Multiple Twisters Hit South Central States, Cause Minor Damage

April 16, 2014

Tornadoes that hit the South Central states of Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas over the past weekend caused minimal damage but with them Oklahoma saw the end of its eight-month twister-less streak.

Surveys by National Weather Service teams determined that damaging windstorms that swept parts of East Texas on April 13 were weak tornadoes.

One of the tornadoes, which a survey team classified as of EF-1 strength, destroyed three mobile homes in the small East Texas town of Lovelady. The Enhanced Fujita Scale describes an EF-1 as one of 73-113 mph capable of severely damaging outbuildings, tearing the roof from a weak wood-frame house and causing minor damage to a strongly built wood-frame house.

Houston County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy G. P. Shearer says one woman was injured in the Sunday afternoon storm when three trees fell on her mobile home.

An EF-0 tornado also spun across a highway 2 miles north of Pittsburg, causing billboard and roof damage.

Arkansas’ first tornado of 2014 hit Sunday evening in a rural area of Franklin County in western Arkansas. The weather service says the twister touched down at 8:45 p.m. about 1 mile south-southeast of the community of Vesta before lifting and touching down again in the Peter Pender area.

The weather service says the tornado’s path was 5.4 miles long with a maximum width of 450 yards.

No injuries or deaths were reported with the tornado, but the twister did damage several buildings. The weather service says the tornado damaged the roofs on several homes, destroyed numerous barns and outbuildings and uprooted trees.

A pair of suspected twisters touched down on Sunday in Oklahoma and the state’s wild weather continued into Monday, blowing snow from the Panhandle to Tulsa and prompting overnight freeze warnings.

The pair of tornadoes touched down briefly near the rural town of Velma, during storms that packed high winds, hail and a cold front on the heels of weekend temperatures that reached into the 70s and 80s. The tornadoes occurred over rural portions of the county and caused little damage, according to the National Weather Service in Norman.

Before Sunday’s nasty weather, Oklahoma hadn’t had a tornado or a tornado warning for more than eight months – with the last tornado touchdown in the state reported Aug. 7, a brief funnel near the Panhandle town of Turpin. The streak of 248 days tied the state’s second-longest period.

The tornadoes gave way to frigid cold and blowing snow by Monday morning, as temperatures struggled to make it into the 40s.

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