Jena LA Tornado Historical event High Risk Day

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April 2, 2017

High Risk for severe thunderstorms via Storm Prediction Center as of 12:01 PM CDST for west-central and north-central Louisiana.

(Citations needed to state source of news material featured at beginning of video).

It is uncertain as to whether or not the citizens of Jena, LA knew just how close the town came to being another Tusculusa or, God forbid, Joplin. “They (the citizens) knew it was big and dangerously close, although they couldn’t see it. I was amazed how prepared the townspeople were, especially in a city without sirens.”

Four tornados struck La Salle Parish on April 2, between 3 PM and 5:30, three of which came within 2-5 miles from striking the heart of Jena. “This is as lucky or blessed as one could ever hope to be in this situation” according to one spotter.

A known chaser passed through town just in time to greet the boiling, black mesocyclone that produced the third tornado, which was a quarter-mile-wide, and about 3 miles WNW of Jena around 5:17 PM). He stated, “Jena was obviously spared that day, as the long track tornados lifted right before hitting the town, and some touched down again and moved eastward, each missing the town proper.”

The video contains a new but competent group of spotters who are new to the area and come from the Tornado Alley region of the Texas Panhandle near Amarillo. Bear in mind, their cameras were shaky, as filming took backseat priority to their work as spotters (driving and exchanging realtime info). They synchronize well between realtime radar and visual confirmation.

The video contains the super-cells that were responsible for producing four separate EF-2 tornados each of which came dangerously close to Jena in La Salle Parish. The third Tornado formed about 4 miles north of Midway.

This EF-2 Tornado was a quarter of a mile wide and moved less than a mile during its 3-5 minute lifecycle. We were fortunate enough to catch only fair images of the actual Tornado. The high precipitation that day made most of the tornados rain-wrapped.

The HP nature of the storms added to spotter difficulty, as the foliage is a hindrance in itself. A vague and large funnel can be next to impossible to view and confirm, and this one is no exception. We happened to catch a peep of the large funnel plowing through distant woods before it, too, took refuge behind the rain curtain surrounding a major portion of the updraft.