Wild weather rings out the old year: tornado kills three in Arkansas

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 4:31 PM GMT on December 31, 2010

The wild weather year of 2010 is closing out in dramatic fashion in the U.S., where a powerful storm system moving through the center of the country has spawned a tornado that killed three people in Northwest Arkansas early this morning. According to media reports, the tornado swept through Washington County in Northwest Arkansas between 6am - 6:10am CST this morning, killing three, injuring many more, and causing significant damage throughout the western portion of the county. Emergency responders are having difficulty reaching the damaged areas due to downed power lines, and power is out over most of the county. The supercell thunderstorm responsible for the tornado has maintained its identify for more than four hours along a path more than 200 miles long this morning, a unusually long time for a thunderstorm to maintain its identity. As of 11am EST, the tornado warnings for the thunderstorm has been issued for eastern Missouri, and the storm is headed towards St. Louis. Visit our interactive tornado page and severe weather page to monitor this ongoing severe weather situation. Today's three tornado deaths brought this year's tornado death toll to 39. This is higher than last year's record-low total of 21 tornado deaths, but much lower the 3-year average of 76 tornado deaths per year.



Figure 1. Radar reflectivity (top) and Doppler velocity image (bottom) of the supercell thunderstorm that hit northwestern Arkansas this moring, killing three people in the town of Cincinnati.

Meanwhile, the storm responsible for the deadly tornado is also bringing a dangerous winter storm to the West and Midwest. Blizzard warnings are in effect for southeastern Wyoming, western Nebraska, the Dakotas, and western Minnesota. According to the latest NOAA Storm Summary, the storm has dumped over 30 inches of snow in Colorado at Coal Bank Pass and Skyway, and at Sage Creek Basin in Wyoming. Some other selected snowfall amounts as of 10am EST:

Idaho City, ID: 36.0"
Soda Springs, CA: 36.0"
Deer Valley Daly West, UT: 33.0"
Williams, AZ: 29.5"
Sheep Canyon, WA: 29.0"
Missoula, MT: 24.0"
Flagstaff, AZ: 22.0"
Boise, ID: 20.0"
Green Mountain, NV: 20.0"
Durango, CO: 20.1"
Jackson, WY: 17.3"
Los Alamos, NM: 17.0"
Creighton, SD: 12.0"
Fergus Fall, MN: 11.0"
Williston, ND: 7.1"

The storm also brought very heavy rains in excess of two inches to portions of Arizona, Missouri, and Arkansas, with amounts in excess of four inches reported in California and Oregon. The storm will intensify and move northeastwards into Canada north of Minnesota tonight, bringing an additional 6 - 12 inches of snow to the warned areas.

Have a Happy New Year's everyone, and I'm hoping 2011 brings us a little less in the way of wild weather!

Jeff Masters

Crashing down (Fotoguy77)
The owner of this car stands on the trunk of the 100 year old California Oak tree to take pictures of his damaged vehicle. The tree and others came down early this morning as fierce winds up to 75 MPH tore through the SoCal area, This pic was taken in the San Fernando Valley. The trees were no match for the heavy rains of last week the these winds.
Crashing down
Snow and Blue Sky (kippic)
So nice to see some sunshine. Taken on a FSR off the Mountain Loop Highway, Granite Falls, WA
Snow and Blue Sky
12-31-2010 Tornado (Susie77)
Tornado (Preliminary est. F3) damage, Sunset Hills Missouri.
12-31-2010 Tornado

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

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NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE ALBANY NY
319 PM EST SAT JAN 1 2011


COLD CYCLONIC FLOW WILL DOMINATE THE PATTERN FOR THE UPCOMING WEEK.
TEMPERATURES WILL AVERAGE NEAR NORMAL...WITH MOST LOCATIONS NOT
GETTING ABOVE FREEZING AFTER SUNDAY. EAST...WEST ORIENTED LAKE
EFFECT SNOW BANDS WILL OSCILLATE NORTH TO SOUTH DUE TO THE COLD FLOW
ACROSS LAKE ONTARIO. A SERIES OF WEAK DISTURBANCES WILL MOVE ACROSS
THE AREA...BRING PERIODS OF LIGHT SNOW TO MOST OF THE FORECAST AREA.
TIMING OF THESE SHORTWAVES WILL LIKELY CHANGE BUT AT THIS TIME
TUESDAY AND THURSDAY LOOK TO BE THE DAYS FOR SOME LIGHT SNOW.
TOWARDS THE WEEKEND...THE POLAR VORTEX DROPS SOUTHEAST TO THE
MIDATLANTIC REGION....BRINGING THE THREAT OF ANOTHER STRONG
NOREASTER TO THE REGION.
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Great sun discussion this afternoon. I've learned a lot of new information. Here's to hoping that the blog will stay this way for all of 2011!
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Quoting MichaelSTL:


Actually, given the size of a typical CME (covering millions of miles by the time it reaches Earth, even more after since they expand), the entire Earth is more or less equally affected regardless of where it originates, even the dark side (auroras are of course only visible at night and are one side effect).
true but would not the angle affect the strengh of incoming flare
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I'll take a CME over a Gamma Ray Burst any day.
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Quoting MichaelSTL:


They can do both (more accurately, it is sunspots, not solar storms, which occur when a sunspot erupts); sunspots can last for less than a day to more than a month and move with the rotation of the Sun (about 27 days, not constant though with latitude, since the Sun isn't solid).
Cool. Thanks for the clarification. Now my curiosity is piqued.
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Quoting muddertracker:

Only time will tell, Keeper. Let's hope for the best. Great shot of the sun. Do solar storms travel around the star or do they just "flare up" and die down?
not sure but this is a big little one lets see what it does its on northern side too which is a poss threat to northern hemisphere of earth
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
a prelude of whats yet to come

Only time will tell, Keeper. Let's hope for the best. Great shot of the sun. Do solar storms travel around the star or do they just "flare up" and die down?
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Quoting muddertracker:
Unusual tornadoes in Arkansas last night. Dec./Jan. twisters in AK? Wow. God bless those in need :) Happy New Year Everyone!
a prelude of whats yet to come
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somethings comin around
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346. IKE
EXTENDED FORECAST DISCUSSION
NWS HYDROMETEOROLOGICAL PREDICTION CENTER CAMP SPRINGS MD
216 PM EST SAT JAN 01 2011

VALID 12Z TUE JAN 04 2011 - 12Z SAT JAN 08 2011


...FINAL MEDIUM RANGE DISCUSSION...

FINAL PROGS MADE NO CHANGES EXCEPT TO SHOW LOWER PRES OVER THE MID
ATLANTIC STATES FRI-SAT VICINITY OF THE LARGE 500MB HEIGHT FALLS.
THE GEFS MEAN HAD EXCELLENT CONTINUITY WITH MOST MAJOR FEATURES ON
THE MAP.

THE MOST NOTABLE FEATURE AFFECTING NORTH AMERICA THIS FIRST WEEK
OF 2011 WILL BE ANOTHER STRONG HIGH LATITUDE BLOCKING EPISODE AS A
HUGE POSITIVE HEIGHT ANOMALY WORKS ITS WAY WSW FROM SRN GREENLAND
TO N CENTRAL CANADA...WITH ONLY GRADUAL WEAKENING DURING THE
PERIOD. SW OF THE BLOCK...LOW HEIGHTS AND COLD AIR WILL BE WILL BE
DOMINANT ACROSS MUCH OF S CENTRAL AND FAR SERN CANADA INTO THE
NERN QUADRANT OF THE LOWER 48. THE LOCATION OF THE COLD AIR IS A
GOOD FIT TO TELECONNECTIONS ON THE STRONG POSITIVE ANOMALY WORKING
WSW FROM SRN GREENLAND. SIMILAR TO MUCH OF DECEMBER...THE REGION E
OF THE ROCKY MTNS WILL BE BACK TO BELOW NORMAL TEMPS. THE 00Z/01
AND 12Z/01 GEFS MEANS WERE A BIT COLDER THAN THE 00Z DETERMINISTIC
ECMWF THIS PERIOD FOR MUCH OF THE CENTRAL AND ERN CONUS. THOUGH
SOMEWHAT UNCHARACTERISTIC...THIS SEEMS REASONABLE GIVEN THE
MAGNITUDE OF THE BLOCKING MOVING ACROSS FAR NERN AND NRN CANADA.

NEW ENSEMBLE SPAGHETTI PLOTS SHOW THE SOLUTION FROM OFF THE CA
COAST ACROSS THE SWRN STATES REMAINING HIGHLY UNCERTAIN DAYS
3-5/TUE-THU. THERE IS STILL QUITE A BIT OF SPREAD IN SOLUTIONS IN
THE NEW 12Z/01 DETERMINISTIC MODELS WITH THIS FEATURE. ONE CLUSTER
HAS AN UPPER LOW DRIFTING SLOWLY EWD ALONG 30N TOWARDS 120W BY
THU/FRI DAYS 5-6.

OUR FINAL PROGS HAVE MADE CORRECTIONS TO THE 500MB PATTERN ALONG
THE W COAST THAT HAVE SHIFTED AWAY FROM THE EARLY BLEND OF 80%
GEFS ENSEMBLE MEAN TO BEING 40% EACH OF THE ECENS MEAN AND GEFS
MEAN BY DAYS 5-7. FINAL 500MB PROGS HAVE BEEN FURTHER ADJUSTED
TOWARDS THE NEW 12Z/01 ECMWF. RECEIPT OF LATEST ENSEMBLE SPAGHETTI
PLOTS HIGHLIGHTED A POTENTIAL PROBLEM SHOWING UP OVER THE NE
PACIFIC AND WRN NOAM DAYS 5-7. THE 00Z/01 ECMWF WAS DEVELOPING A
NEW TROF NEAR 130W THU-SAT W OF THE VANCOUVER/BRITISH COLUMBIA
AREA. WE SUSPECTED THAT THE 00Z ECMWF MIGHT BE CORRECT IN LOWERING
HEIGHTS DAYS 5-7 IN A BROAD AREA OFF THE W COAST OF NOAM...BUT WE
WERE NOT SURE ABOUT HOW RAPIDLY THE FALLS WOULD ERODE THE RIDGE
ALREADY IN PLACE OVER SWRN CANADA AND THE PACIFIC NW. THE NEW 12Z
ECMWF IS IN FACT MUCH SLOWER TO BRING HEIGHT FALLS INTO THE
PACIFIC NW DAYS 6 AND 7....AND WE FAVOR ITS LATEST TREND.

12Z DETERMINISTIC MODELS: THERE IS GENERAL AGREEMENT ON THE LARGE
SCALE PICTURE: A FAST MOVING SHORTWAVE OF MODERATE AMPLITUDE
RACING ACROSS THE NE QUADRANT OF THE NATION TUE...A VORTEX
PLUNGING SE FROM WRN HUDSON BAY TUE ACROSS THE UPPER MIDWEST TO
THE NRN MIDDLE ATLANTIC REGION BY FRI; A LEFTOVER UPPER LOW
MEANDERING SOMEWHERE TO THE W OF SRN CA; AND A SLOWLY PROGRESSIVE
RIDGE MOVING INTO WRN CANADA THU DAY 5 THAT EVENTUALLY GETS
FLATTENED BY HEIGHT FALLS TO THE W THEREAFTER. AS USUAL...THE
DEVIL IS IN THE SMALLER SCALE DETAILS. THIS IS PARTICULARLY TRUE
CONCERNING POSSIBLE EXPLOSIVE CYCLOGENESIS FRI DAY 6 VICINITY OF
LONG ISLAND IN RESPONSE TO LARGE 500MB HEIGHT FALLS MOVING INTO
THE MID ATLANTIC STATES AT THAT TIME.
SPREAD OF UPPER LOW
SOLUTIONS FOR FRI RANGE FROM NY STATE IN THE 12Z/01 GEFS ENSEMBLE
MEAN/12Z ECMWF TO WV/KY IN THE NEW CANADIAN. SRN NEW ENG HAS THE
HIGHEST THREAT FOR ANOTHER REALLY BIG SNOW FROM THIS SYS. WHATEVER
THIS DEVELOPING STORM DOES...WE ARE HIGHLY CONFIDENT OF ANOTHER
EPISODE OF STRONG GUSTY WINDS AND BITTER WIND CHILLS IN ITS WAKE
THE END OF NEXT WEEK.
THE NEW 12Z ECMWF WAS ON THE N SIDE OF THE
GUIDANCE BY DAY 6 HAVING ITS UPPER LOW OVER NY STATE.

FLOOD
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Unusual tornadoes in Arkansas last night. Dec./Jan. twisters in AK? Wow. God bless those in need :) Happy New Year Everyone!
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Christmas Blizzard


The Christmas Blizzard of Dec. 25-27, 2010: Recipe: pour arctic air down the Mississippi, across the Gulf, and then up the East Coast -- keep the atmosphere stirred, not shaken. This animation was created using images from the GOES series of satellites. GOES are operated by NOAA and this animation was created by the NASA GOES Project at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
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So much for a drier Winter in the South! Rain Rain GO AWAY!!
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Very nice and mild tropical weather here in Barbados, all you guys in the cold should come and spend some time in the warm weather, I'm sure that you will enjoy it here!!!
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I'm Dreaming of a Blue Sunset (on Mars)

Sunset Watched by Opportunity, November 2010. The sun descends to the Martian horizon and sets in this movie simulation using images from the panoramic camera (Pancam) on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity.
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338. IKE
Quoting Jeff9641:


Any storms your way yet IKE? They seem to be getting close if not on top of you. Also are you seeing a lot of lightning?


Thundershowers here. Nothing severe, yet. Had about a half inch of rain.
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333. IKE
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
time to break out the fire barrel ike


I haven't had a chance to do any of it yet.

Yeah...you're correct!
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332. IKE
168 hour 12Z GFS...this one looks about as bad as the last one! Heads up in the SE USA.....

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time to break out the fire barrel ike
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330. IKE
Looks like another blast of cold air into the SE USA on the 12Z GFS at 162 hours...next weekend....all of the leaves have been blown off of the trees in my yard. They're now covering my front yard....

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Magnitude 7.0 - SANTIAGO DEL ESTERO, ARGENTINA
2011 January 01 09:56:59 UTC


THIS MUST OF BEEN FIRST SHAKER OF 2011 I GUESS
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Here,s my highs and lows for zephyrhills fl wcfl. high...81.1 dec.31
low....17.6 dec.29
avg. high 64.5
avg. low..32.8
mean temp. 48.8
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
327. IKE
Public Information Statement
Statement as of 9:00 am EST on January 1, 2011


... December 2010 coldest December on record and third coldest month
of all time at the Tallahassee Regional Airport...

December 2010 at the Tallahassee Regional Airport was the coldest
December on record with an average monthly temperature of 44.6
degrees... based on preliminary climatological data. With this new
data... the top five coldest decembers appear below.

December 2010 44.6 degrees
December 1963 45.2 degrees
December 1989 45.5 degrees
December 1935 47.0 degrees
December 1909 47.7 degrees

Furthermore... December 2010 ranks as the third coldest month on
record at the Tallahassee Regional Airport. Only January 1981 (44.3
degrees) and January 1977 (43.9 degrees) were colder in the
observational period of record (april 1885 to present).

For additional inquiries on temperature data in Tallahassee... please
contact the National Weather Service forecast office in Tallahassee
at 850 942 8833 850 942 8833 .

Note that the December 2010 monthly data is considered preliminary
until certified by the National climatic data center.



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326. IKE
AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NEW ORLEANS LA
1015 AM CST SAT JAN 1 2011

.UPDATE...
COLD FRONT CONTINUES TO PROGRESS EASTWARD. LATEST LIX VWP SHOWS
LLVL WINDS ARE QUICKLY VEERING. THIS HAS ALLEVIATED THE THREAT FOR
TORNADOES IN AREAS ALONG THIS BOUNDARY. HARRISON AND JACKSON
COUNTIES ARE STILL FAR ENOUGH EAST TO HAVE A LOW POTENTIAL FOR
TORNADO EVENT. THEREFORE...THESE COUNTIES WERE PUT INTO TOR WATCH
#3. PLEASE NOTE THAT WE INTEND TO EXPIRE THE WATCH FOR THIS AREA
AS SOON AS THE THREAT DIMINISHES.

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Quoting IKE:
The last 3 hours....

So far so good...
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324. IKE
Quoting severstorm:

Thats great news and when your done with the rain can you send some to z-hills fl. wcfl


I'll see what I can do for you!:)
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Quoting IKE:


We need some rain. So far...no reports of severe weather here.

Thats great news and when your done with the rain can you send some to z-hills fl. wcfl
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
322. IKE
Quoting severstorm:
Good Morning and Happy New Year, Ike Keep your eyes to the sky and stay safe.


We need some rain. So far...no reports of severe weather here.

..........................................

Cold front has now moved through New Orleans,LA.
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Good Morning and Happy New Year, Ike Keep your eyes to the sky and stay safe.
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320. IKE
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Bad as yesterday's tornado outbreak was, it thankfully wasn't quite as deadly as the 1947 New Year's Eve outbreak, in which at least seven twisters killed 20 and injured 256 across the South.
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Complete Update





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The even more wonderful world of pre-season has begun. Good morning all.
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316. IKE
The last 3 hours....

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Good Morning and Happy New Year. Lets remember our busy first responders today as the weather appears to keep them busy today. I hope we do not have a repeat of yesterday. Also take a minute to remember those injured and killed in yesterday's tornado outbreak.
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314. flsky
Quoting Walshy:
01/01/2011 1205 am
6 miles NNE of Sallis, Attala County.
Tornado, reported by Emergency Mngr.
*** 2 inj *** 7-10 homes heavily damaged or destroyed near the Hwy 19 area N of Sallis.



Just five minutes after bringing in the new year.


So where is this??
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hey happy new everyone, i think you should do a bit of comparisons for this up coming hurricane season 1)the 2003 hurricane season compared to the 2010. compare the tracks and patterns of the strikes .2)with that info. not aiming at any wishcasting but with research analyse the patern and remember the year that folowed the 2003 could this be history repeating itself? link1http://i.imwx.com/web/news/2010/july/trop-2003-tracks-070810-553x405.jpg
link2 http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://alt.coxnewsweb.com/shared-blogs/palmbeach/weather1/upload /2010/11/experts_begin_dissecting_unusu/800px-2010_Atlantic_hurricane_season_summary_map.jpg&imgrefu rl=http://www.palmbeachdailynews.com/blogs/content/shared-blogs/palmbeach/weather1/entries/2010/11/1 7/experts_begin_dissecting_unusu.html&usg=__afJK3MgTaBy0uUVehbx-Msa01-Y=&h=395&w=640&sz=34&hl=en&sta rt=195&zoom=1&tbnid=Qq2ZmdvckkGTqM:&tbnh=122&tbnw=197&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dhurricane%2Bseason%2B2011%2 6um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN%26biw%3D1600%26bih%3D809%26tbs%3Disch:10,4950&um=1&itbs=1&iact=hc&vpx=750 &vpy=207&dur=2282&hovh=176&hovw=286&tx=116&ty=109&ei=jyofTYn5DcGBlAe5xcj4Cw&oei=wScfTeDdG4P88AaVl4jF DQ&esq=4&page=8&ndsp=28&ved=1t:429,r:10,s:195&biw=1600&bih=809
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01/01/2011 1205 am
6 miles NNE of Sallis, Attala County.
Tornado, reported by Emergency Mngr.
*** 2 inj *** 7-10 homes heavily damaged or destroyed near the Hwy 19 area N of Sallis.



Just five minutes after bringing in the new year.

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01/01/2011 0229 am
6 miles ESE of Macon, Noxubee County.
Tornado, reported by Emergency Mngr.

*** 1 inj *** a Dairy farm was significantly damaged with most of the buildings destroyed. 1 Mobile home was destroyed. Damage occurred on Paulette Rd near Hwy 14.


Sunshine coming up soon over the hard hit areas.
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Cat 6 lead authors: WU cofounder Dr. Jeff Masters (right), who flew w/NOAA Hurricane Hunters 1986-1990, & WU meteorologist Bob Henson, @bhensonweather

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