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Tornado Rocks From the Vortex

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Published on Feb 15, 2008

This rock was among hundreds found in a field in the path of the 123 mile tornado as it ran across Izard County Arkansas on the evening of February 5, 2008.
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.

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.

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 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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