The state of Arkansas is not considered as a part of the well known Tornado Alley cluster of the Central United States, but being in the south, it is still susceptible to tropical storms, hurricanes and tornadoes.

The southern states are often the target areas for tornadoes and tropical storms as they have the perfect climate for a tornado’s formation. The combination of the warm and moist air coming from the Gulf of Mexico colliding with the continental chilly air from Canada are the key ingredients in this recipe for disaster.

tornado season in Arkansas

How often do Tornadoes hit Arkansas?

There are usually about 39 tornadoes that strike Arkansas each year, the prominent storm season usually taking place in the springtime and then going on and off again, slowing down in the winter. Arkansas is located in an area known as the Dixie Valley.

When is tornado season in Arkansas?

For several years, tornado and hurricane season counts in Arkansas have tracked and revealed Arkansas to have a secondary peak season in the month of November. April has been known to be that one special month in the hurricane season of Arkansas. In the year of 2018, 13 tornadoes struck the state of Arkansas in the month of April alone.

Ground Zero storm shelters recently updated their website with the calculated average number of tornadoes that hit Arkansas each month:

  • January: 4
  • February: 2
  • March: 5
  • April: 7
  • May: 7
  • June: 1
  • July: 1
  • August: 0
  • September: 2
  • October: 2
  • November: 5
  • December:

A History of Rough Weather in Arkansas

Of course it’s not always that an Arkansas tornado strikes and leaves its mark every year, but some of these storms have made a substantial difference in Arkansas history. Hurricane Rita of September in 2005 was a Category 5 hurricane with winds over 175 miles per hour. Rita had brought rains and winds that left over 60,000 homes with power outages. Eleven tornadoes were recorded in the event of Rita’s vicious attack.

tornado season in Arkansas
tornado season in Arkansas

Later, in the year of 2008, another two tropical storms came crashing down onto Arkansas, releasing over 8 inches of rain across the entire state. Hurricanes Gustav and Ike, Ike making his move less than two weeks after, sent roads into disarray, being covered with almost another foot of water. In this event, a total of nine tornadoes were recorded in Arkansas.

Going back even further in time, in the year of 1999, Arkansas hit the record of the most recorded tornadoes on any individual day in January within the entire United States. Fifty-six tornadoes struck that day with quite the sight of damage being reported across the entire state.

In the month of March, again within the tornado season in Arkansas, came the deadliest outbreak of these vicious vortexes of air. On March 21, 1952, a total of 112 people lost their lives to a series of seventeen tornadoes occurring that day.

tornado season in Arkansas

How does Arkansas Hurricane Compare to Other States?

The states fatality rates are significantly higher than anticipated for a state with a fairly low population density.

From the years 1950 to 2006, the state ranked fourteenth in both number of tornadoes, 1,407 tornadoes, and the number of tornadoes per 1,000 square miles(26.6). Arkansas ranked second in the number of fatalities per 100,000 people, about 13.9 fatalities, right behind the state of Mississippi.

Also Learn about:

Hurricane Sarasota – History and Damages

How To Prepare For a Hurricane

How do hurricanes form? A Better Understanding

Sources Used:


From Katrina to Sandy, to the ongoing hurricane Dorian, tropical storms are creators of mass destruction. Their winds are powerful, sweeping aside anything it can get its windy hands on. At wind speeds reaching a minimum of 74 miles per hour, even the “weakest” hurricane is faster than a cheetah, the fastest animal on land.

The Most Dangerous Parts of a Hurricane

Regardless of where you are, the way anyone sees it is the fact that any hurricane is dangerous and is a force of nature to reckon with. Besides the typical categorization system we have in place, what most people don’t know is that the different quadrants of a hurricane also tell their own individual stories of the damage that they cause.

While the headlines of Dorian are still fresh in people’s minds, let’s imagine being way up above the storm and looking down on it from a bird’s eye view. From there, envision the swirling mass of terror beneath you cut into four sections, like a typical coordinate graph, with the eye as the origin.

Hurricane Quadrant 1: the top right

This is the most dangerous and powerful quadrant of the hurricane. Like in a film studio, this is where the action takes place. The fastest winds, the heaviest torrential rains, the surges of the tropical storm lie in the first hurricane quadrant.

In the occasion that the hurricane is severe enough to form a tornado, this is where the tornado is birthed and released. The tornadoes are usually short-lived and do not travel extensively far away from the first quadrant.

Quadrant 2: the top left

For coastal areas, this will be the place of undesirable effects. The second quadrant is the most dangerous area for storm surges. A hurricane is a double threat with both wind and intensive storm surges wreaking havoc on the area. A storm surge is the water from the ocean that gets pushed to the shore by the extreme winds swirling around inside the hurricane.

These are called storm surges for a very good reason: combined with the natural breakers out in the oceans, these waves join together to make a tidal wave of destruction. They erode beaches, flood coastal highways, and people’s homes. Storm surges in this quadrant of the hurricane are the most severe and will strike against and take out boats and even buildings.

Quadrant 3: the bottom left

Of course any playground bully has its weakest point, and this takes place in the form of the third quadrant of a hurricane. While this is technically the least threatening location of a hurricane, this by no means says that you should not take precautions.

If the category of the hurricane is in the higher level of severity like a 3 or above, even in the “weakest” point will you find great damage.

Quadrant 4: the bottom right

While quadrant 2 takes the cake for the severest storm surges, this hurricane quadrant is the wind warrior. Apart from the eye wall, the victims of this hurricane quadrant will experience the most intense winds of the storm. What is the strongest part of a hurricane called?

In the occasion of a category 5 hurricane, winds are already blowing at 157 or more miles per hour. Avoid being in rooms or buildings close to any windows or glass. Wind should always be taken seriously as it can lead to an endless cycle of throwing things all around like a projectile.

What are the Parts of a Hurricane?

The Eye

Some people will reference being in the eye of the storm. Essentially the eye is the hole at the center of a hurricane or tropical storm. This is the most peaceful part of the storm where the winds are light and partly cloudy skies are there.

The Eye Wall

As mentioned earlier, the eye wall is the place for the strongest and fastest winds. The eye wall is composed of a ring of thunderstorms that swirl in a thick barrier around the eye.

Rain Bands

These bands are spiral stretches of clouds, rain, and thunderstorms. The rain bands will extend from the hurricane’s eye wall and stretch for hundreds of miles out where the tornadoes also start to form.


Hurricanes are a common occurrence in Florida. Hurricane season starts June 1 and ends officially on November 30 every year. Sarasota is a vulnerable city located in the South of Tampa Bay, bordering the Gulf of Mexico, Manatee River, Little Sarasota Bay, and inter-coastal waterways. Statistics show that Sarasota has been affected directly or indirectly 36 times in the last 146 years including the Storm Emily and Hurricane Irma of 2017.

Some of the popular storms that hit Sarasota in the past few years include Donna, Judith, Charley, and Barry. In August 2004, Hurricane Charley was close to the western Sarasota County. A wind recorded to be about 145mph hit Punta Gorda which is just 40 miles away from the south. In 2007 also, A Tropical Storm Barry passed on the west of Sarasota with winds at about 40mph.

How often is Sarasota prone to Hurricanes?

Sarasota is located in a vulnerable part of Florida. Although the major parts of this city are not always affected, some parts of Sarasota are often touched during storms. Theoretically, Hurricane Sarasota usually occurs every 4 – 5 years. However, the tropical storm that affects the entire vicinity occurs every 23 – 24 years.

Sarasota Florida Hurricane damage of 2012

After the 2007 Hurricane Charley, Sarasota also suffered from the Tropical Storm Derby which occurred on June 23, 2012. Derby caused extensive flooding in North and Central Florida during this period. This fourth tropical cyclone developed from a trough of low pressure in the central Gulf of Mexico.

Sarasota Florida Hurricane damage of 2017

The 2017 Hurricane season brought two different storms to Sarasota. These are the Tropical Storm Emily and Hurricane Irma. The Tropical Storm Emily strikes the residents in the middle of the night and hit Anna islands in the morning of July 31, 2017. Emily didn’t hinder the residents from going to the beach. However, it allows the officials and residents to test-run their storm preparations.

One month later, the news of Hurricane Irma reach the people of Sarasota, leaving them with few weeks of preparation. Forecasters predicted Sarasota Florida Hurricane damage from a Category 4 storm with a storm surge of about 10 feet and winds of about 150mph. However, Irma erupted in the night of September 10 as a category 2 storm.

The Sarasota Florida Hurricane damage was not as widespread as anticipated. Power outage lasted for some days and many trees fell on homes and offices. Debris and damage cleanup reportedly cost $8.2 million while there was no significant infrastructure or property damage. Read about the biggest hurricanes in history

Safety precautions against the Tropical storm

Before a hurricane will occur in Sarasota, you will be aware of an impending storm far enough in advance. This will enable you to install your hurricane shutters and other preventive structures. This information will be communicated by the authorities via radio TV and the internet. If you find your home or business in a flood area, the best practice is to quit temporarily and seek alternative shelter in flood-free areas.

Read Now: How to Prepare for a Hurricane

There are several churches, schools, and mosques that offer temporal shelter for people in the flood zone. In fact, some of these places are pet-friendly. However, make sure you inquire ahead before you arrive with your pets.

Driving in Sarasota

Some residents of Sarasota prefer to stay in their home during an intense storm and ride out the storm. As much as this is not recommended, you should prepare an interior room with your hurricane kit if you plan to do so.  When driving also, take note of evacuation route signs. Of course, preparedness is the key to safety during Hurricane Sarasota.

Have you ever imagined how storm or wind could be so destructive as to cause death, loss of that very beautiful tree or flower which protects you from the rays of the sun, loss of your home, your school and even that pet uncle Joe got you on your seventh birthday?

how do hurricanes form

This is definitely not the usual wind or storm you see every day. This is the kind of wind which can separate you from all you have ever loved; it is a really unique kind of storm.

They are fierce, violent, and deadly and can leave you and your beautiful family homeless. They are known as hurricane and tornadoes.

When  they occur, houses are pulled out of its foundation and slid from one point to another, roofs  break off, buildings collapse, people are trapped under  objects and cannot save themselves, cars become hidden underwater, trees are uprooted, cars tumble, animals are lost, windows and doors are broken, they are highly destructive and the aftermath is economic loss.

No one ever dreams of experiencing such a dangerous event in his/her lifetime, because there is absolutely nothing funny about these two.

One very interesting thing to know about these two natural destructive agents is that they can be forecasted even before they occur, this is done through technology, and you can be warned to move from a location where it is likely to occur to a safer location where it is less severe or serious.

So this leaves you with an option to run, hide and take cover away from its destroying effects since you cannot control its effect on the environment once it hits. Let us look at hurricane vs tornadoes comparison

Hurricanes and tornadoes share similar features in that they are both destructive winds that occur when the atmosphere becomes unstable, which is followed by rain, thunder and lightning which moves in a rotating form. Note that they also differ in size and formation.

Hurricanes Vs Tornado Comparison For Kids

Firstly, hurricanes are usually larger in size than tornadoes.

Secondly, hurricanes occur over the ocean, while tornadoes usually occur over land.

Thirdly, hurricanes cover a wide area of destruction while tornadoes, on the other hand, cover a narrow path of destruction.

Fourthly, hurricanes can last up to three weeks while tornadoes can last for just an hour but trust me they can as well be as deadly as a hurricane which lasts even longer, and the damages it causes destroys nutrients in the soil and vegetation.

One may wonder, what could be the cause of these two deadly events which can go as far as lifting a very heavy large truck from its position, uprooting buildings from its foundation and destroying our favorite car? When and why does it ever occur? Can it be prevented?

Hurricanes which are also called typhoons occur when warm air is replaced by cooler air. At the center of a hurricane is an eye which usually has low air pressure it can become very tall and can reach up high into the sky.

Tornadoes too are called twisters and has a shape like a tunnel, it is formed as a result of the presence of warm and moist conditions in the lower atmosphere and cold and dry conditions in the upper atmosphere, as a result, the cold air starts sinking and warm air starts rising when the number of warm increases, it becomes stronger and can clear anything that it comes across.

One lesson you must learn from this is that ensure you always watch the news to know when a hurricane or tornado is possibly going to occur, so u can be prepared, gather your toys and secure them so they don’t get blown away, it is a monster and is not a friend to anyone, not even little children.



Nelson, ken (2018). Earth science for kids: weather -hurricanes (tropical cyclones) Ducksters.

You may also want to read

Hurricane Meaning, Causes and Effect

Hurricane Categories and Their Meaning

Hurricane Safety Tips

Hurricane Meaning

Hurricanes are also known as cyclones and typhoons. They are gigantic storms that occur in the tropical seas of the world. This means that they can only occur at the tropical areas, such as the South Atlantic Ocean, Eastern Pacific Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean Sea.

Causes of Hurricanes

The key ingredients to the formation of tropical cyclones are warm water, upper-level winds, and moist warm air. Hurricanes are initiated when the warm, moist air from the surface of oceans begins to rise rapidly and collide with the mass of cooler air. This collision prompts the warm vapor to condense, transform into storm clouds, and returning as rain. Latent heat is evolved during this rainfall (condensation) process which warms the cool air above. This causes the cool air to rise and create the way for warmer, humid air from the ocean to rise.

how hurricanes form

As this cycle continues, warmer, moist air is getting involved in the mounting storm and more heat is transferred from the ocean surface to the atmosphere. The continuous exchange of heat develops a wind-like pattern that spins around.

This storm will continue as long as the condition remains the same and there is enough fuel to keep the storm going. The rotating storm will become more powerful and eventually become a hurricane. The hurricane continues to gather strength and momentum, an opening is formed at the center, known as the “eye”.

Consequently, the eye becomes the core center of the storm and the strongest wind occurs near the eye. This means that the wind gets stronger as you move closer to the eye. The area surrounding the eye is called the eyewall. A fully developed tropical storm can reach a speed of 200miles per hour. The speed of a hurricane is the major factor of classifying hurricanes into categories.

Eventually, if the tropical cyclone loses energy, which means that it has reached the cooler waters at the shores, they start to become wean and die off.

Stages of tropical cyclone

  1. Tropical depression: Wind speeds below 38 mph or 61.15 kph
  2. Tropical Storm: Winds speeds ranging from 39 mph to 73 mph or 62.76 kph to 117.48 kph
  3. Hurricane: Winds speed over 74 mph or 119.09 kph

Effects of hurricane

Storm surge and tidal flooding

Storm surge is a notable and the most devastating effect of hurricanes. Storm surge is the rising of the wall of water from the ashore together with the land-falling hurricane and is responsible for about 90% of all deaths during a hurricane.

High Winds

This is an obvious feature of a hurricane. It determines the category of and how strong a hurricane is and how much damage the storm can cause. There are 5 categories of hurricanes according to their speed.


Probably, this is a rare event during hurricanes. Tornadoes occur during hurricanes due to the immense energy and instability initiated when a hurricane causes landfall. Notable, tornadoes formed during hurricanes are minimal in strength.

Heavy rain and flooding

Heavy rainfall is also an important effect of hurricanes. The rainfall from hurricanes is tremendous enough to make a major impact, such as a flood.


You may also read about: Hurricane Safety Facts and Hurricane Categories