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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 28-March 6, 2021)
 

The National Weather Service (NWS), in cooperation with the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (ADEM), has proclaimed February 28-March 6, 2021 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 NiƱa 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. We also started 2021 with historic cold and snow (in mid-February). It is a pattern that somewhat parallels 2011 (La Niña, a blast of winter in February, etc), and that is worrisome. That's because April and early May were active that year. There were 67 tornadoes in that two month period, 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 Valley and the Pacific Northwest, and drier than normal conditions in the southwest United States and Florida.
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 Valley and the Pacific Northwest, and drier than normal conditions in the southwest United States and Florida.
 

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 Valley, 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!

 

There are some new impact based warning (IBW) tags coming by 04/28/2021.
In the picture: There are some new impact based warning (IBW) tags coming by 04/28/2021.
 

When severe weather warnings are issued in the future (starting April 28th), there is something to mention. For a standard Severe Thunderstorm Warning (60 mph winds/one inch hail), nothing will change. However, if 70 to 80 mph gusts or golf ball to tennis ball size hail are in the warning, it will result in a thunderstorm damage severity of "considerable". 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, 2021
 
Sunday, February 28, 2021...Introduction to Severe Weather Awareness Week...click here.
Monday, March 1, 2021...Flooding...click here.
Tuesday, March 2, 2021...Lightning...click here.
Wednesday, March 3, 2021...Tornadoes...click here.
Thursday, March 4, 2021...Severe Thunderstorms...click here.
Friday, March 5, 2021...Watches and Warnings...click here.
Saturday, March 6, 2021...Storm Reports...click here.

 

Severe Weather Awareness Week Slides
These are the topics (plus some extras) covered during Severe Weather Awareness Week, 2021.
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, 2021.

 

This is the cover of the "Severe Weather in Arkansas" guide featuring the strongest tornado (rated EF3) of 2020 that cut through the south/east side of Jonesboro (Craighead County) on 03/28/2020.The tornado was captured on an Arkansas Department of Transportation traffic camera.
This special week follows a year (2020) with 45 tornadoes (33 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 the strongest tornado (rated EF3) of 2020 that cut through the south/east side of Jonesboro (Craighead County) on 03/28/2020.The tornado was captured on an Arkansas Department of Transportation traffic camera.

 

The busiest month of the year was January with 11 tornadoes. This was before the spring, which is generally the most active time of year locally. The strongest tornado (rated EF3/maximum winds around 140 mph) tracked just under 13 miles through the south/east side of Jonesboro (Craighead County) on March 28th. This was the strongest tornado in the state since April 27, 2014.

 

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.