Meteorologists have been tracking the storm system out of the western United States for a week and expect it to bring the risk of straight-line winds and isolated tornadoes to Alabama. However, a spokesman for the National Weather Service office in Calera is classifying the risk for severe weather as “slight.”
“The setup doesn't look overly favorable for a widespread severe weather event,” said Weather Service meteorologist Aaron Gleason.
Showers and some severe thunderstorms are expected after 3 p.m. Thursday in Calhoun County, according to the Weather Service forecast. The risk for severe weather will diminish after midnight, though rain will linger into the early morning hours Friday, according to the forecast.
Locally public safety officials and school administrators have been preparing for the weather event this week. The Calhoun County Emergency Management Agency and first responders across the county held a conference call to discuss the threat and to begin coordinating a response, should the need for one arise, said Tammy Bain, a public information officer for the local agency.
While public safety officials are bracing for the storm, Bain said, local residents should be preparing for the threat, too. She said residents should develop an emergency plan and have a safety kit with food, water, a flashlight and a radio ready in case of an emergency.
Local schools began announcing this afternoon that they would close early on Thursday to get students and staff home before the worst weather arrives.
Today the storm system is rolling over the midsection of the nation, dumping rain and blowing wind with a slight risk of severe storms.
By Friday the system will sweep eastward, lingering just over the nation’s southeastern coast and by Saturday it will have left the United States, according to the forecast.
After the storm passes Alabama, the local forecast calls for the weather to revert to sunny skies with high temperatures in the low 70s. Weekend weather will echo Friday’s sunny conditions and mild temperatures.
Staff writer Laura Johnson: 256-235-3544. On Twitter @LJohnson_Star.