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Severe/Winter Weather Guides
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The severe weather guide serves to educate the public about hazardous weather and how to prepare for severe storms.
 
Severe Weather Awareness Week (February 27-March 5, 2022)
 

The National Weather Service (NWS), in cooperation with the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (ADEM), has proclaimed February 27-March 5 2022 as Severe Weather Awareness Week in Arkansas. Citizens of the state are urged to prepare for the severe weather season. People are encouraged to use the week to review severe weather safety rules, and to understand the hazards associated with severe thunderstorms.

 

 

Across Arkansas, La Ni├▒a conditions were present in three of the four most active years for tornadoes (1999, 2008, and 2011).
In the picture: Across Arkansas, La Niña conditions were present in three of the four most active years for tornadoes (1999, 2008, and 2011).
 

At present, La Niña conditions are in place, meaning that water temperatures are cooler than normal along the equator in the Pacific Ocean. When this happened in the past, the pattern became very active at times. In fact, three of the four most active years for tornadoes in Arkansas featured La Niña. In April and May of 2011, there were 67 tornadoes and record flooding. It's something to keep in mind moving into this spring.

 

The spring outlook (courtesy of the Climate Prediction Center) is most confident in wetter than normal conditions from the Great Lakes into the Ohio/mid-Mississippi Valleys and the Pacific Northwest, and drier than normal conditions in the southwest United States and Gulf Coast.
In the picture: The spring outlook (courtesy of the Climate Prediction Center) is most confident in wetter than normal conditions from the Great Lakes into the Ohio/mid-Mississippi Valleys and the Pacific Northwest, and drier than normal conditions in the southwest United States and Gulf Coast.
 

The spring outlook from the Climate Prediction Center reflects the presence of La Niña. There is often a wet signal from the Great Lakes into the Ohio and mid-Mississippi Valleys, and that is what the forecast expresses. There will likely be wet periods farther south into Arkansas, the Tennessee Valley, and the southeast United States. This is where it could become active in the coming weeks. We need to be ready!

 

New impact based warning (IBW) tags went into effect in 2021.
In the picture: New impact based warning (IBW) tags went into effect in 2021.
 

When severe weather warnings are issued, there is something to mention. As expected wind gusts and hail sizes increase, we want to get your attention. There will be little commotion surrounding a standard Severe Thunderstorm Warning (60 mph winds/one inch hail). However, if 70 to 80 mph gusts or golf ball to tennis ball size hail are in the warning, it will be tagged as a "considerable" damage threat. For 80+ mph gusts or 2.75+ inch (baseball or larger) size hail, the damage tag will be labeled as "destructive". This tag will result in the activation of a Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) through the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS), and this will go to cell phones within the warning polygon.

To help you plan for severe weather, the NWS will broadcast safety information on NOAA Weather Radio (NWR) and will transmit Public Information Statements (PNS) on news and weather wires.

 

Information Sent During Severe Weather Awareness Week, 2022
 
Sunday, February 27, 2022...Introduction to Severe Weather Awareness Week...click here.
Monday, February 28, 2022...Flooding...click here.
Tuesday, March 1, 2022...Lightning...click here.
Wednesday, March 2, 2022...Tornadoes...click here.
Thursday, March 3, 2022...Severe Thunderstorms...click here.
Friday, March 4, 2022...Watches and Warnings...click here.
Saturday, March 5, 2022...Storm Reports...click here.

 

Severe Weather Awareness Week Slides
These are the topics (plus some extras) covered during Severe Weather Awareness Week, 2022.
Introduction  |  Flooding  |  Lightning  |  Tornadoes
Severe Thunderstorms  |  Watches/Warnings  |  Receiving Severe Weather Info
Storm Reports
In the pictures: These are the topics (plus some extras) covered during Severe Weather Awareness Week, 2022.

 

This is the cover of the "Severe Weather in Arkansas" guide featuring a nursing home in Monette (Craighead County) that was heavily damaged by a long track tornado (rated EF4) on 12/10/2021. The photo (obtained from video) is courtesy of Brian Emfinger.
This special week follows a year (2021) with 35 tornadoes (37 is normal).
 
Link of Interest
Tornadoes in Arkansas Since 1950
Note: The number of tornadoes has doubled since the WSR-88D (Doppler Weather Radar) was installed in the early 1990s (39 tornadoes per year post Doppler versus 19 tornadoes pre Doppler). This is mainly due to better detection of rotation, especially with small/weak tornadoes.
In the picture: This is the cover of the "Severe Weather in Arkansas" guide featuring a nursing home in Monette (Craighead County) that was heavily damaged by a long track tornado (rated EF4) on 12/10/2021. The photo (obtained from video) is courtesy of Brian Emfinger.

 

The busiest month of the year was December with a dozen tornadoes in northeast sections of the state. This was before the spring, which is generally the most active time of year locally. The strongest tornado (rated EF4/maximum winds around 170 mph) tracked over 26 miles through Monette (Craighead County) and Leachville (Mississippi County) on December 10th. The tornado went another 54 miles or so through southeast Missouri and northwest Tennessee.

 

Link of Interest
Severe Weather in Arkansas
Note: This includes a question/answer guide, tornado statistics since 1950, and severe weather terminology.

 

When severe weather threatens, don't forget to follow the National Weather Service through social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

The National Weather Service in Little Rock uses social media on a daily basis for to raise awareness of life-threatening weather, and distributing forecast and climate information, education, and outreach.
In the picture: The National Weather Service in Little Rock uses social media on a daily basis for to raise awareness of life-threatening weather, and distributing forecast and climate information, education, and outreach.

 

Links of Interest
Facebook: Little Rock | Tulsa | Shreveport | Memphis | Jackson
Twitter: Little Rock | Tulsa | Shreveport | Memphis | Jackson
Note: These are social media accounts for National Weather Service offices that serve Arkansas.

 

This is the Weather Safety Spring logo, and is a reminder to prepare now for severe weather. When spring unleashes monster storms, are you ready? Make a plan with just a few simple steps: Know Your Risk, Take Action and Be a Force of Nature.
In the picture: This is the Weather Safety Spring logo, and is a reminder to prepare now for severe weather.