Time: 700 pm CDT
The LZK (Little Rock, AR NEXRAD site) WSR-88D showed a severe thunderstorm with strong rotation (via the 0.5 degree Storm Relative Velocity Map) nearing the Stone County line from the west. At this time, a Tornado Warning was issued for Stone County, and was valid until 745 pm CDT. The warning mentioned that the storm would track between the towns of Fox and Timbo.
Time: 712 pm CDT
No reports of tornadic activity had been received until this time, when funnel clouds were spotted at Timbo and reported by amateur radio operators (HAMs).
Time: 720 pm CDT
With radar continuing to show rotation, a Severe Weather Statement (SVS) was issued for Stone County. The statement mentioned "strong indications of a tornado near Timbo" and a projected track just north of Newnata to between Allison and Fifty-Six.
Time: 725 pm CDT
While radar velocity products may have justified a Tornado Warning for Stone County, there were no confirmations of a touchdown through this time. A call was placed to the Stone County Sheriff's Office (SO) to see if there were any sightings of a tornado. The SO had just received a report of a tornado near Newnata.
Time: 733 pm CDT
With a tornado now confirmed, another SVS was written for Stone County. The SVS mentioned where the tornado was, and stated that it was headed toward (or just north of) Allison.
About the time the SVS was issued, a damage report was called in by a HAM. The caller said that trees were down on cars, with homes damaged 3 miles north of Fox in Stone County (between Fox and Timbo). The damage occurred around 712 pm CDT.
Also, the 0030 UTC (730 pm CDT) 0.5 degree Storm Relative Velocity Map (SRM) became available. The SRM now showed two circulations within the Stone County storm. The original circulation (where the tornado was spawned) was in the process of weakening, with a new area of rotation (about 3 miles southwest of Allison) increasing in strength.
Time: 737 pm CDT
As a new tornado got organized to the southwest of Allison, a Tornado Warning was posted for Izard County until 815 pm CDT. To help stress that this was a dangerous situation, storm reports were included in the warning (i.e. damage 3 miles north of Fox and a tornado sighting near Newnata). The storm was given a track toward Melbourne.
Time: 738 pm CDT through 740 pm CDT
The tornado strengthened markedly as it moved through Allison at 738 pm CDT. With an F4 rating, the tornado crossed the White River into Sylamore (Izard County) at 740 pm CDT. While major damage was occurring and lives were being lost, none of this was known at the time. There were no calls from the public, and the only thing that could be trusted was the radar data (and the sketchy details that were known).
Time: 745 pm CDT
The 0042 UTC (742 pm CDT) SRM had just become available. This product showed 40 to 50 knots of shear just to the northeast of Sylamore (a strong mesocyclone). At this time, a call was placed to the Izard County SO. The SO was told that a tornado was headed along Highway 9 toward Melbourne, and it looked like it had just moved through Sylamore.
The SO was well aware of the storm, and said that ambulances were en route to Sylamore.
Time: 755 pm CDT
An SVS was disseminated for Izard County. The SVS addressed the tornado, the destruction at Sylamore, and the track toward Melbourne. The statement also mentioned that this was a dangerous storm, and that "people in its path need to take cover now."
Time: 800 pm CDT
The tornado arrived in the eastern sections of Melbourne, damaging homes and businesses. Again, the radar continued to indicate a tornado, but there were no reports from the public (in Melbourne) until later that evening.
Time: 808 pm CDT
The 0105 UTC (805 pm CDT) SRM showed over 50 knots of shear to the northeast of Melbourne (a strong mesocyclone). The warning for Izard County was to expire in 7 minutes.
Time: 815 pm CDT
The Tornado Warning for Izard County was extended until 900 pm CDT. The warning included the eastern part of the county, and northern Sharp County (the adjacent county to the east). The tornado was given a track toward Horseshoe Bend (northeast Izard County) and Ash Flat (northern Sharp County).
Time: 822 pm CDT
Trees were reported down near Franklin (northeast Izard County). On radar, the storm was rapidly weakening as it moved northeast, with no further damage noted in Izard and Sharp Counties. No additional warnings or statements were issued for this storm.