Damage reports began surfacing around 9 a.m. Monday after strong and severe storms blew through Mississippi and Alabama overnight. The worst damage was mainly confined to northern Alabama and was caused by damaging wind and quarter size hail.
The weather system also proved that the drought conditions have made east Mississippi and west Alabama extremely vulnerable to lightning strikes, which ignited several fires overnight.
It has continued to get dry even, with the rain from last night. And as these structures get dry, it is just like your yard. Moisture pulls out of the structure and they are more susceptible to burning if they do get a lightning strike."
The extremely dry conditions allowed lightning strikes to ignite small grass fires in Lauderdale County, two of which burned down abandoned structures.
Late October is the start of fall's severe weather season and the next couple of months look to be very active.
"We are looking at another round of severe weather within the next 36 hours<'said John Baxter of the National Weather Service. "And this is the beginning of the secondary severe season that peaks in November. We need to start getting our emergency kits together: the batteries, the flashlights, the radios."
WTOK also partners with Walgreens to promote the use of NOAA weather radios, so you can stay updated on weather conditions.
"They alert you to severe weather in the area. All you have to do is program it, which we will do for you," said Chris Montgomeru, Walgreens store manager. "They require AA batteries."
And with severe weather likely over the next three months, it may not be a bad idea to stock up on extra batteries while picking up your weather radio.
The good news is the rough weather will be out of the way and cooler air will be back in the area just in time for Halloween weekend.