Primary severe weather season across the United States is considered to be in the spring, more particularly the months of March through May. However, what most people don't realize is that Alabama also has a secondary severe weather season in the fall. Fall severe weather season typically runs from the beginning of November until mid-December. Occasionally, it may begin in late October or last until late December. Just like in the spring, there are some years where we may be lucky enough to experience a severe weather "drought" of sorts in the fall. On the other hand, we may see our fair share of tornadoes and severe weather in the fall. The information below will hopefully give you a better idea of just how common severe weather, including tornadoes, actually is across the state of Alabama during the fall months.

 

Alabama Fall Severe Weather Season Statistics:

Alabama Nov/Dec Tornado Statistics from 2001-2012
% of All Tornado Occurrances

22% (163/736)

% of All Tornado-related Deaths

6% (18/281)

% of All Tornado-related Injuries

10% (259/2647)

From 1950 until 2012, Alabama had at least one documented tornado in the month of November or December in 70% (44/63) of the years.

*Statistics include April 27, 2011 tornado outbreak.  If you remove that day's deaths and injuries, the percentage of deaths that occurred in November and December, between 2001 and 2012,  is around 94%.

Damage along Conecuh River in Pike Co 2012

Damage along Conecuh River in Pike County December 25, 2012

 
Damage at FunZone in Montgomery Nov 15, 2006

Damage at FunZone Skating Rink in Montgomery November 15, 2006

Severe weather statistics are not meant to put fear into the citizens of Alabama, but they do emphasize the need to be prepared. Preparation can and does make the difference between life and death.

  • Every home should have a Safety Plan, exercise it monthly.  Has anything changed in your household since Spring?  Now is the time to check your emergency supplies, and ensure your NOAA Weather Radio or other portable radio has fresh batteries.
  • ALL tornadoes should be considered dangerous.  Regardless of the strength, all tornadoes are capable of producing damage and causing injuries.
  • Most storm related damage occurs with Severe Thunderstorm winds - treat a Severe Thunderstorm warning the same as you would a Tornado warning.
Here are some statistics from years' past: 
 

In 2012, 9 tornadoes touched down in the month of December. All but one occurred on Christmas Day as a deepening surface low moved across the area.

In 2011, 4 tornadoes occurred on November 16, and though December 22 is technically winter, 6 late season tornadoes formed on this day.

In 2010, several weak tornadoes occurred in late November.  (click for summary)

In 2009, only one tornado was recorded in Central Alabama. (click for summary)

In 2008, 3 tornadoes formed in Central Alabama.  (click for summary)

In 2007, Central Alabama experienced 3 relatively rare October tornadoes in Hale, Bibb and Lowndes Counties.
(
click for summary)

In 2006, 4 tornadoes occurred on November 30th during a very unique severe weather episode across parts of West Central Alabama.
(click for summary)

In 2006, 8 tornadoes, including the FunZone F-2 tornado in Montgomery, occurred on November 15th across Central Alabama.  (click for summary)

In 2005, 6 tornadoes occurred on November 28th across Central Alabama as a severe line of thunderstorms moved through. (click for summary)

In 2004, 21 tornadoes, including 16 across Central Alabama, and widespread wind damage occurred during the early morning hours of November 24 as a severe line of thunderstorms moved through.     (click for summary)

In 2003, a significant line of thunderstorms plowed through Alabama on November 18, which resulted mainly in significant straight-line wind damage. Two F1 tornadoes touched down near Tuscaloosa and Oakman. (click for summary)

In 2002, the infamous Veteran's Day Tornado Outbreak brought 11 tornadoes to parts of North and Central Alabama.  Two F3 tornadoes occurred across Fayette, Walker, and Winston Counties. (click for summary)

In 2001, the 3rd largest tornado outbreak in Alabama's recorded history occurred on November 24, 2001 as 36 tornadoes occurred during a 24-hour period. (click for summary)

In 2000, an F4 tornado occurred near Tuscaloosa with the December 16 outbreak of 12 tornadoes across Alabama. (click for summary)

 

Additional Information:


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