A tornado whipped up by an unusually warm winter air has torn through parts of north-west Arkansas, killing three people, injuring several others and knocking out power to thousands of homes and businesses.
The victims were killed at Cincinnati, a hamlet near the Oklahoma border. Washington county said the storm hit the centre of the community.
Flights to and from Northwest Arkansas regional airport in Benton county were delayed or cancelled this morning as officials cleared storm debris.
Gulf moisture riding southerly winds pushed temperatures into the upper 60s and 70s (around 20 Celsius) on Thursday – ahead of a cold front expected to drop temperatures into the teens by tomorrow morning.
“Anytime you have a significant change in air mass there will be unsettled weather marking the two different air masses,” said Joe Sellers at the National Weather Service office in Tulsa, Oklahoma.