alert - warning

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Prepare Now for Imminent Dangerous Storms from the Mississippi Valley to Alabama

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Release Date:
March 17, 2021

WASHINGTON -- The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center issued a high risk update for today across portions of the Mississippi Valley into Alabama due to the threat of possible strong tornadoes, hail larger than 2 inches and winds above 75 miles per hour, and a moderate risk upgrade was issued for tomorrow.

Conditions across the high-risk area are favorable for strong, long-track tornadoes. This is especially true from northeast Louisiana through northern Mississippi into northwest Alabama.

More than one round of severe storms is possible across parts of Mississippi and Alabama today during the afternoon into the overnight hours. Storms are currently ongoing across portions of western Oklahoma and are expected to continue in coverage, intensity and redevelopment as the system pushes eastward.

Now is the time to prepare for severe weather

Sign up for your community’s warning system. The Emergency Alert System and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts. If you are in the forecast areas, monitor a NOAA Weather Radio and your local news or official social media accounts for updated emergency information. Follow the instructions of state, local and tribal officials. 

Download the free FEMA app (available in English and Spanish) to receive emergency alerts and information so that you and your loved ones know what to do before, during and after disasters. The app provides real-time safety notifications, emergency preparedness tips and disaster resources. The app is available for Apple and Android devices.

Prepare for a tornado and plan where you will go if a tornado watch is issued in your community

Storm cellars, safe rooms or basements provide the best protection. If underground shelter or a safe room is not available, put as many walls as possible between you and the outside. Go to an interior room or hallway on the lowest floor of a sturdy building and stay away from windows and doors.

Most injuries associated with high winds are from flying debris, so remember to protect your head.

Plan to go quickly to a building with a strong foundation, if possible. Motor vehicles, trailers and mobile homes are not good locations to ride out a tornado. If shelter is not available, lie flat in a ditch or other low-lying area. Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You are safer in a low, flat location.

For additional severe weather tips visit