Prepare now for severe weather on St. Patrick’s Day in Birmingham

National Weather Service Birmingham Office map released on Sunday March 14th predicting severe weather in Birmingham on St. Patrick’s Day. Graphic from NWS Birmingham Facebook page.

The U.S.National Weather Service Birmingham Office is calling on all residents to prepare for severe weather this week, especially on St. Patrick’s Day.

On Sunday afternoon the Birmingham Office issued its forecast map for Wednesday afternoon and night showing two-thirds of Central Alabama under the “Enhanced Risk” category and the entire region under Slight Risk.

The NWS is asking folks to get ready for severe weather now. Here is their Facebook post which makes that point crystal clear:

Ok folks, Wednesday is the day you need to prepare for. Confidence is increasing in a significant severe weather event across parts of the SE, including portions of Central AL. Details in location/timing/threats will be refined over the next couple days. STAY TUNED!

NWS Birmingham Office Facebook Post on March 14, 2021
National Weather Service Birmingham Office map released on Sunday March 14th predicting severe weather in Birmingham on St. Patrick’s Day. Graphic from NWS Birmingham Facebook page.

Be Prepared

Are you ready for possible severe weather ? I’ve got my helmets and basement ready. Photo of Bham Now’s Pat Byington.

As we all witnessed back in January with the tornado that struck Fultondale and Center Point, it is important to be prepared at all times – during the day, late at night and the early morning. 

One of the best websites to prepare you for tornadoes and severe weather is found at:

Below is an excerpt from the site. As you can see, you need to make several plans, ranging from a communication plan, a plan where to shelter with your family and even a plan if your place is hit by a tornado.

  • Be Weather-Ready: Check the forecast regularly to see if you’re at risk for tornadoes. Listen to local news or a NOAA Weather Radio to stay informed about tornado watches and warnings. Check the Weather-Ready Nation for tips.
  • Sign Up for Notifications: Know how your community sends warnings. Some communities have outdoor sirens. Others depend on media and smart phones to alert residents of severe storms capable of producing tornadoes.
  • Create a Communications Plan: Have a family plan that includes an emergency meeting place and related information. If you live in a mobile home or home without a basement, identify a nearby safe building you can get too quickly, such as a church or family member.
  • Pick a safe room in your home, such as a basement, storm cellar, or an interior room on the lowest floor with no windows. Check more ideas for your family plan at:
  • Practice Your Plan: Conduct a family severe thunderstorm drill regularly so everyone knows what to do if a tornado is approaching. Make sure all members of your family know to go there when tornado warnings are issued. Don’t forget pets if time allows.
  • Prepare Your Home: Consider having your safe room reinforced. You can find plans for reinforcing an interior room to provide better protection on the Federal Emergency Management Agency website.
  • Help Your Neighbor: Encourage your loved ones to prepare for the possibility of tornadoes. Take CPR training so you can help if someone is hurt.

Need more? Bham Now also published in 2020 a detailed severe weather checklist.

Read it – HERE.

Red Cross Center Point
Tornado damage from the Fultondale/Center Point tornado on January 26, 2021. Photo via American Red Cross of Alabama

Be Ready St. Patrick’s Day

Don’t count on being lucky on St. Patrick’s Day this week. Monitor weather forecast. Prepare and plan. Keep your family and friends safe.

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Pat Byington
Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.

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