Major Tornado Hits Central Arkansas, Extreme Damage Reported

A large, devastating tornado northwest of Little Rock, AR lofted so much debris into the air that the tornado and its parent mesocyclone (broad column of rotation within the storm) were visible on 3-D radar imagery. The debris reached over 12,000 feet high as the up-to-a-mile-wide tornado tore a path through central Arkansas extending dozens of miles.

The tornado tore through the communities of Roland, Mayflower, Vilonia, and El Paso, Arkansas, which are all about 20-40 miles northwest of Little Rock in the center of the state.

Major Tornado Hits Central Arkansas, Extreme Damage Reported

The storm had a classic supercell signature on weather radar, showing a well-defined hook echo tipped with the mile-wide debris signature caused by the radar beam reflecting off the debris in the tornado.

The pictures coming in on Twitter are devastating.

[Stand-alone radar images via Gibson Ridge]