Tornado Danger Postpones Talladega Events Today

By Kristina Pydynowski, Senior Meteorologist
Apr 24, 2010; 11:21 AM ET
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A major outbreak of tornadoes is unfolding across the Deep South, and the Talladega Superspeedway lies in the danger zone. The adverse weather has forced NASCAR officials to postpone today's activities.

Today started with drenching showers and thunderstorms rolling through northern and central Alabama. Some of these thunderstorms dropped hail and damaging winds across the state's northern counties.

Destructive tornadoes will target more of Alabama into this evening as severe thunderstorms rattle the Deep South.

To avoid putting the lives of racers and fans in danger at the Talladega Superspeedway, NASCAR officials postponed today's activities.

According to the raceway's official website, the Aaron's 312 NASCAR Nationwide Series race that was scheduled for today has been moved to Sunday. That race will follow the Aaron's 499 Sprint Cup Series race, set to start at noon CDT.

Even though the races have been postponed, lives could still be threatened at Talladega into this evening. Many fans are camping in the vicinity of the raceway.

A tornado tearing through the immediate Superspeedway area could cause tremendous loss of life. The danger of a tornado turning deadly will heighten this evening when darkness will hide an approaching twister.

Even if a tornado does not touch down, a severe thunderstorm may alone lead to damage and injury.

As AccuWeather.com Expert Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski warned on Friday, strong thunderstorm winds can toss about and destroy tents, tarps and canopies. Serious injuries could result from the debris.

Lightning will also pose a serious danger. Remember that tents and pavilions do not offer adequate protection from potentially deadly lightning strikes.

If Talladega can escape today's major severe weather event without destruction, Sunday's activities should be able to proceed as planned. The weekend will end with the return of some sunshine and temperatures warming to near 80 degrees. The only weather on Sunday that fans and racers will notice is a gusty breeze.

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5/28/2010 6:58:33 AM /news-entry.asp 4 .75.117 (accuweather )