Yell Severe Watches & Warnings NOAA Weather Radio

Winter Storm Warning
Statement as of 10:34 AM CST am 04. März 2015

... Winter Storm Warning remains in effect until 6 am CST

A Winter Storm Warning remains in effect until 6 am CST Thursday.

* Event... freezing rain... sleet... and snow... will spread across
northern Arkansas.

* Accumulations... snow and sleet accumulations will range from 3
to 6 inches... with the largest amounts to the northeast toward
Batesville and Newport. Some light freezing rain accumulations
may also be possible... with up to a tenth of an inch before
precipitation transitions to sleet and snow.

* Timing... this event will unfold mainly this afternoon and

* Impacts... travel issues are expected on area roadways...
especially given well below freezing temperatures tonight.

Precautionary/preparedness actions...

Winter Storm Warning means significant amounts of snow... sleet...
and ice are expected or occurring. Strong winds are also
possible. This will make travel very hazardous or impossible.

Public Information Statement
Statement as of 2:00 PM CST on March 4, 2015

... Todays topic for severe weather awareness week is

Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson has proclaimed the week of
March 1st through 7th as severe weather awareness week
in Arkansas.

A different topic will be discussed each day... and todays topic
is tornadoes.

In 2014... Arkansas recorded only 20 tornadoes. In an average
year... 33 tornadoes are expected in the state.

By far... the biggest event featuring a tornado unfolded
on April 27th. A monster tornado /rated EF4/ tracked
41 miles though Pulaski... Faulkner and white counties... and
killed 16 people. It was the deadliest tornado in Arkansas
since the Jonesboro twister of may 15th of 1968 /35 fatalities/.
It was also the deadliest tornado in the country last year.

Monster tornadoes like this are rare. Since 2000 across
the region... only 2 other tornadoes rated as high as the one
on April 27th. In the same time frame... 624 tornadoes were
spawned locally... and 82 percent of them /513 tornadoes/
were weak /rated EF0 or EF1/. These weak twisters accounted
for only 3 fatalities.

The peak seasons for tornadoes in Arkansas are Spring and
fall. This is when warm and cold air masses collide most
often. In 2014... of the 20 tornadoes counted... there were
10 in October and 6 in April.

... Outdoor tornado sirens...

Many towns and counties in Arkansas have acquired outdoor warning
sirens to alert the public when tornadoes threaten. When these
sirens are kept in proper working order... they do their job as
expected and help warn the public.

While tornado warnings often cause the sirens to blow... the
National Weather Service does not have any control over the

In Little Rock... North Little Rock... and Pulaski County... the
National Weather Service has an advisory role as to when the
sirens should be sounded... but this does not prevent these
jurisdictions from blowing their sirens if they deem it
necessary. Elsewhere in Arkansas... the decision to blow the
sirens is made by designated city or County officials.

... What you can do to protect yourself - tornado safety rules...

One of the newer safety rules is to avoid taking shelter under a
Highway overpass. Rotating winds surrounding a tornado can hit you
with a lot of debris... and blow you out from beneath the

Be sure you know the difference between a watch and a warning.
The National Weather Service issues a Tornado Watch when
tornadoes are possible. A Tornado Warning is issued when a
tornado has been indicated on Doppler weather radar or has
been sighted.

Counties and cities are mentioned in tornado warnings. If you
are new to the area... keep a map handy for reference.

Make sure that you have a reliable way to receive weather
information. Battery-powered NOAA weather radios are an
excellent way to keep up with the weather... even if your power
has gone out.

If you are going to be at a large gathering... such as at a
school... stadium or place of worship... make sure that someone
is keeping an eye on the weather.

A tornado shelter... tornado cellar... or a safe room is the safest
place to be... but these are not found in most homes. The next
safest place is usually a basement... but these are not common in
Arkansas. If you do not have any of these... go to an interior
room on the lowest floor of a house or building. Put as many
walls between you and the outdoors as possible.

Many businesses... such as large stores... shopping malls...
hospitals... nursing homes... and schools have pre-arranged safety
plans and designated safe areas. If you are in one of these
places... follow the instructions given inside these buildings.

If you are in a vehicle... your best option is to move to a sturdy

Mobile homes... even if tied down... offer little protection during
a tornado... and should be abandoned.

Keep in mind that the elderly... the very Young... and people with
physical or mental challenges will often Need More time to get to
safety. Make special provisions if you are a care-giver for these


Notes for the news media...
there will not be a formal tornado drill this year conducted
by the National Weather Service in Little Rock. Even so...
people are encouraged to practice going to a place of safety
when the NOAA Weather Radio alarm is sounded during the routine
weekly test. This test is usually on Wednesday between 11 am
and noon. However... due to threatening weather... the test
may be postponed until Thursday at the same time.

For a list of all the tornadoes and other significant weather
events that occurred in 2014...