Severe weather season is approaching, and many are wondering if this year will bring more tornadoes to the south than previous years.

AccuWeather's Tornado Season Outlook shows Alabama is at a higher risk for severe storms this year due to a cold winter and although things may start off at a slow pace, quickly developing storms could pack a punch:

Accuweather meteorologists are calling for a slow start to the peak of the severe weather season across the United States this spring, and they are warning of the possibility that severe weather and tornado activity could abruptly fire up and rival one of the most notorious severe weather seasons ever, due to some atmospheric similarities current weather patterns bear to that devastating season.

This certainly seems like cause for alarm; however, Townsquare Media Tuscaloosa and ABC 33/30 Chief Meteorologist James Spann urges Alabamians to think critically about the accuracy of long-range forecasts.

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"Long time readers know I am not a big fan of seasonal outlooks. There just isn't much skill in them. Or, maybe I am just not smart enough to prepare a product like that. It is all I can to do figure out weather over the next seven days," Spann said in a post to Facebook.

"Honestly, nobody knows how the 2021 tornado season will play out. But, we know there is a well defined peak in tornado outbreak here in March and April, and you always have to be prepared. Every year," he added. "But, another April 27, 2011 event? I don't think so. That day was generational. For Alabama, 62 tornadoes, 252 deaths. These events tend to happen once every 40-50 years. The next time we have an April 27... I will be at Elmwood most likely."

Spann advised Alabamians that the best course of action is to simply be prepared for severe weather. Creating an emergency plan with your family and loved ones and ensuring you have a way to receive weather watches, warnings, and advisories is key as is ensuring you have a safe place to go when storms strike.

Long time readers know I am not a big fan of seasonal outlooks. There just isn't much skill in them. Or, maybe I am just...

Posted by James Spann on Friday, February 19, 2021

March 1-5 has been designated as Severe Weather Awareness Week by the National Weather Service, and more information on creating a preparedness plan can be found HERE.

KEEP READING: What to do after a tornado strikes

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