February 26, 2009 Arkansas Severe Storms


Full Report Below....



I started the day over in Spiro hoping for something to pop during the afternoon since we had more sun that expected. The cap was just too strong even with the extra sun so around 330pm I went home to wait on the storms to pop later. As the storms began to pop up in NE OK/NW AR I made my way to Chester where I waited on the storms to come to me. I got a few lightning shots here is one:




Before the storms got to me I had to head back south as the northern part of the line had weakened a bit. The storms to the west of Fort Smith began to have some good supercellular characteristics so I decided to target south of Fort Smith. I was able to get around the storm at Witcherville and stopped there. The lightning really picked up at this time and radar showed the storm strengthening. Here are a few lightning shots from this time. In the two pictures on the right you can see a wall cloud at the bottom middle and the middle pic shows the nice meso above it taking up most of the picture. The first picture above shows the lightning and the white streaks around that is hail and rain. Golf Ball size hail was reported near Enterprise with this storm at this time.



After a few more minutes the wall cloud became easily viewable and looked pretty good. It did began to gust out a bit as it approached closer.




I stayed in this location near Witcherville until the wall cloud was right up next to me. At this point I was completely surrounded by the storm as I was in the notch/hook feature. I left when a few large hailstones began to thump down every few seconds. I only made it a few hundred yards south on Hwy 71 before the RFD nailed me. It instantly went from dry and good vis to 60-65 mph winds, driving rain and penny size hail. Visibility dropped to virtually zero. This was quite a feisty RFD. I made it throught the RFD until I entered it again southeast of Masnfield as I punched through it. At one point the winds went from strong north/northwest (45mph) to strong southeast (25mph). It was still raining hard and visibility was still limited so I couldn't see anything. I ran out of road option upon entering Scott County and so I headed east towards Booneville to get some shots of the departing storm.....





Here is a radar grab showing the severe storm when the wall cloud was looking its best.