Wednesday’s forecast does not look good for much of Alabama, with several counties expected to see some form of severe weather. As a result, many area schools are opting to close for the day. Storms began making their way into West Alabama in the wee hours on Wednesday, bringing torrential rain, lightning and high winds. A tornado watch was issued for Tuscaloosa County until 9 p.m.

Governor Robert Bentley declared a statewide State of Emergency for severe weather in Alabama on Wednesday.

School and Business Closings on Wednesday, April 5:

Tuscaloosa City Schools

Tuscaloosa County Schools and County Offices

Holy Spirit School & Preschool

American Christian Academy

Tuscaloosa Academy

University of Alabama

Shelton State Community College

Stillman College

The Tuscaloosa Public Library

Heads up, Tuscaloosa and Northport (and surrounding areas): We could be in for some rough weather in coming hours. March is, apparently, living up to the adage "In like a lion."

The National Weather Service has issued a tornado watch for our area, effective until 6 p.m. As of 1 p.m., the timeline for West Alabama appeared to be between 1 and 5 p.m. The strongest of the storms may bring damaging winds, hail and the possibility of a few "brief" tornadoes.

We’re smack in the middle of winter, but you wouldn’t know it. It’s warm. Very warm. And those of us who know Alabama weather know what that can mean: storms. Unfortunately, it looks like we are in for a couple of rounds of severe weather in the Tuscaloosa area on Saturday and Sunday. Storms could begin making their way into West Alabama in the wee hours on Saturday.

A layer of snow and ice continued to cause travel issues throughout West Alabama – and much of the state, on Saturday afternoon. Temperatures did not climb above freezing, meaning many area roadways remain dangerously slick or impassible entirely.

Emergency officials spent much of the day responding to accidents and stranded motorists, and continued to recommend that everyone stay put if at all possible.

We've collected some of the best photos, videos and Memes across Facebook from the Alabama snow, just so you don't have to take the effort.

FYI: By now you’ve no doubt heard about the possibility of wintry weather here in our area, but it does seem like the confidence is increasing that it will actually happen.

The National Weather Service’s latest forecast suggests Tuscaloosa and surrounding areas will get up to two inches of snow between Friday and Saturday morning. In addition, and perhaps more concerning, is the possibility of sleet accumulations south of I-20. We are under a Winter Weather Advisory in Tuscaloosa County from 6 a.m. on Friday to 9 a.m. on Saturday.

It hasn’t rained in weeks here in Tuscaloosa and Northport (or anywhere else for that matter), and currently there’s no significant rain in the immediate forecast here in West Alabama. Our drought is worsening, prompting state officials to take action on Tuesday – placing Tuscaloosa County and 17 other counties under drought emergency status level – the most severe drought declaration.

Both the Tuscaloosa City Schools and the Tuscaloosa County School System have opted to cancel all after-school activities, as a possible round of severe weather approaches the area on Tuesday. The latest forecast suggests the severe weather will be in the Tuscaloosa area from Tuesday evening into Wednesday morning.

Tuscaloosa County is in an “elevated threat” area, with the National Weather Service indicating that the severe weather window is from 6 p.m. on Tuesday until 4 a.m. on Wednesday. For West Alabama, specifically, the timing looks to be from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Tornadoes, damaging winds (up to 70 mph) and golf ball size hail are all possible.

By Jim Ezell

University of Alabama students began flooding the Quadrangle. It was early Wednesday morning, January 19, 1977, and classes had been cancelled. Nearly five inches of snow fell during the night, and soon thousands were engaged in what one observer called the “Super Bowl of snowball fights.” A truck dragged a tethered shopping cart jammed with merrymakers, a few skied, and others hurled snowballs at cars on University Blvd. A Tuscaloosa News writer described the scene as “pandemonium.” 

Accumulations of snow are relatively rare in Tuscaloosa. The meteorological conditions needed for snow to fall and accumulate, or “stick,” seldom occur. An average of less than one inch falls each winter, however, years often pass between significant events. 

Both the Tuscaloosa City Schools and the Tuscaloosa County School System opted to dismiss early on Tuesday, Feb. 2, in the wake of a severe weather threat. Tuscaloosa high schools, Magnet Schools and the Alberta School of Performing Arts dismissed classes at 11:30 a.m.; all middle schools dismissed at noon and all elementary schools were dismissed at 12:30 p.m. In addition, all Tuscaloosa County Schools closed at 12:00 p.m. In addition, American Christian Academy dismissed at 12:30 p.m.

The Tuscaloosa County Emergency Management Agency urged everyone in town to be weather aware, as our area was in an “elevated risk” area for severe storms through Tuesday evening, Feb. 3. According to the National Weather Service, the biggest weather risks included high winds (15-25 miles per hour with higher gusts in the afternoon, with the possibility of damaging winds up to 60 miles per hour in the elevated risk area), heavy rain and, possibly, tornadoes.

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Druid City Living (DCL) is Tuscaloosa, Alabama's premier community newspaper, covering the great people, places and activities of the area.

 

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