WALA-TV posted a photo from its tower camera of a large funnel cloud forming in the distance Tuesday evening. National Weather Service officials say a tornado watch will be in effect in the Mobile area through 10 p.m.
The Mobile Fire Department tweeted that Murphy High School in downtown was damaged and that crews were going door to door to check for injuries. Additional information on damage and injuries was not immediately available.
The storm is part of a severe weather system that has already impacted areas of Louisiana and Mississippi and is moving east.
Brian Daly, a Mobile-based National Weather Service meteorologist, says forecasters were anticipating EF-2 and EF-3 tornadoes. That is stronger than the EF-1 tornado that hit Alabama Dec. 20, and left 54,700 people without power.
A National Weather Service meteorologist based in Birmingham says a tornado watch is not in effect for the Birmingham area, although forecasters there are expecting damaging winds and hail in central Alabama.