Storm Track Weekly Weather Fix

Severe Weather Awareness Week

Alabama weather is so crazy, every week could be Severe Weather Awareness Week. But, it’s most applicable before our Spring severe weather season (we’ll tell you why this is significant in a minute). This week is all about planning for the worst, so you can be ready for whatever comes. Spring of 2016 was a relatively active late Winter/early Spring severe weather season, with half a dozen events from February to April of last year producing severe weather (straight line wind/tornado damage). Will this year be any different? So far, so good; it’s been quiet (although the rain sure has helped). But it’s always a good idea to be ready for any type of severe weather that threatens. And we don’t just want to talk about tornadoes here, it’s all hazards, including:

  • Severe Thunderstorms (Hail, Straight-line Winds)
  • Flooding (Flash Floods, Areal Floods, River Floods)
  • Lightning
  • Tornadoes (Even the smaller ones can cause damage and be deadly)

We also want to tell you how to get life saving information DURING a severe storm. Even with modern technology, there are still limitations in how effective sending out warning information can be (see weather radios). But, with the advent of wireless emergency alerts (WEAs) on everyone’s phone, and dedicated weather apps, like the CBS42 STORM TRACK WEATHER APP, it’s easier than ever to get lifesaving information almost instantly.

For more information on Severe Weather Awareness Week, check out our Facebook page, where everyday another handful of helpful hints are provided to you, so that you can be ready for severe weather. Also, check out the great information our partners at the Birmingham National Weather Service provide on their website as well.

To wrap it up this week, CBS42 and the Storm Track Weather Team has produced a half-hour special called ‘Safe from the Storm’. We look at several events over the past few years, tell you why lightning is so dangerous, review our tried and true tornado safety rules, and give you a first-hand account of what it’s like as a first responder in the face of a tornado emergency. The special report will air this Thursday (2/23) at 6:30 pm, plus it will be available online. Let us know what you think; we’d love to hear your stories of being safe from the storm.

California Flooding

31447910283_7078471f17_bTalk about going from one extreme to the other. California was mired in its worst drought in decades before this month. Now, they’ve got way TOO MUCH water falling. Resevoirs from San Jose to Southern California are overflowing with the amount of water they’ve received the last few weeks. While that’s great news for a state that desperately needed the water, it’s not great for those in flood plains or low-lying areas.

The hardest hit areas are in the San Francisco Bay Area and east toward Sacramento. They even experienced flooding in Yosemite National Park. It will be a while until flood waters recede due to yet another round of heavy rain on the way to the same places that are already underwater. You can get a full list of the impacted areas, including pictures and reports via social media here.

This Week in Weather History

February 20, 1805 – The Potomac River was opened after being closed by ice for a period of two months.

February 21, 1936 – The temperature at Langdon, ND, climbed above zero for the first time in six weeks. Readings never got above freezing during all three winter months.

February 23, 1802 – A great snowstorm raged along the New England coast producing 48 inches of snow north of Boston. Three large ships from Salem were wrecked along Cape Cod.

February 24, 1852 – The Susquehanna River ice bridge at Havre de Grace, MD, commenced to break up after forty days of use. A total of 1738 loaded freight cars were hauled along rails laid on the ice.

February 25, 2009 – Two Alaskan communities set their all-time records for highest wind speed. St. Paul registerd a wind of 91 mph, and on St. George Island the wind reached 94 mph.

February 26, 2004 – A major snowstorm dumps up to 20 inches of snow in the Charlotte metropolitan area. Charlotte’s third largest snowstorm on record accumulates 11.6 inches at the airport.

*Historical weather provided by

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