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Monthly Storm Reports and Storm Data
Storm Reports
Are you interested in what happened during a recent event? Check out the report below.
 
Severe Storms/Areas of Heavy Rain on May 19-21, 2017
 
A big ridge of high pressure ("H") over the southeast United States slowed the eastward progress of a large storm system ("L") in the Rockies on 05/19/2017. This resulted is a nearly stalled front to the northwest of Arkansas, and round after round of severe weather surrounding the front.
In the picture: A big ridge of high pressure ("H") over the southeast United States slowed the eastward progress of a large storm system ("L") in the Rockies on 05/19/2017. This resulted is a nearly stalled front to the northwest of Arkansas, and round after round of severe weather surrounding the front.
 

A blocking pattern setup in mid-May. A ridge of high pressure over the southeast United States slowed the eastward progress of incoming storm systems approaching from the Rockies. In the end, a front stalled across the middle of the country, and was the focus for several rounds of severe thunderstorms.

 

There were numerous reports of tornadoes, wind damage, and large hail in the in the ninety six hour (four day) period ending at 700 am CDT on 05/19/2017, especially from the upper Midwest to the central and southern Plains. The graphic is courtesy of the Storm Prediction Center.
In the picture: There were numerous reports of tornadoes, wind damage, and large hail in the in the ninety six hour (four day) period ending at 700 am CDT on 05/19/2017, especially from the upper Midwest to the central and southern Plains. The graphic is courtesy of the Storm Prediction Center.
 

Outbreaks of severe weather occurred from Wisconsin to Texas from the 15th through the 18th. Parts of New England and the Ohio Valley were involved by the 18th. Over 1200 reports of tornadoes, large hail, and damaging winds were counted in the four day period according to the Storm Prediction Center.

 

High temperatures on 05/18/2017.
In the picture: High temperatures on 05/18/2017.
 

In Arkansas, there was not much going on, but temperatures were going up. On the 18th, afternoon readings peaked in the 80s to around 90 degrees.This was well above average readings in the upper 70s and lower 80s.

 

The satellite showed showers and thunderstorms building into northern and western Arkansas before rapidly weakening early on 05/19/2017.
Satellite at 1115 pm CDT (05/18)  |  Satellite at 1215 am CDT (05/19)
Satellite at 115 am CDT (05/19)  |  Satellite at 215 am CDT (05/19)
In the pictures: The satellite showed showers and thunderstorms building into northern and western Arkansas before rapidly weakening early on 05/19/2017.
 

Early on the 19th, the ridge to the east finally started weakening. This allowed storminess in the Plains to build into areas northwest of Little Rock (Pulaski County).

 

WSR-88D (Doppler Weather Radar) cross sections of a severe storm revealed a descending core near Limestone (Newton County) between 100 am and 130 am CDT on 05/19/2017. Such a signature often results in wind damage when the core collapses and reaches the ground. Trees and power lines were downed in the area.
Cross Section at 111 am CDT (05/19)  |  Cross Section at 115 am CDT (05/19)
Cross Section at 119 am CDT (05/19)
In the pictures: WSR-88D (Doppler Weather Radar) cross sections of a severe storm revealed a descending core near Limestone (Newton County) between 100 am and 130 am CDT on 05/19/2017. Such a signature often results in wind damage when the core collapses and reaches the ground. Trees and power lines were downed in the area.
 

There were signs of rotation with some of the storms, and the possibility of brief weak tornadoes. However, wind damage signatures were more prevalent, and this was the main concern.

 

The WSR-88D (Doppler Weather Radar) showed an outflow boundary surging ahead of a cluster of thunderstorms near Clarksville (Johnson County) at 104 am CDT on 05/19/2017. The boundary marked the leading edge of strong to damaging winds.
In the picture: The WSR-88D (Doppler Weather Radar) showed an outflow boundary surging ahead of a cluster of thunderstorms near Clarksville (Johnson County) at 104 am CDT on 05/19/2017. The boundary marked the leading edge of strong to damaging winds.
 

Numerous trees were toppled by damaging straight-line winds in Johnson and Newton Counties. At a high school in Clarksville (Johnson County), a sign and a scoreboard were blown down. More trees were pushed over at Lakeway and Ralph (both in Marion County).

There was a weak tornado (rated EF0) spawned a few miles southwest of Bentonville (Benton County) just after midnight CDT on the 19th. Other than uprooting and snapping trees and power poles, the tornado damaged roofs on a number of homes.

 

Severe weather and flood headlines were numerous to the north and west of Arkansas at 600 pm CDT on 05/19/2017. There were a few Severe Thunderstorm Warnings in effect locally, as well as some river flooding.
In the picture: Severe weather and flood headlines were numerous to the north and west of Arkansas at 600 pm CDT on 05/19/2017. There were a few Severe Thunderstorm Warnings in effect locally, as well as some river flooding.
 

Storms weakened rapidly before dawn, but isolated severe storms managed to pop up during the afternoon of the 19th. Mainly hail was reported.

 

Isolated thunderstorms bubbled up quickly during the afternoon of 05/19/2017. These towering cumulus (foreground) and cumulonimbus (anvils in the background) clouds were viewed from the National Weather Service at the North Little Rock Airport (Pulaski County).
In the picture: Isolated thunderstorms bubbled up quickly during the afternoon of 05/19/2017. These towering cumulus (foreground) and cumulonimbus (anvils in the background) clouds were viewed from the National Weather Service at the North Little Rock Airport (Pulaski County).
 

Hail the size of golf balls was noted at Salem (Fulton County), with half dollar size hail at Austin (Lonoke County), and quarter size hail at Conway (Faulkner County), Oxford (Izard County), and Pleasant Plains (Independence County). A thunderstorm gust damaged a carport at Beebe (White County).

 

The WSR-88D (Doppler Weather Radar) showed showers and thunderstorms slowly building over the northern half of Arkansas early on 05/20/2017.
Radar at 548 pm CDT (05/19)  |  Radar at 758 pm CDT (05/19)
Radar at 1008 pm CDT (05/19)  |  Radar at 1238 am CDT (05/20)
Radar at 358 am CDT (05/20)
In the pictures: The WSR-88D (Doppler Weather Radar) showed showers and thunderstorms slowly building over the northern half of Arkansas early on 05/20/2017.
 

During the morning hours of the 20th, another large batch of thunderstorms slowly rolled into the region. This was more about areas of heavy rain and less about severe weather. Several inches of rain flooded Highway 252 near Lavaca (Sebastian County), and the road was closed. High water was also reported along Highway 13 at Judsonia (White County). Three inches of rain dumped in three hours in West Little Rock (Pulaski County). Almost four inches of liquid was measured in Searcy (White County) in a similar time frame.

There was a 70 mph gust reported at Mountain Home (Baxter County). Some structural damage resulted (mainly roofs), with a tree falling on a mobile home. Fortunately, nobody was injured.

 

Forty eight hour rainfall through 700 pm CDT on 05/20/2017.
In the picture: Forty eight hour rainfall through 700 pm CDT on 05/20/2017.
 

Forty eight hour rainfall through 700 pm CDT on the 20th included 4.29 inches at Fort Smith (Sebastian County), 3.85 inches at Highfill (Benton County), 3.15 inches at Harrison (Boone County), 3.05 inches at Fayetteville (Washington County), and 2.52 inches at Newport (Jackson County).

More than six inches of precipitation collected in portions of central and eastern Oklahoma. This not only caused widespread flash flooding (roads closed, water into homes and businesses, etc), it caused the Arkansas River to swell. Flow rates increased to 150,000 to more than 200,000 cubic feet per second (cfs), which is well above the usual 25,000 to 50,000 cfs. Minor to moderate flooding occurred at Van Buren (Crawford County, Ozark (Franklin County), and Morrilton (Conway County).

The aforementioned front in the Plains pushed through Arkansas late on the 20th and into the 21st. There was one last small episode of severe weather across the southern counties. One storm produced quarter size hail just southeast of Camden (Ouachita County).

Drier and cooler air followed the front. High temperatures on the 21st were only in the 70s to around 80 degrees with lots of sunshine.

 

Storm Reports
Preliminary reports of severe weather, flash flooding, and heavy rain in the Little Rock County Warning Area on May 19-21, 2017 (in red).
Submit a storm report.
There were multiple reports of hail, damaging winds, flash flooding, and heavy rain on May 19th through the 21st. Most of the reports were in northern and central Arkansas. For a look at the reports, click here.
 
Link of Interest
Plot Reports
In the picture: Preliminary reports of severe weather, flash flooding, and heavy rain in the Little Rock County Warning Area on May 19-21, 2017 (in red).