The National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center has placed Columbia County—along with a large portion of the Ark-La-Tex—under a High Risk of severe storms today, forecasting a, “…dangerous tornado and severe thunderstorm outbreak expected late this afternoon into tonight….”
Since 1984, only 83 High Risk days have been issued across the United States. These days indicate a considerable likelihood of a major tornado outbreak where the potential exists for extremely severe and life-threatening weather. Large, damaging hail, high winds, and heavy rain are also possible in addition to the threat of tornadoes.
A portion of Arkansas was last placed under a High Risk area almost one year ago—April 30, 2010. One person in Arkansas was killed during the outbreak, which saw 27 tornadoes touchdown over five states.
We urge our readers, especially those in areas without tornado sirens, to purchase a NOAA Weather Radio. These can be programmed to sound an alarm when severe weather warnings are issued for an area and can be purchased at many local retailers.
We will be updating our blog and Facebook page throughout the day with information and alerts for Columbia County.