Three Confirmed Tornadoes in Arkansas Went in Unusual Direction

SEPTEMBER 26, 2005 - Posted at 7:21 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - The National Weather Service has confirmed three tornadoes so far in Arkansas from the remnants of Hurricane Rita.  Common among the three twisters is that they each traveled in a southeast-to-northwest direction, which is unusual for the state.

Most tornadoes that touch down in Arkansas are born of spring or thunderstorm cells, and the tornadoes usually trace a path from southwest to northeast.  That path is in the usual direction of air flow along the boundary between a mass of warm, moist air and a cold front approaching from the northwest.

But meteorologist John Robinson, who led a team that surveyed storm damage on Sunday, says Saturday's tornadoes followed the counter-clockwise path of the former Hurricane Rita.

Each of the tornadoes was rated as F-2 on the Fujita scale.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)