December 31, 2010 by USA Post
Cincinnati Arkansas, (AP) – A tornado fueled by unusually warm winter air sliced through portions of northwest Arkansas early in the New Year, killing three people and wounding several others and cutting electricity to Thousands of homes and businesses.
The dead were killed in Cincinnati, a hamlet of about 100 about three miles from the Oklahoma border. Washington County sheriff’s dispatcher Josh Howerton, the storm touched down near the center of the community. He said that “many wounds” were reported, and officials in nearby Benton County, the storm injured two people and damaged five houses there.
Several flights to and from Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport in Highfill, Benton County, have been delayed or canceled Friday morning as officials worked to debris from the storm track clear.
The region was bracing for severe weather for much of the week. Moisture southerly winds pushed the Gulf District of temperatures in the upper 60′s and 70 on Thursday – before a cold front should drop temperatures into the teens by Saturday morning.
“Whenever you have a significant change in the air mass it will be unstable weather mark the two different air masses,” said Joe Sellers, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Tulsa, Oklahoma
Rick Johnson, the deputy director of emergency for Washington County, said that the same storm system caused damage in nearby Tontitown, but emergency workers had trouble reaching affected areas because power lines fallen.
The weather bureau issued a Tulsa tornado warning for Cincinnati and cities in the region to six hours, nine minutes before the storm hit.
Later Friday morning in south-central Missouri, hail baseball business was reported north of Mansfield in Wright County.
“The storm has shown significant signs that it might develop,” said Chris Buonanno, a meteorologist from the National Weather Service in North Little Rock, who was monitoring the storm as it moves deeper into Arkansas. “Conditions are favorable for seeing a severe epidemic.
“In winter, you do not always instability” that would develop tornadoes, Buonanno said. “This time we have instability.”
Associated Press Writer Kelly P. Kissel contributed to this report from Little Rock.
Copyright © 2010 the Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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