Update: Tornado warning issued for Chilton and Dallas counties Tuesday night

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On Tuesday at 10:32 p.m. an updated tornado warning was issued by the National Weather Service in effect until 11 p.m. for Chilton and Dallas counties.

“At 10:32 p.m., a confirmed tornado was located near Parnell, or 10 miles north of Valley Grande, moving east at 50 mph,” according to the weather service. “Flying debris will be dangerous to those caught without shelter. Mobile homes will be damaged or destroyed. Damage to roofs, windows, and vehicles will occur. Tree damage is likely.”

The warning is for Plantersville.

The weather service adds, “To repeat, a tornado is on the ground. Take cover now! Move to a basement or an interior room on the lowest floor of a sturdy building. Avoid windows. If you are outdoors, in a mobile home, or in a vehicle, move to the closest substantial shelter and protect yourself from flying debris.”

Tornado watches and warnings: What you need to know

When it comes to tornadoes, understanding the difference between a Tornado watch and a Tornado warning can be a matter of life and death. Let’s break it down:

Tornado watch: Be prepared!

  • A Tornado watch serves as an early warning that conditions are conducive to tornado formation.
  • It’s your signal to review your emergency plans, ensure your supplies are in order, and identify your safe room.
  • While it doesn’t mean a tornado is imminent, it’s a heads-up that you should be ready to act quickly if a Tornado warning is issued or if you suspect a tornado is approaching.
  • Watches come from the Storm Prediction Center and often cover a large area, potentially spanning multiple counties or even states.

Tornado warning: Take action!

  • A Tornado warning means a tornado has been spotted or detected by weather radar.
  • This is the real deal – there’s an immediate threat to life and property.
  • Your response should be quick: seek shelter in an interior room on the lowest floor of a sturdy building, away from windows.
  • If you’re in a mobile home, a vehicle, or caught outdoors, seek the nearest substantial shelter and shield yourself from flying debris.
  • Warnings are issued by your local forecast office and pinpoint a much smaller area, typically the size of a city or a small county, where a tornado has been identified, either by radar or by trained spotters and law enforcement.

Knowing the difference between these two alerts is essential in staying safe during tornado season. Stay informed, have a plan, and act promptly when danger approaches.

Prepare for a tornado

Stay 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.

Sign up for notifications:

Know how your community sends warnings. Some communities have outdoor sirens. Others depend on media and smartphones to alert residents of severe storms capable of producing tornadoes.

Create a communication 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 to quickly, such as a church or family member.

Choose a secure shelter:

Pick a safe room within your home, such as a basement, storm cellar, or an interior room on the lowest floor without windows.

Establish a communication 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.

Secure 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.

Tornado survival guide: Immediate actions for your safety

When a tornado strikes, taking swift action is crucial to ensuring your safety and minimizing potential harm. Follow these guidelines from the weather service:

Stay informed:

Stay vigilant and stay informed by tuning in to local news broadcasts or using a NOAA Weather Radio to receive updates on tornado watches and warnings.

At home:

  • If you find yourself under a tornado warning, immediately seek refuge in your basement, safe room, or an interior room without windows. If there’s enough time, bring your pets with you.

At work or school:

  • In the workplace or at school, adhere to tornado drill procedures and proceed promptly and calmly to your designated tornado shelter. Avoid areas with large, open spaces like cafeterias, gymnasiums, or auditoriums, and stay away from windows.

Outdoors:

  • When you are outdoors and a tornado is approaching, seek immediate refuge inside a sturdy building. Remember that sheds, storage facilities, mobile homes, and tents are not safe options. If there is sufficient time, make your way to a secure structure.

In a vehicle:

  • Being inside a vehicle during a tornado is highly unsafe. Your best course of action is to drive to the nearest shelter. If reaching shelter is not possible, either stay inside your car while covering your head, or abandon the vehicle and seek safety in a low-lying area such as a ditch or ravine.

Always keep in mind that taking swift action and following established safety procedures are crucial for your well-being when a tornado threat is imminent.

Advance Local Weather Alerts is a service provided by United Robots, which uses machine learning to compile the latest data from the National Weather Service.

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