Thunderstorms are a common occurrence in Alabama, Mississippi and Florida any time of the day, month or year. There are about 2,000 thunderstorms in progress around the world at any given moment. However, less than 1% of these thunderstorms are classified as “severe”. Severe thunderstorms are defined as thunderstorms that produce 1 inch hail or larger and/or strong wind gusts of 58mph or greater. Severe hail that is 1 inch in diameter is roughly the size of a quarter.
All thunderstorms generate potentially deadly lightning. However, lightning in a thunderstorm does not necessarily mean that the thunderstorm is severe. Occasionally, a small percentage of severe thunderstorms produce tornadoes with little or no lightning at all.
Across the region, severe thunderstorms typically occur during the late afternoon and evening hours, but can develop at any time. While severe thunderstorms can occur any month of the year, the peak Severe Weather Season is during the spring months of March, April and May. Alabama, Mississippi and northwest Florida also have a secondary Severe Weather Season in the fall that typically runs from November through mid December.
To learn more about severe thunderstorms, watch the video here.