I got a lot of that on social media Sunday. Tornadoes and severe thunderstorms in December? Why is this happening? Well, this is actually very typical. We are currently in the heart of our secondary severe weather season and having this happen isn't unusual at all. Remember my post about the 30 year anniversary of the December 1982 tornado outbreak? There was another major outbreak later that month on Christmas Eve.
In previous blog posts, I mentioned the transition from the mild to cold weather could become a bumpy ride. Just as the warm and cold air compete in the spring, the same can happen this time of year. Will there be more? I say there's a better chance than not we'll have more severe weather before springtime officially arrives. I hope I'm wrong.
Meteorologist John Robinson with the National Weather Service office in North Little Rock surveyed damage in Fulton county near Viola. He determined it was NOT a tornado, but a strong thunderstorm downburst that caused a roof to blow off a duplex. 1 person was injured as winds reached 70-80 mph. This just shows you how severe thunderstorm warnings need to be taken seriously too. I have not heard from the National Weather Service office in Memphis on any surveys in their northeastern Arkansas counties. I'll keep you updated.
Here's information and pictures from the NWS survey in Fulton county. Thanks to John Robinson for the pictures.
|This is just an example from 2005 of severe weather stats from the Storm Prediction Center. Notice severe weather happens every month of the year. There's a peak in spring and notice some in fall and winter.|
|Roof blown off the building|
|The roof was blown into a nearby field. Looks like a dusting of snow on the ground, but that's probably insulation.|
|Amazing how severe thunderstorm damage can be just as bad as a weak tornado|
|Portions of the destroyed roof.|
...NWS DAMAGE SURVEY FOR 12/9/12 THUNDERSTORM WIND EVENT .REFERENCE THUNDERSTORM WIND 1... PEAK WIND /ESTIMATED:70-80 MPH PATH LENGTH /STATUTE/:1.1 MILES PATH WIDTH /MAXIMUM/:60 YARDS FATALITIES: 0 INJURIES:1 START DATE:DECEMBER 9...2012 START TIME:12:55 PM CST START LOCATION:5.1 W VIOLA /FULTON COUNTY/ AR START LAT/LON:36.3930 / -92.0739 END DATE:DECEMBER 9...2012 END TIME:12:58 PM CST END LOCATION:4 W VIOLA /FULTON COUNTY/ AR END LAT/LON:36.3978 / -92.0542 SURVEY SUMMARY: NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE METEOROLOGISTS SURVEYED THUNDERSTORM WIND DAMAGE...OTHERWISE KNOWN AS A DOWNBURST...THAT OCCURRED WEST OF VIOLA ARKANSAS. THE DAMAGE WAS CONCENTRATED TO AN AREA ABOUT 60 YARDS WIDE. MAXIMUM DOWNBURST WINDS...BASED ON VARIOUS BUILDING AND BARN DAMAGE...WAS ESTIMATED BETWEEN 70 AND 80 MPH. THERE WAS MAJOR DAMAGE TO 3 MOBILE HOMES...ONE DUPLEX... 3 BARNS...AND 4 OUTBUILDINGS. THE WORST DAMAGE OCCURRED TO A DUPLEX WHICH HAD THE ROOF TORN OFF. THE DUPLEX WAS LOCATED ON TOP OF A HILL AND IT APPEARED THAT THE WIND GOT UNDERNEATH THE ROOF OVERHANG AND LIFTED IT OFF. THREE FAMILIES WERE DISPLACED BUT ARE STAYING ELSEWHERE WITH FAMILY MEMBERS. THERE WAS ONE MINOR INJURY. NOTE: THE INFORMATION IN THIS STATEMENT IS PRELIMINARY AND SUBJECT TO CHANGE PENDING FINAL REVIEW OF THE EVENT AND PUBLICATION IN NWS STORM DATA.