(4WARN Weather) -- As March brings winter to a close with warmer air, thunderstorms once again become more likely. Some of those thunderstorms can be strong to severe--and some can produce tornadoes.
Alabama is no stranger to tornadoes in March. Since 1950, March is the second most active month for tornadoes with 320. The following month, April, leads the way with 509. The EF-4 tornado that leveled Enterprise High School struck on March 1, 2007. Another EF-4 tore through portions of Lee County, including parts of Beauregard, on March 3, 2019. Two EF-2 tornadoes moved through Eufaula as well on March 3, 2019.
As the spring tornado season moves in, it's important to be properly prepared.
Before anything else, you need to know where you live. You should know what county you live in, as well was what part of that county you live in. When your portion of the county is included in a tornado warning polygon, it's time to take action.
You won't be able to take action unless you get the warning. Have multiple reliable ways to get warnings. A properly programmed NOAA Weather Radio is the best option. Additional good options include Wireless Emergency Alerts, and your local station's weather app on your phone.
Once a warning is issued, and you know it's for your portion of your county, it's time to immediately take action. While an underground shelter is the absolute best option, a basement will do just about as fine. If an underground option is not available, move to the lowest level of your home. Find a small room in the middle of that level. A closet or bathroom works perfectly. Put as many walls between you and the outside as possible.
Put on a bicycle helmet to protect your head from flying debris, should a tornado impact your home. Wear closed-toed shoes before you go into your safe place. Your feet will be protected if you have to walk through debris as you leave your safe place after the tornado passes.
At the end of the day, severe weather is a normal part of spring in Alabama. We've all been through multiple years of severe weather. Making sure you are prepared in advance will help ensure you're ahead of the game when severe weather strikes.