April 7, 2006 Severe Weather Outbreak

Typical of this time of year, a spring storm system barreled across the country producing a severe weather outbreak complete with tornadoes, damaging hail, and damaging wind.  Damage extended from northern Louisiana into the mid-west with northern Alabama and Tennessee encompassing the bullseye.  Across north Louisiana and southern Arkansas, wind damage and hail reports were common.

Storm chaser Brad Farrington captured dramatic video of a severe thunderstorm as it pounded the an area of Union Parish near the Spencer community.  Near the Linville/Haile area a tree fell on a mobile home along with other reports of tree damage.  Some wind damage was also reported at the old Linville School.  According to a damage survey by the NWS in Shreveport, the event was classified as an F0 tornado (40-72mph).  No velocity signatures were observed on the radar screen at lower levels; however, in the upper levels of the storm, some rotation was evident.  Below are the radar screen images from the storm.

Composite Radar 0.5 Degree Tilt

Radial Velocity (SRM) at 0.5 Degree Tilt

Location #1 (see map below)

Location #2 (see map below)

Location #3 (see map below)

Location #3

Location #3 - Linville School

Location #3 - Linville School

Location 001 - single small pine; lay to the NE; no other trees damaged in the area; evidence of hail.

Location 002 - single medium pine; lay to the NE; butt of broken top lay 9' SW of the trunk; hail evidence.

Location 003 - Linville - all trees lay to the NE; shingle damage on the SW side of building; hail evidence.

Location 004 - Broken tree limbs all lay toward the E to NE.

Location 005 - evidence of hail.

The path line covered 4.7 miles from SW to NE.  Location 005 is the beginning of the damage path.

Thanks to storm spotter/chaser Brad Farrington for the photos and storm survey.

Storm chasers Donnie Lynn and myself (Don Wheeler) traveled to the river parishes of northeast Louisiana and southeast Arkansas capturing two rotating wall clouds and tornado warned storms.  The first storm was spotted to the northwest of Eudora, Arkansas where a developing wall cloud began to wrap and move to the northeast.  However a second and stronger storm was developing to the southwest of our location.  We therefore decided to head south and relocate two miles south of Eudora where we observed the second rotating wall cloud as it moved over the town.  Donnie called the NWS in Jackson where he confirmed the wall cloud and the rotation to the radar operator. 

The storms were moving quickly at some 50 mph so observing them was brief.  We were able to zip east paralleling the storm but the Mississippi River provided the barrier to end our chase on that storm.

Heading south to home, other severe thunderstorms continued to develop along our path, although they were primarily hail producers.  My co-pilot insisted he would not steer me into hail.  Famous last words!  Our vehicle was pelted with pea sized hail.  Fortunately the tight turn radius of my jeep enabled a quick turn-around in the road where we were able to take shelter beneath a small tractor shed.

Below are photos and radar images of the storms.

This is the first wall cloud that developed about 2 miles northwest of Eudora.  Notice the inflow tail trailing off into the left side of the photograph.  The photographer is looking to northwest.  Slight rotation was observed in the wall cloud around the central lowering.
This is the wall cloud of the second storm as it moved over Eudora, Arkansas.  Rotation was clearly visible in this storm.  Notice the hail shaft behind the wall cloud.  The view in the photo is to the north.
We chased storm #2 as far east as possible until we reached the Mississippi River.  Unfortunately, no bridges were nearby.  The view here is to the northeast.

Composite Radar 0.5 Degree Tilt

Radial Velocity (SRM) 0.5 Degree Tilt

Radar and Satellite Imagery
Images provided by Storm Spotter/Chaser Mike Ridgeway