Forecasters Prepare for Severe Weather Awareness Week

FEBRUARY 15, 2006 - Posted at 3:58 p.m. CST

JONESBORO, AR - In preparation for Severe Weather Awareness Week in Arkansas next week, forecasters for the National Weather Service is recapping 2005's significant weather as a way of warning people to be aware.

Two Arkansans were injured in thunderstorms in 2005, in storms at Centerton and Texarkana, but there were no fatalities.  Some of the strongest thunderstorm winds were reported at Kerr in Lonoke County, 98 mph.  At Pocahontas, 86 mph, and near Ozark, 81 mph.

The largest hail was reported from Hot Springs Village, two-and-a-half inches in diameter and Blytheville and Jessieville, two inches.

One person was killed due to flash flooding.  A woman lost her life at Rush when she tried to cross Rush Creek on foot.  There were no deaths due to lightning, but there was an injury at Fort Smith.

Previously, the National Weather Service at North Little Rock said there were 52 tornadoes in the state in 2005, causing three fatalities and 31 injuries.  In a typical year, Arkansas has 26 tornadoes and four fatalities.

Arkansas had 15 tornadoes as the remnants of Hurricane Rita passed over the state in late September and another 24 in a tornado outbreak November 27.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)