LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The Natural State has been reeling after severe storms produced multiple tornadoes devastating parts of Little Rock and Arkansas.
So far, five tornadoes were confirmed from Friday, March 31st. An additional tornado from Wednesday, April 5 was confirmed by NWS Tulsa – bringing the total tornado count for the year so far to 18 across Arkansas. The average count for the entire year is 37 tornadoes, based on the 30-year average from 1991 – 2020.
The Pulaski/Lonoke County tornado was on the ground for 34.4 miles for 40 minutes. It started at 2:18 pm Friday in west Little Rock and ended southeast of Cabot at 2:58 pm. The estimated peak wind was 165mph, which is the strongest an EF3 tornado can be. An EF4 is 166-200mph. The path length was 600 yards.
The second tornado from Friday’s storms was near Des Arc in Prairie County at 3:45pm and ended at 3:46pm. It was rated an EF1 with an estimated peak wind of 90mph and was on the ground for 1.1 miles. The tornado caused damage to a barn and roof. The video below was captured by Storm Chaser Derek Smith.
The third tornado was near Wynne and rated an EF3 at 150mph from NWS Memphis. It was on the ground for 73 miles starting around 2:30pm in western Cross County near Country Road 537, before moving into Wynne. The tornado intensified over through the city center of Wynne and weakened as it tracked over the Mississippi River into Tennessee.
It ended 73 miles later at 5:54 pm near Burilson in Tipton County, Tennessee. It was on the ground for nearly 1½ hours. As the tornado was dissipating, the EF3 Covington, Tennessee tornado was on the ground around 3½ miles farther south.
The fourth tornado was rated an EF2 in Alco (west of Mountain View) in Stone County. It started at 4:49 pm Friday and ended at 4:53 pm. Path length was nearly 3 miles with an estimated peak wind of 111mph.
The fifth tornado was near Lexa in Phillips County. It started at 7:03pm and ended at 7:06pm with a path length of 2.76 miles and width of 100 yards.
No damage was reported with this tornado, but it was observed on the ground. NWS Memphis rated it an EFU (unknown) for this reason. It was spotted by an emergency manager, as well as several public spotters including Storm Chaser Derek Smith.
More severe storms moved over Arkansas Wednesday, April 5th. Several tornado warnings were issued early Wednesday morning through the early afternoon.
NWS Tulsa confirmed an EF0 tornado with estimated peak wind of 80mph April 5th. Start time was 5:50am near Weathers and end time was 5:53am. The tornado was on the ground for 2.8 miles with a path width of 300 yards. Tree damage was noted.
Damage was reported in Ash Flat, Center Ridge and Violet Hill, with power outages in Melbourne around 2:00 am Wednesday morning. NWS Little Rock surveyed near Sidney in Sharp County and found damage from straight line winds of 80mph.
Start time was 3:24am Wednesday, April 5th and end time was 3:25am near Sidney (between Mount Pleasant and Cave City) in northeast Arkansas.
A farm outbuilding lost half of its metal roofing material one mile south of Sidney along Saint Paul Road. Another farm outbuilding collapsed two miles south of Sidney along Mt Carmel Road.
If you have been affected by these storms and need help, or want to help, visit HelpArkansas.com.