NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- The National Weather Service (NWS) confirmed at least five tornadoes touched down in Arkansas Friday night.
An EF0 confirmed Monday near Fountain Lake in Garland County. Two tornadoes confirmed in Lonsdale also touched down. Near the Pulaski/Faulkner county line an EF2 tornado hit the Cato community. Lastly there was an EF0 in Northeast Arkansas, in Marmaduke.
NWS only issued one tornado warning Friday night.
Dennis Cavanaugh, a warning coordination meteorologist for NWS says they picked up the rotations on scans.
"We do see the circulations so it's not that we're just ignoring them but it's a fine balance," Cavanaugh says.
He says the scans come in every three to five minutes showing rotations. On Friday, Cavanaugh says most of the rotations weren't visible for more than one scan making it difficult to determine if a tornado would develop.
"If we issued a tornado warning for every circulation we would issue a lot of tornado warnings and it would drive up the false alarm rate," says Cavanaugh.
He acknowledges that there was significant damage from tornados in the area Friday but says straight line winds also caused widespread damage and can be just as dangerous.
At the time of Friday's storms all of the areas where tornadoes touched down were under severe thunderstorm warnings.
"When we're issuing a severe thunderstorm warning for winds of 80 mph that's hurricane force winds," says Cavanaugh.
He urges people to all severe weather warnings seriously and to seek shelter accordingly.
"In the end with our whole warning program all we want is to get people to do something different than what they were doing before we issued the warning. "
KARK's D.J. Williams is one of the hosts of the Dallas-based program.
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