Tornado warning sirens were hard to escape across Cullman County early Saturday evening, but despite anecdotal reports that a tornado had been spotted on the ground, weather watchers believe all four of the alerts issued Saturday were attributable only to funnel clouds that never made landfall.
No injury or damage was reported from the outburst of stormy weather, which began sweeping through Cullman County shortly before 7 p.m. Saturday. “We did not have any damage reported at all,” said Cullman Emergency Management Agency Director Phyllis Little on Monday. “That doesn’t mean there was no damage at all, but we have not heard any reports that there was.”
At least one of Saturday’s alerts came with a message reporting that a tornado had been sighted on the ground in south central Cullman County. Little said that followup photo and video evidence appears to show that that funnel cloud remained in the air.
Between 6:48 p.m. and 7:27 p.m., four separate tornado warnings were issued in total. The first focused on a possible funnel cloud in eastern Cullman County near Welti, while the others were for central and southwestern Cullman County. The alert that appears to have prompted on-the-ground sightings was for a storm near Good Hope, in the vicinity of Day Gap Road (County Road 616) and Golf Course Road (County Road 490).
“That was the area where people were saying that a tornado was touching the ground,” said Little. “But the video shows it as a funnel cloud, up in the air and above the tree line.”