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Storm Reports
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Heavy Rain on May 3-4, 2017
 

Rain was not needed heading into May after widespread flooding in late April. Unfortunately, rain was in the forecast on the 3rd as an intensifying storm system visited from the Plains.

In the pictures: A trough of low pressure was noted at 500 millibars (or 18,000 feet) in the 24 hour period (every six hours) ending at 100 pm CDT on 05/04/2017. The trough deepened or strengthened, with a closed area of low pressure ("L") in northeast Arkansas at the end of the period.

 

The satellite showed showers and thunderstorms becoming widespread on 05/03/2017, with precipitation building from southwest Arkansas to the northeast with time.
Satellite at 715 am CDT (05/03)  |  Satellite at 1015 am CDT (05/03)
Satellite at 115 pm CDT (05/03)  |  Satellite at 415 pm CDT (05/04)
Satellite at 715 pm CDT (05/03)
In the pictures: The satellite showed showers and thunderstorms becoming widespread on 05/03/2017, with precipitation building from southwest Arkansas to the northeast with time.
 

Showers and thunderstorms went from scattered to widespread in just a few hours, with heavy downpours in southwest sections of the state during the morning. Rain picked in other parts of the state during the afternoon and overnight hours.

Roads were flooded in Piney (Garland County), Sheridan (Grant County), and Sulphur Springs (Jefferson County), with high water along Highway 53 in Gurdon and Whelen Springs (both in Clark County). Two to three feet of water covered Highway 7 at Dalark (Dallas County). Severe weather was minimal, with one report of quarter size hail at Malvern (Hot Spring County).

In central Arkansas, winds picked up in places (30 to 40 mph gusts) between 500 pm and 700 pm CDT. Given a nearly saturated ground, trees were easily pushed over. Trees were toppled at Rock Creek (Pulaski County) and near Shaw (Saline County).

 

Twenty four hour rainfall through 700 am CDT on 05/04/2017.
In the picture: Twenty four hour rainfall through 700 am CDT on 05/04/2017.
 

Twenty four hour rainfall through 700 am CDT on the 4th included 3.81 inches at Antoine (Pike County), 3.20 inches at Bluff City (Nevada County), 3.01 inches at Sparkman (Dallas County), 3.00 inches at Hot Springs National Park (Garland County), and 2.99 inches at Narrows Dam (Pike County).

 

The WSR-88D (Doppler Weather Radar) showed "bright banding" to the north and west of Little Rock (Pulaski County) at 829 am CDT on 05/04/2017.
In the picture: The WSR-88D (Doppler Weather Radar) showed "bright banding" to the north and west of Little Rock (Pulaski County) at 829 am CDT on 05/04/2017.
 

On the 4th, the system responsible for the rain was over the northeast counties. Cold air aloft associated with the system brought freezing levels down to between 4000 and 5000 feet north of Little Rock (Pulaski County). At this level, the WSR-88D (Doppler Weather Radar) detected snow/ice, which is highly reflective. This "bright banding" episode had the appearance of very heavy rain. While it was raining, it was mostly light.

 

 

Storm Reports
There were several reports of flash flooding, with some trees down and hail on May 3rd. For a look at the reports, click here.
 
Link of Interest
Plot Reports
Preliminary reports of flash flooding, non-thunderstorm wind damage, and isolated severe weather in the Little Rock County Warning Area on May 3, 2017 (in red).
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In the picture: Preliminary reports of flash flooding, non-thunderstorm wind damage, and isolated severe weather in the Little Rock County Warning Area on May 3, 2017 (in red).