Calm before the storm

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Though sunny skies warmed Demopolis and the surrounding area for much of the day Tuesday, the day did not begin that way nor did it end that way.

All of Central Alabama, including the west-central counties in this area, were bombarded by a line of severe thunderstorms Tuesday morning, prompting school and daycare closings and halting all sporting events for the day.

The storms moved through at about 10:30 a.m., turning the skies black and dumping heavy rain and howling winds on the area. The storms passed through the area rather quickly, returning the skies to blue and diminishing clouds to a few wispy white puffs by 1 p.m.

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However, the National Weather Service in Birmingham reported more hazardous weather was on the way.

“The second round of severe weather is expected to develop rapidly around sunset,” the service stated on its Web site. “As the upper level of support moves across the state, in conjunction with the colder air aloft, increasing low level moisture and favorable wind profile some supercells could develop.”

What that means is the possibility for large hail, damaging winds and tornadoes.

Kevin McKinney, director of the local Emergency Management Agency, could not be reached for information on any reported tornadoes in the area or damage caused by the storms.

Storms were not the only thing shaking up the area, as a 3.3 magnitude earthquake was recorded in Clarke County.

The earthquake, centered approximately three miles from Coffeeville, happened at 8:11 a.m. No damage was reported, though many residents reported feeling the tremor and some reported dishes being shaken from the counters and cabinets.