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Deadly weather

By Staff
County ranks in state's top 15 for most tornadoes
Leada Gore, Hartselle Enquirer
Morgan and Coffee counties may be on opposite ends of the state, but the two share a dubious honor. From 1950-2004, both counties reported some 26 tornadoes, tying them for the 12th highest number in the state.
The data was released last week by the National Weather Service as part of its annual push to raise awareness of the dangers associated with severe weather. Feb. 13-18 is Severe Weather Awareness Week in Alabama. The week is designated to teach state residents about safety precautions that can save lives in the event of severe weather.
And while severe weather can cover everything from flooding to lightning, it's tornadoes that cause the most destruction in the state. And, for areas such as Hartselle where the majority of the city isn't covered by warning sirens, knowing what to do in the event of severe weather is even more important.
According to the National Weather Service, tornadoes in Alabama are most likely to occur in two months – May and November. From 2000-2004, 81 tornadoes occurred in November and 33 in May. A secondary weather season occurs from March to April. Eighteen tornadoes were reported in the 2000-2004 period in those two months.
Weather officials said because tornadoes can form quickly, it's important for residents to respond immediately in the event of a tornado watch or warning. A tornado watch means conditions are favorable for a tornado to form. Experts said this is the time people should be preparing to respond to the storm, making sure to monitor weather reports.
A tornado warning means a tornado has been seen or is indicated by radar. People in the path of a tornado as indicated in the warning should take immediate action. Those actions include: