Sunday’s Storms.

stormSunday was our first time in the storm shelter this year.  A little after 5 PM, both of cell phones started ringing.  The only time that happens is when there is a tornado warning in our area.

Karen had most of the stuff she usually carries to the shelter already  in a tote bag.  I wasn’t quite as ready – not at all prepared, in fact –  but most of what I grab is normally close together.

Laptop, two external hard-drives – both drives have all of my digital photos – , laptop power cord, wallet, phone…

All set.  Wait…. wearing shorts, so grabbed a pair of jeans and a sweatshirt jacket.

shelterWe made it to the shelter before the sirens down in the valley started sounding.  We get our alerts from Channel 7 meteorologists in Little Rock almost as fast as the National Weather Service declares a tornado warning.  That actually gives us extra time.  We’re generally in the shelter before the sirens go.

Our shelter is actually inside.  It’s nice and clean.  While it has a light and an electrical outlet, we take a LED lantern with us, since we won’t have power if we are hit by a tornado.

No tornado resulted from that storm cell and the main part of it tracked west of us.  We were in the shelter for about 20 minutes.

Unfortunately, about 50 or so miles to our east, another storm cell turned extremely violent about 2 hours later.

A destructive tornado was produced, with the tornado tracking through Mayflower and Vilonia (both in Faulkner County) before apparently dissipating (according to radar) near El Paso (White County). The tornado has been given a preliminary rating of at least EF3 (136-165 mph winds). (National Weather Service) (Update 4/30/2014: The National Weather Service says the Mayflower/Villonia tornado was a high end EF4.  There’s only been 1 EF5 recorded in Arkansas, so this storm was one of the very strongest ever in the state.)

mayflower RV

The image above is some of what Interstate 40 travelers would see of Mayflower, Arkansas, before Sunday, April 27.  mayflower rv destroyedThe business was Mayflower RV. The same location is seen on the right, from a camera on a drone, very shortly after the tornado rolled through.

A week ago, I posted Tornado Season?, talking about the weak start for 2014, among other things.

In the last few  days there has been over 100 tornadoes and it looks like there will more before this system dies away.  Even so, the number of tornadoes is only 42% of the average annual trend for this point in the year.

I made a weather related forecast in the Tornado Season? post.  I wrote:

My forecast: If an extensive tornado outbreak occurs or if there are tornadoes that cause widespread significant damage, there will be attempts to connect them to climate change and/or global warming.

It didn’t take long.

A Google search on the words tornado and warming for the period of yesterday and today yields multiple stories connecting this single tornado track and the later outbreaks elsewhere to global warming.

Even the IPCC doesn’t go that far.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), there is “high agreement” among leading experts that long-term trends in weather disasters are not due to human-caused climate change.

Storm chaser Brian Emfinger used a drone to get the following video of damage at Mayflower soon after the tornado hit there.  Interstate 40 in that area has a two-way access road on the east side of the interstate.  (Warning – the volume ramps up suddenly part way through the video.)

america, arkansas, around home, climate change, global warming, in the news, life, safety, video, weather

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Cheerful Monk Apr 30, 2014

    Again, I’m so glad you are safe.
    Cheerful Monk recently posted…SpringMy Profile

    • Mike Apr 30, 2014

      Thanks. 🙂

      Of course, one benefit of the winter and spring storms is that we’ve replenished our firewood supply. 😉

  • Rummuser May 1, 2014

    I am glad that both of you are safe. Those drone photographs after and your pre tornado are striking in their effect.
    Rummuser recently posted…Popular Tailors.My Profile

    • Mike May 1, 2014

      Thanks. 😉

      What’s particularly striking for us is for it to happen in an area we’re familiar with.
      Mike recently posted…Garvan Woodland GardensMy Profile

  • Grannymar May 1, 2014

    I’m playing catch-up. Glad I missed the tornado and that you and Karen are safe. I think I’ll put up with the rain, yes, it has been raining all day again here.
    Grannymar recently posted…Thursday Special ~ Letter Of RecommendationMy Profile

    • Mike May 1, 2014

      Thanks. 😉 I’m glad we missed the tornado. Even with our preparations, a hit like would be terrifying. Coming up out the shelter to that kind of devastation would be challenging, to say the least.
      Mike recently posted…Garvan Woodland GardensMy Profile

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