published Friday, March 2nd, 2012

Alabama schools closing early amid weather threat

NOAA image of today's regional radar.
NOAA image of today's regional radar.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Thousands of Alabama schoolchildren are getting out of class early because the threat of tornadoes and other severe weather across the northern half of the state.

More than 20 school systems say they are dismissing classes early Friday because of the possibility of severe storms. Otherwise, the bad weather could hit around the time schools normally dismiss for the day, based on predictions from the National Weather Service.

School systems dismissing students early include those in Jefferson County, Tuscaloosa and Walker County, which were all hard by deadly twisters last April.

Forecasters say severe storms are likely across north Alabama from Friday afternoon through Saturday morning. The weather service says there's a chance of long-track tornadoes, strong winds, flooding and large hail.

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