Mayflower/Vilonia Twister. 4 Years Later


April twenty seventh, 2014 will at all times be identified for the Mayflower/Vilonia twister. Nonetheless, we should always always remember the lives it affected in western Pulaski county. It touched down close to Ferndale and quickly intensified because it traveled northeast.

We misplaced 16 of our fellow Arkansans to one of many strongest tornadoes ever to hit the state. We bear in mind this present day for the plain causes, however from a meteorological perspective I need to deal with the truth that it “ONLY TAKES ONE.” It solely takes one storm and it solely takes one twister to wipe out communities, destroy lives, and destroy property.

It was an especially quiet extreme climate season with only one twister in 2014 previous to April twenty seventh. As a matter of truth, we had extra tornadoes the primary 2 weeks in October of 2014 than we did the complete spring of 2014.

The components have been there for a large outbreak of extreme climate and tornadoes that day.
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Many twister warnings have been issued throughout a lot of Arkansas and the best degree of extreme climate threat was put in place by the meteorologists on the Storm Prediction Heart in Norman, OK.

However by the top of the day, there was only one storm which produced tornadoes in Arkansas. The identical supercell thunderstorm put down its first twister close to the Saline/Pulaski county line and tracked on the bottom for nearly 40 miles. It then lifted off the bottom and would contact down once more 4 extra occasions.

Within the calm and quiet studio at Channel 7, we have been taking a look at a horrific signiture on radar, an enormous particles ball. Whereas it was peaceable within the climate middle, Ned, Barry, and I knew it was hell on the bottom and lives have been being misplaced. There was nothing anybody may do and all we may do was urge everybody to take cowl. With every radar scan, there was hope it could go away, however it solely received stronger.

We shortly started to appreciate it was taking place once more. The twister was on the identical observe because the one which hit Vilonia nearly precisely 3 years prior.

That evening, I used to be extraordinarily pleased with everybody at Channel 7. Each these behind and in entrance of the digital camera put collectively unimaginable protection. I am much more pleased with the way in which Arkansans responded to the catastrophe. Inside 3 hours of the primary twister warning, we launched the “Spirit of Arkansas Twister Reduction Drive” to assist the Arkansas Purple Cross reply. Due to you, we have been capable of give victims nearly 250 thousand {dollars} in aid help.

A couple of years in the past, I used to be requested give a presentation on the Nationwide Extreme Storms and Doppler Radar Convention in Des Moines, Iowa. Under is a recorded model of that presentation PLUS a few of our protection that evening on Channel 7.
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Additionally beneath are radar pictures from that storm. The Nationwide Climate Service in North Little Rock plotted all of the survey info alongside the observe and you’ll examine that out on the map too.

Radar picture at 7:06PM

7:10PM Particles ball seems on radar.

7:15PM radar picture

7:20PM radar picture

7:24PM radar picture

7:29PM radar picture

7:34PM radar picture

7:38PM radar picture

7:43PM radar picture

7:48PM radar picture

7:52PM radar picture

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