NORTH LITTLE ROCK, AR - The National Weather Service in North Little Rock says tornado damage Friday in Conway, Van Buren and Cleburne counties was inflicted by a single twister that stayed on the ground for 45 miles. The agency's meteorologists classified the tornado as an E-F3 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale from 0 to 5, with winds between 136 and 165 mph.
The agency says the tornado touched down near Birdtown in Conway County and continued through Van Buren and Cleburne counties, ending northwest of Drasco. The storm's path made several odd jogs, which sometimes indicate the end of one tornado and the beginning of another. But the weather service said interviews with residents confirmed Monday that the path was continuous for 45 miles.
In addition, the agency said, a small "satellite tornado" was confirmed just to the southeast of the long-track tornado as it passed through Van Buren County. The weather service said a witness in that county reported seeing a thin tornado next to a much wider twister. The weather service said the smaller tornado touched down west-northwest of Damascus and followed a track 1.1 miles long before merging with the larger twister northwest of Damascus. The smaller tornado was rated as an E-F1, with winds from 86 to 110 mph.