe weather season across the United States is considered to be in the spring (March-May), but did you know that Alabama also has a secondary severe weather season in the fall? Yes, it’s true! Fall severe weather season in Alabama typically runs from the beginning of November until mid-December. Occasionally, it may begin in late October or last until late December. Just like in the spring, the severity of the fall season varies from year to year. However, the important thing to remember is that severe weather, including tornadoes, doesn’t just happen in the spring. The information below will hopefully give you a better idea of just how common it can be across the state of Alabama during the fall months.
Alabama Fall Severe Weather Season Statistics:
Alabama November/December Tornado Statistics from 2001-2018
• Percentage of All Tornado Occurrances … 21% (209/990)
• Percentage of All Tornado-Related Deaths … 8% (22/292)
• Percentage of All Tornado-Related Injuries … 10% (274/2777)
From 1950 to 2018, Alabama had at least one documented tornado in the month of November or December in 71% (49/69) of the years.
Above statistics include April 27, 2011 tornado outbreak. If you remove that day’s deaths, the percentage of deaths that occurred in November and December, between 2001 and 2018, is around 41%.
Severe weather statistics are not meant to put fear into the citizens of Alabama, but they do emphasize the need to be prepared. Preparation can and does make the difference between life and death.
• Every home should have a Safety Plan, exercise it monthly. Has anything changed in your household since Spring? Now is the time to check your emergency supplies, and ensure your NOAA Weather Radio or other portable radio has fresh batteries.
• ALL tornadoes should be considered dangerous. Regardless of the strength, all tornadoes are capable of producing damage and causing injuries.
• Most storm-related damage occurs with Severe Thunderstorm winds. Treat a Severe Thunderstorm Warning the same as you would a Tornado warning!
Severe Weather Awareness & Safety Information:
First and foremost, KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE! No matter what you have in your severe weather plan, it will never be complete until you can pinpoint your location on a map. Take a few moments NOW to learn some local geography so you can be more prepared when severe weather strikes. Don’t just stop at your home location, learn surrounding counties and communities. This extra bit of knowledge will help you determine if storms in other areas are heading your way. To help you with this, NWS Birmingham put together a Story Map that highlights some information about each of the 39 counties in Central Alabama. It can be found here. Knowledge is power, a power that could SAVE YOUR LIFE!
For more in-depth information and helpful infographics, please visit NWS Birmingham’s Fall Severe Weather Awareness Day page.