Friday, April 15, 2011

Deadly Night in "Fatality Alley"

"Fatality Alley"
I remember mentioning this Thursday on one of my video updates.  Meteorologist Walker Ashley researched tornado deaths and found an unusually high number in Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee.  He called this area of the country "Fatality Alley".  He found several reasons why including the frequency of nighttime tornadoes and a high number of mobile homes within this region.

Unfortunately, the storms last night reinforced his findings as 7 people died last night across the Natural State according to various sources.  The warnings were there, but getting them to people has always been an issue.  This is why we ask everyone to sign up for weather call 7 or buy a NOAA weather radio!  Our prayers go out to all those affected by the storms last night.  It's a tragedy beyond comprehension and it makes those of us covering the severe weather to wonder what we could have done differently to save lives.

I spoke with meteorologist John Robinson this Friday morning.  He's with the National Weather Service office in North Little Rock.  John will be conducting storm surveys all over the state for the next several days.  He says it will be difficult in determining what's thunderstorm wind damage and what's tornado damage.  Here's a quote from his email to me this morning.


"These surveys will be more difficult than usual.  We have a lot of
thunderstorm wind damage that many people will think was tornado
damage.  Some of the storms that radar indicated could have produced
tornadoes were in the same areas where we know we had thunderstorm wind
damage , so we'll have to try to sort out what looks like tornado damage
and what looks like thunderstorm damage."

7 comments:

BloodSpite said...

For certain the SPC did not help matters last night by delaying those warnings to the last possible minute. I have to think maybe at least one of those fatalities could have been prevented with a more timely warning. MO had their warnings almost a full hour before Arkansas.

Anonymous said...

It was pretty bad. We got a lot of lightning, thunder, wind, rain and hail in Camden, AR.. Thankfully, it all passed rather quickly.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the timely updates I have a son that lives in little rock and it helps me knowing this is a very informative posting site

tboyce1979 said...

My weathercall 7 woke me up at 2:00! Thank you guys so much and I pray for the victims families.

tboyce1979 said...

My weathercall 7 woke me up at 2:00! Thank you guys so much and I pray for the victims families.

Anonymous said...

Todd, I wonder if you could elaborate a little more about what was going on when the bow echos entered the Pulaski/Saline/Lonoke county area, and started rotating on the advancing edges. Ned mentioned it briefly on-air, but I wonder if you could take more time to explain for those of us weather geeks. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

wasn't there an "event" approx. 1230a friday april 15 south of w. markham from meadowbrook dr to the west to john barrow to the east? no warnings at that time, but many of the neighbors on wedgewood rd were out due to extreme winds causing trees to come down on houses and cars. nobody on that street was injured but the young mother and son who died were just east of there. at 2a when the tonado sirens sounded there was just a light rain in the area.

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