Garrett’s Blog: Preliminary Information on Sebastian County Tornado

Posted on: 9:08 pm, December 20, 2012, by , updated on: 10:37am, December 21, 2012

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The following document was issued by the National Weather Service office in Tulsa, OK on the tornado that affected the community of Riverdale, AR on December 19, 2012.

…NWS DAMAGE SURVEY FOR 12/19/12 SEBASTIAN COUNTY TORNADO EVENT…

.OVERVIEW…
A LINE OF SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS DEVELOPED OVER EASTERN OKLAHOMA DURING THE EARLY EVENING OF THE 19TH. THE STORMS MOVED RAPIDLY EASTWARD PRODUCING LARGE HAIL AND DAMAGING WIND ACROSS MAINLY SOUTHEAST OKLAHOMA AND WEST CENTRAL ARKANSAS. A TORNADO DEVELOPED ALONG THE LEADING EDGE OF A PART OF THE LINE…DAMAGING TREES…HOMES…AND OUTBUILDINGS.

.LAVACA ARKANSAS TORNADO…

RATING:                                EF-1
ESTIMATED PEAK WIND:      95 TO 105 MPH
PATH LENGTH /STATUTE/:   3 MILES
PATH WIDTH /MAXIMUM/:    650 YARDS
FATALITIES:                          0
INJURIES:                              0

START DATE:           DECEMBER 19 2012
START TIME:            946 PM CST
START LOCATION:    5.3 NE LAVACA / SEBASTIAN COUNTY / AR
START LAT/LON:       35.399 / -94.119

END DATE:              DECEMBER 19 2012
END TIME:               949 PM CST
END LOCATION:       8 NE LAVACA / SEBASTIAN COUNTY / AR
END LAT/LON:         35.421 / -94.077

SURVEY SUMMARY:
EARLIER TODAY…A TEAM OF METEOROLOGISTS FROM THE NATIONAL
WEATHER SERVICE FORECAST OFFICE IN TULSA ALONG WITH SEBASTIAN COUNTY EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT OFFICIALS SURVEYED DAMAGE THAT OCCURRED IN NORTHEASTERN SEBASTIAN COUNTY DURING THE EVENING OF THE 19TH. THE DAMAGE THAT WAS SURVEYED NORTHEAST OF LAVACA WAS STRONGLY INDICATIVE OF A TORNADO.

THE TORNADO DEVELOPED NEAR HIGHWAY 96 NORTH OF UNION ROAD WHERE IT DAMAGED A PERMANENT HOME AND TREES. IT MOVED NORTHEAST UPROOTING OR SNAPPING NUMEROUS HARDWOOD AND SOFTWOOD TREES AND DAMAGING CHICKEN HOUSES AND  OUTBUILDINGS. THE TORNADO DAMAGED THE SIDES AND ROOF OF A FIRE STATION ON COUNTY ROAD 68…TORE THE ROOF OFF OF A DOUBLE WIDE MOBILE HOME NORTH OF COUNTY ROAD 68…THEN DESTROYED
A DOUBLE WIDE MOBILE HOME AND TORE THE ROOFS OFF OF THREE CHICKEN HOUSES. IT APPARENTLY DISSIPATED JUST BEFORE CROSSING INTO FRANKLIN COUNTY BUT THIS AREA WAS INACCESSIBLE BY ROAD…MAKING CONFIRMATION OF THE END POINT DIFFICULT.

EF SCALE: THE ENHANCED FUJITA SCALE CLASSIFIES TORNADOES INTO THE FOLLOWING CATEGORIES.

EF0…WEAK……65 TO 85 MPH
EF1…WEAK……86 TO 110 MPH
EF2…STRONG….111 TO 135 MPH
EF3…STRONG….136 TO 165 MPH
EF4…VIOLENT…166 TO 200 MPH
EF5…VIOLENT…>200 MPH

NOTE:
THE INFORMATION IN THIS STATEMENT IS PRELIMINARY AND SUBJECT TO CHANGE PENDING FINAL REVIEW OF THE EVENT AND PUBLICATION IN
NWS STORM DATA. PLEASE CONTACT THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE OFFICE IN TULSA IF YOU HAVE ADDITIONAL INFORMATION REGARDING THIS TORNADO THAT MAY HELP COMPLETE OUR ANALYSIS OF THE EVENT.