It's hard to believe it has been 33 years since the outbreak of 16 tornadoes. 2 people died and 60 were injured during this 2 day outbreak. I'm going to show my age here, but I was 8 years old and in the 3rd grade. I barely remember this event. I do remember having to take cover at school and hearing afterwards of a radio tower in the midtown area collapsing. That's where my memory of this event stops.
Here's some information I found about that F3 tornado which tore through Saline county and moved through the gut of the metro area.
"At 2:55 PM, on December 2nd, a tornado touched down near Bryant, Arkansas, moved northeast through residential areas of western Little Rock to Crystal Hill, Arkansas. Eight-six mobile homes were destroyed in Alexander. One man was killed and 28 were injured. Another man was killed when a piece of sheet metal crashed through the windshield of his parked car. In western Little Rock, an additional 25 people were injured. Also, over 100 homes were destroyed and about 750 buildings were damaged."
That month in 1982 was a December we DON'T want to remember. It's also known for flooding those same two days across west central into north central Arkansas. The entire business district in Clinton was flooded as more than 10 inches of rain fell.
I also remember the big Christmas Eve tornado outbreak later that same month. We were in the middle of church services and the sirens were going off. More on that later this month.
1982 was a historic year weatherwise in Arkansas for flooding and tornadoes. As a matter of fact, we ended up with 78 tornadoes that year which to this day is the 3rd most in state weather history.
Meteorologist John Robinson at the National Weather Service office in North Little Rock worked those outbreaks that December and he's still working there today. I want to thank him for helping me find some of this information online a few years ago.
If you have any stories of this event, please share them in the comment section.
Below are various graphics I have found.
|Here are all the tornado tracks I could find from the tornadohistoryproject.com We had 6, F3 tornadoes in Arkansas in 1 day (December 2nd). You can clearly see the one which went through the Bryant and Little Rock area.|
|Here's a little wider shot showing more F3's north of Little Rock up towards Faulkner county on December 2nd.|
|More tornadoes were spawned on December 3rd. Look at the one just east of Camden. That's an F3|
|Here's a close up of the F3 which barely missed Camden, but caused significant damage just east and northeast of town on December 3rd, 1982.|
|Here's the upper level chart. You can see the deep trough to our west and the very significant amplitude to the jet stream.|