In advance of the winter storm, Alabama proclaims a state of emergency for 25 counties
Alabama Governor Kay Ivey declared a state of emergency for 25 counties in the state, including northern counties such as Morgan, Lawrence, and Limestone, in response to severe weather forecasts over a three-day period. The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for the Tennessee Valley, with snowfall expected to start Sunday night and accumulate up to 2½ inches by Tuesday morning. The low temperature on Tuesday night was anticipated to be around 6 degrees Fahrenheit.
The counties included in the state of emergency are Blount, Calhoun, Cherokee, Cleburne, Colbert, Cullman, DeKalb, Etowah, Fayette, Franklin, Jackson, Jefferson, Lamar, Lauderdale, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Pickens, St. Clair, Tuscaloosa, Walker, and Winston. Governor Ivey urged residents to be prepared, exercise caution while traveling, and stay informed about the weather conditions.
The Alabama Emergency Management Agency also issued a warning about another potent storm system affecting Alabama on Friday, with statewide impacts possible. This system was expected to bring damaging wind gusts, hail, and tornadoes. In areas marked as an Enhanced Risk, wind gusts over 70 mph and EF2+ tornadoes were possible.
Non-thunderstorm winds were forecast to increase significantly, potentially causing sporadic tree damage and necessitating securing loose outdoor objects. Following this system, winter weather, including freezing rain, sleet, and snow, was possible early Monday morning into the evening.
Very cold air was expected to move into the state on Monday, with high temperatures struggling to reach the mid-30s in far northern Alabama and low temperatures on Tuesday morning ranging from 10-15 degrees in the northern sections to mid-20s at the coast.
These weather conditions posed significant challenges for the affected areas in Alabama. The declaration of a state of emergency was a crucial step in mobilizing resources and ensuring public safety in anticipation of the extreme weather. The forecast highlighted the importance of staying informed and prepared for rapid changes in weather conditions, especially in regions susceptible to severe winter storms.