"But seeing they could not See; hearing they could not Hear"
“The views expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the National Weather Service or affiliate/related organizations. Please consult .gov sites for official information”

"From its chamber comes the whirlwind, and cold from the scattering winds." - Job 37:9.

"The wind blows to the south and turns to the north; round and round it goes, ever returning on its course".

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Conway, Arkansas Photographer of the F4 Tornado of April 1965

The F4 tornado that hit Conway late on Saturday afternoon, April 10, 1965, is still vivid in the memories of many.
Six people were killed, 75 homes were destroyed, 200 people were injured, some severely. The dollar damage to homes, businesses and industries was estimated at $25 million (about $171 million in today's dollars

HISTORY/THE STORY:  Severe months ago  3 day running post concerning the account of a tornado in Texas was written here. Excerpts were taken from the book "Weather Made Clear", with permission granted from where the original text had appeared, which was in the magazine "Weatherwise". The above image appeared in the blog post 'three day series' on November 22, 2010 which was also taken from the book. It was mentioned in this post that the photograph was one of my all time favorite photos as a child of 11 years old. 

Remember, 'many' years ago, color photographs or almost any for that matter of tornadoes were very hard to come by in print to the general public. Here's is the post in which the photograph was used.

 And here is the book  which contained the text of the account and the tornado photograph (not one in the same). Also, within this book was the image shown above, but with no information other than what you see in the provided caption.

AMAZINGLY, the photographer recently discovered the post in a Google Search and we've been in contact the past two days. He has given permission to use the photograph again. Here is THE lowdown about the photo. Note that the photo was sold to the AP, which likely means the rights were also sold; this post is risky, legally speaking. But seriously:

"When the tornado was spotted, everybody ran to the basement of the dorm.  Then the funnel went back up in the cloud and I ran upstairs to my room and got the camera.  Went back down to the basement and crawled out of a window to take the picture with the intention  of jumping back in if the storm came our way.   It was about a half mile away .  They guys in the parking lot were running to get in their cars to to to the children's colony to see if they could help.  It's a place for kids with disabilities. I hitched a ride to Little Rock (about 45 miles) and took the film to the newspaper.  When the guy came out of the dark room he said, " Front Page!". So it was on the front page the next day......

I am fine with you putting the photo on your site, it's flattering that you enjoy it.  I have not seen the book, "Weather made Clear".  Professor Xzin McNeil or McNeall made a book " Storm Resistant Construction Techniques", at the University of Arkansas maybe in 1965 or 66.  Might have been tornado resistant ...... I also have a copy of that IF I can dig it up. It appeared in the AR State Newspaper the next day , the Tulsa Tribune, and the Winnepeg Free Press .  I sold it to Associated Press and UPI and so it was in an encyclopedia and probably elsewhere.

Off to chop the weeds. . .
I'll be back in contact with you,

SUNDAY THROUGH TUESDAY: The state will be under  the influence of clockwise high pressure circulations, and relatively dry air in the levels that matter most for generation of rain. Skies will be mostly clear overnight with scattered low topped clouds during the afternoons mainly inland and on the west side of the state. Could be a chance of a rain shower extreme South Florida and far NW Florida going into Tuesday.

WEDNESDAY: Models diverge at this point. The NAM indicates the potential for strong to marginally severe thunderstorms over Central and strong thunderstorms over South Florida, but extremely isolated. On the other hand, the GFS is continuing the dry trend with the uneventful passage of a dry cold front. The difference lies wherein the NAM washes out the frontal boundary over Central Florida whereas the GFS takes it clearly through or almost nearly so, just like the front of Monday morning. However, unlike that previous front that left moisture and boundaries over South Florida..the GFS is not so generous with this  next system. 

Recall, the last front was also interacting with moisture associated with the synoptic scale pattern which evolved into Invest 91L and the moisture fields involved with it. Therefore, the previous front was much more active.  For what it is worth, The Weather Channel in my location is showing isolated thunderstorms Wednesday through Friday. I believe this will be the case if the boundary/front acts per the NAM's dreams. Too soon to say..but for now, I'm riding with the GFS due to its continuity. The NAM seems to pick up on upcoming pattern changes almost hyperactively at at times. I think a change is in the works for Florida, but it could still take quite some time.

But you know, it's kind of 'funny'. Earlier last week on the evening of April 25th, I made a post to Facebook after looking at the 18Z NAM from that day...commenting "Wow! The NAM is on Steroids for the Deep South by Wednesday!". A few folks responded... "LOL".  Little did we know that not even steroids, 'coke', 'speed', and  coffee  combined would result 24-48 hours later. No, not even LSD would do the trick, but I wish it was all a hallucination today. But the reality and the model foreast was to be, as justified by the issuance by The Storm Prediction Center of a 'Hatched High Tornado Risk".

Otherwise, temperatures will be much warmer and bit more humid during the overnight hours through late morning as prevailing easterlies continue, gusty at times mostly inland and right on the beaches.  

These easterlies are not long fetch, across the Atlantic Ocean type, but rather coming around circulations originating off the mid-Atlantic which are pulling dry air around them and then across the Atlantic with little time for deep layer moisture enhancing modification.

Rip current threats are elevated along the entire east coast of Florida; something to keep in mind now that ocean temperatures are becoming increasingly more comfortable further north up the coast toward Cape Canaveral. The water temperatures from Daytona to Jacksonville have yet to warm to a point I'd consider going in to.

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