Climate Data
Yearly Reports
Interested in what kind of weather occurred in a recent year? Check out the most memorable events below.
 
Aerial Survey (February 5, 2008)
 
A Civil Air Patrol (CAP) plane landed at the Sharp County Airport on 02/09/2008 after an aerial survey of long track tornado damage. An aerial survey was conducted on February 9, 2008 to find out if damage from Atkins (Pope County) to Cleveland (Conway County), Clinton (Van Buren County), Mountain View (Stone County) and Highland (Sharp County) was caused by one long track tornado on the 5th.
In the picture: A Civil Air Patrol (CAP) plane landed at the Sharp County Airport on 02/09/2008 after an aerial survey of long track tornado damage. John Lewis (right) and Brian Smith (left), forecasters at the National Weather Service in Little Rock, were flown by CAP and retired Air Force pilot Terry Thompson (center). Click to enlarge.

 

Usually, ground surveys are performed to answer such questions...and there were extensive ground surveys in this case. However, there were places vehicles could not go...and a plane was needed to view these hard to reach areas. This house was found all by itself on a hillside a few miles southwest of Mountain View (Stone County).
In the picture: This house was found all by itself on a hillside a few miles southwest of Mountain View (Stone County). Click to enlarge.

 

One long track tornado covering over 100 miles seemed almost impossible. Such a tornado is almost unheard of. In most cases, it is not one tornado...it is a "family of tornadoes". It is a repetitive cycle of one tornado weakening and dissipating as another tornado spins up and takes over. The cycle continues until the parent storm moves into a more stable region and falls apart. That is what is supposed to happen.

However, there were no signs of weakening. The ground survey crews mentioned this after several days of driving. But then there was the rugged terrain they did not (and could not) visit such as the Ozark National Forest in Stone County. The crews were not sure the tornado could have endured these hilly areas.

 

This is one of many "blowdowns" noted in remote forested areas. A view from the plane confirmed the tornado survived. There were incredible "blowdowns" at times on hillsides and in valleys...with trees down in swaths up to a mile wide.
In the picture: This is one of many "blowdowns" noted in remote forested areas. Click to enlarge.

 

Link of Interest
 Other Aerial Pictures

 

In the end, the impossible was possible. There will likely be some debate in the meteorological community about this tornado, since it is very rare. One of the most interesting aspects of this tornado is how quickly it went away. After roughly two hours of wreaking havoc and causing destruction, it went a few miles past Highland (Sharp County) and was gone. While the tornado disappeared quickly, it left a lasting mark in the history books.

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