March 29, 2002

Jonesboro, AR Supercells, Mesocyclones, Poss. Tornado

Chase Account by: Scott Blair

Chase Team: Scott Blair, Jason Politte.
Good Friday provided a good chase in the Northeast Arkansas region during the afternoon and evening of March 29th. Within 48 hours of the event, I became strongly interested in the Eastern Arkansas area. The models were showing high instability and favorable severe weather parameters. By Thursday evening, I was sold on the target area of Northeast Arkansas.

Jason Politte and I targeted Jonesboro, AR and departed LIT around 10:30am. We arrived in KJBR around 1pm and quickly aquired some data. The cap finally gave around 3pm and the chase began. Towers quickly developed across NE AR about 25 miles to our west.

At 4pm, a severe storm was warned for Craighead County. The storm was visually promising with a nice anvil and strong core. It appeared to be somewhat isolated and supercellular in nature. Heading east near Cash, AR, the storm became well organized and contained a nice wall cloud. The sustained wall cloud exhibited excellent rotation. A nice vault was present and clear signs of an RFD punched in on the south side. The wall cloud continued good rotation and rapid upward motion. The wall cloud was very low to the ground and the motion was amazing. A funnel cloud eventually formed but the region became quickly rain wrapped and the contrast became poor. A tornado warning was issued shortly after.

Considering the storm was moving into an unfavorable road network, we noted a new large severe storm that developed southwest of the previous cell. At 4:35pm, we moved into position for the new storm. A large core was visible just ahead of Hwy49. As we entered the core, we were pounded with hard golf ball size hail about a mile north of Weiner, AR. Radar indicated a 75dbz storm. The supercell exhibited good rotation and a nice precip core. The supercell developed a classic "S" shape as the RFD punched in and wrapped around the meso. We followed the storm east to Trumann, AR before ending the chase around 6pm.

Overall, a fantastic chase! Two beautiful supercells, awesome mesocyclones, some hail, and a funnel. Thanks to nowcaster Philip Flory for some great updates. After a very very slow start for the 2002 storm season, it was wonderful to finally chase some amazing storms!