When is tornado season in Alabama in 2022?

Tornado season in Alabama falls during two different times of the year: A spring season in March, April, and May and a fall season in November and December.

Jennifer Gimbel

By

Jennifer Gimbel

Jennifer Gimbel

Senior Managing Editor & Home Insurance Expert

Jennifer Gimbel is a senior managing editor and home insurance expert at Policygenius, where she oversees our homeowners insurance coverage. Previously, she was the managing editor at Finder.com and a content strategist at Babble.com.

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Alabama had the most tornado warnings of any other state in the U.S. so far in 2022. The National Weather Service (NWS) issued 115 tornado warnings for Alabama counties as of April 18 — coming in above Mississippi and even Texas, a state that traditionally sees the most tornadoes each year. [1]

But when exactly is tornado season in Alabama? And how can you make sure you’re prepared? We break down everything you need to know about tornadoes and home insurance in Alabama.

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When is tornado season in Alabama?

Peak tornado season in Alabama runs March through May each year. However, there’s a secondary season in the fall that brings a high number of tornadoes during November and December. [2]  

These months see warm, moist air mixing with eastern-moving cold fronts that create the perfect storm for twisters to develop. While Alabamians experience tornadoes during all 12 months of the year, they should be especially prepared during spring and fall.

Where do tornadoes hit the most in Alabama?

Jefferson County — home to Birmingham and Hoover — experiences the most tornadoes of any other county in Alabama, ringing in at 105 twisters in total from 1950 to 2021, according to the National Weather Service. [3] The runner up is Mobile County — home to Mobile and Daphne — which saw 100 tornadoes during that same time period. 

Tornadoes by county in Alabama

Here’s a complete look at the total number of tornadoes in each county in Alabama from 1950 to 2021, according to the NWS.

Tornadoes in Alabama over the last 25 years

Since 1996, Alabama has averaged 56 tornadoes each year, according to data from the NWS. [4]  

Here’s a breakdown of how many twisters touched down in the Heart of Dixie over the last 25 years.

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Total number of tornadoes by month in Alabama

The month of April sees the most tornadoes in Alabama, followed by March then November. The months of June, July, and August see the least amount of tornadoes.

Here’s the total number of tornadoes per month in Alabama between 1950 and 2021, according to the NWS.

Does home insurance in Alabama cover tornado damage?

Homeowners insurance in Alabama covers damage caused by tornadoes, including the wind, hail, and rain that accompany them. However, water damage from flooding that occurs during a tornado would not be covered under your standard home insurance policy — you’ll need separate flood insurance for that.

The one exception is if you live in an area at high risk for wind damage — your home insurance policy might exclude damage from wind and hail. In this case, you’ll need to purchase a separate wind-only insurance policy to fill that coverage gap. 

The Alabama Insurance Underwriting Association (Beach Plan) offers wind-and-hail-only policies for homeowners in coastal areas of Baldwin and Mobile counties. [5] You can reach out to a licensed agent at Policygenius to learn more about this type of coverage and your options.

Some Alabama homeowners have a separate windstorm deductible for tornado damage

If your home is damaged in a tornado in Alabama, your home insurance company may require you to pay a windstorm deductible that’s separate from your standard homeowners insurance deductible and applies specifically to wind and hail damage.

Windstorm deductibles in Alabama are typically a percentage of your policy’s dwelling coverage limit — usually between 1% and 5% — according to the Alabama Department of Insurance. [6] You can choose your deductible when you purchase your home insurance or windstorm insurance policy. A higher deductible leads to lower insurance rates, and vice versa.

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How to prepare for tornado season in Alabama

From installing storm-proof shutters on your windows to knowing where to take shelter should a disaster strike, here are a few ways to prepare for tornado season in Alabama.

1. Get your home ready for severe weather

This includes trimming tree limbs that hang close to your roof, removing dead trees from your yard, cleaning up any heavy debris (i.e. branches, bricks, firewood) on your property, and moving lawn furniture inside when a twister nears. If you live in an area especially prone to tornadoes, consider installing storm-proof window shutters or upgrading to an impact-resistant roof — doing this could actually result in a discount on your home insurance premiums.

2. Make an emergency kit

FEMA recommends packing a few bags with essentials you can easily grab as you take shelter when a tornado nears. Some items to pack in your emergency kit include: water, non-perishable foods and baby formula, a can opener, moist towelettes and trash bags, batteries, flashlights, a first aid kit, portable cell phone chargers, a battery-powered radio, and a whistle to signal for help.

3. Find a place to take shelter

While no place will keep you completely safe during a tornado, hunkering down in a basement or inside a windowless room on the lowest floor of your home is your safest bet. For even more protection, take shelter under something sturdy like a heavy table or workbench, cover yourself with a blanket or mattress, and protect your head from flying debris. 

4. Know the signs of a tornado

If you live in an area of Alabama at high risk for tornadoes, knowing what to look for during a severe weather storm can help you stay prepared. Be on the lookout for rotating, funnel-shaped clouds, low-lying clouds of debris, large hail, a dark or green-colored sky, and a loud roar that sounds like a freight train — all of these could forewarn a tornado is near.

5. Sign up for severe weather alerts

Anyone can sign up for severe weather alerts from the National Weather Service via text, email, or phone. In addition, a few cities in Alabama including Tuscaloosa and Birmingham have outdoor warning siren systems to warn residents to take shelter indoors during extreme weather conditions, including tornadoes. [7] [8]

6. Stay up to date on changing weather conditions

On top of signing up for weather alerts and keeping your ears to the ground for any outdoor warning sirens, staying up to date on changing weather conditions via your local news and radio stations or even through social media can help you know when a tornado is near. 

Frequently asked questions

What month does Alabama get tornadoes?

Alabama residents experience tornadoes every month of the year, though the majority of twisters occur in April, March, and November.

Where is Tornado Alley in Alabama?

Alabama is not part of Tornado Alley, but it is in the tornado-prone Dixie Alley — the South’s version of Tornado Alley that also sees an unproportionately high number of twisters each year compared to other parts of the U.S.

Which city in Alabama has the most tornadoes?

Jefferson County — home to Birmingham — sees the most tornadoes each year, totaling 105 twisters from 1950 to 2021.

References

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Policygenius uses external sources, including government data, industry studies, and reputable news organizations to supplement proprietary marketplace data and internal expertise. Learn more about how we use and vet external sources as part of our

editorial standards.
  1. WSFA 12 News

    . "

    2022 so far: Alabama has had more tornado warnings than any other state

    ." Accessed June 09, 2022.

  2. National Weather Service

    . "

    Alabama Tornadoes by Month 1950–2021

    ." Accessed June 09, 2022.

  3. National Weather Service

    . "

    Alabama Tornadoes by County 1950–2021

    ." Accessed June 09, 2022.

  4. National Weather Service

    . "

    Alabama Tornadoes by Year 1950–2021

    ." Accessed June 09, 2022.

  5. Alabama Insurance Underwriting Association

    . "

    Welcome to the Alabama Insurance Underwriting Association

    ." Accessed June 09, 2022.

  6. Alabama Department of Insurance

    . "

    Many Insurers Now Base Deductibles on Insured Value of Home

    ." Accessed June 09, 2022.

  7. Tuscaloosa County Emergency Management Agency

    . "

    Siren Overview

    ." Accessed June 09, 2022.

  8. Jefferson County Emergency Management Agency

    . "

    Outdoor Warning Siren System

    ." Accessed June 09, 2022.

Author

Senior Managing Editor & Home Insurance Expert

Jennifer Gimbel

Senior Managing Editor & Home Insurance Expert

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Jennifer Gimbel is a senior managing editor and home insurance expert at Policygenius, where she oversees our homeowners insurance coverage. Previously, she was the managing editor at Finder.com and a content strategist at Babble.com.

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