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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 27-28, 2017
 
A front was stalled across southern Missouri, with outflow from nighttime thunderstorms into northern Arkansas at 700 am CDT on 05/27/2017. South of the front/outflow, it was very moist (dewpoint temperatures in the 70s).
In the picture: A front was stalled across southern Missouri, with outflow from nighttime thunderstorms into northern Arkansas at 700 am CDT on 05/27/2017. South of the front/outflow, it was very moist (dewpoint temperatures in the 70s).
 

It was an explosive situation to close out May. Temperatures were warm, and it was very humid (somewhat tropical). Given a trigger (such as a front), thunderstorms could erupt at any moment. We got a taste of that early on the 27th (mostly between 100 am and 400 am CDT). Isolated severe storms dumped walnut to hen egg size hail in and around Omaha (Boone County) and northeast of Mountain Home (Baxter County). There was half dollar size hail at Horseshoe Bend (Izard County), and quarter size hail at Jordan (Baxter County).

 

Various models (colored lines with dots) had CAPE (Convective Available Potential Energy) values climbing over 6000 Joules/kilogram at Tulsa, OK during the afternoon of 05/27/2017. CAPE is not only a measure of energy available for thunderstorm development, it is related to the strength of storm updrafts and the potential for severe weather.
In the picture: Various models (colored lines with dots) had CAPE (Convective Available Potential Energy) values climbing over 6000 Joules/kilogram at Tulsa, OK during the afternoon of 05/27/2017. CAPE is not only a measure of energy available for thunderstorm development, it is related to the strength of storm updrafts and the potential for severe weather.
 

Later on the 27th, temperatures climbed into the mid 80s to lower 90s. It was 92 degrees at Fort Smith (Sebastian County), and 90 degrees at De Queen (Sevier County) and Monticello (Drew County). In the southern Plains, CAPE (Convective Available Potential Energy) values were extreme (over 6000 Joules/kilogram). Unleashing this much energy would result in not only a higher potential of severe weather, but a greater magnitude of what storms could produce (strong tornadoes, giant hail, hurricane force winds, etc).

 

There was an enhanced to moderate risk of severe weather across northern and central Arkansas, and a slight risk across the south in the twenty four hour period ending at 700 am CDT on 05/28/2017. The outlook is courtesy of the Storm Prediction Center.
In the picture: There was an enhanced to moderate risk of severe weather across northern and central Arkansas, and a slight risk across the south in the twenty four hour period ending at 700 am CDT on 05/28/2017. The outlook is courtesy of the Storm Prediction Center.
 

Given a greater concern than usual for what storms could bring, there an enhanced to moderate risk of severe weather from Missouri into northern and central Arkansas. There was not as much concern farther south.

 

 

While there was a lot of CAPE (Convective Available Potential Energy) at North Little Rock (Pulaski County) at 1000 pm CDT on 05/27/2017, it was above a cap/inversion (rising temperatures with height). Air parcels had to get above the cap to become warmer than the surrounding environment and ascend freely (to provide moisture for storm clouds and rain). The cap was preventing this from happening, and air parcels were grounded.
In the picture: While there was a lot of CAPE (Convective Available Potential Energy) at North Little Rock (Pulaski County) at 1000 pm CDT on 05/27/2017, it was above a cap/inversion (rising temperatures with height). Air parcels had to get above the cap to become warmer than the surrounding environment and ascend freely (to provide moisture for storm clouds and rain). The cap was preventing this from happening, and air parcels were grounded.
 

Storms from southern Arkansas to the Gulf Coast were expected to struggle or not develop at all due to capping. There was an inversion (climbing temperatures with height) aloft, and this was not allowing air parcels to realize all of the energy available above the inversion. As long as air parcels were suppressed, storms would be less of an issue. In fact, much of the 27th went by with no storms in the state.

 

Temperatures at 1200 am CDT on 05/28/2017.
In the picture: The satellite showed severe thunderstorms developing readily in Missouri along a warm front and ahead of a storm system ("L") at 500 pm CDT on 05/27/2017.
 

While there was a lull here, thunderstorms flourished in Missouri (less capping and a storm system serving as a trigger). Clusters of severe storms tracked toward the Tennessee Valley and away from us. However, as evening arrived, new storms began growing just to the north of the border, and were poised to move into the region.

 

 

The WSR-88D (Doppler Weather Radar) showed severe storms racing across northeast Arkansas during the evening of 05/27/2017. Cool outflow (thin blue/gray line) from the storms worked toward central sections of the state, and made it to Searcy (White County) by 1100 pm CDT. 
Radar at 901 pm CDT (05/27)  |  Radar at 931 pm CDT (05/27)
Radar at 1000 pm CDT (05/27)  |  Radar at 1031 pm CDT (05/27)
Radar at 1101 pm CDT (05/27)
In the pictures: The WSR-88D (Doppler Weather Radar) showed severe storms racing across northeast Arkansas during the evening of 05/27/2017. Cool outflow (thin blue/gray line) from the storms worked toward central sections of the state, and made it to Searcy (White County) by 1100 pm CDT. 
 

Storms swept through areas north and east of Little Rock (Pulaski County), and were responsible for mainly wind damage. Wind gusts reached 60 to more than 70 mph in places. Cool outflow from the storms penetrated into central sections of the state toward midnight CDT.

 

 

There were numerous reports of wind damage and large hail in the twenty four hour period ending at 700 am CDT on 05/28/2017, especially from Missouri into the Tennessee Valley. There were a few tornadoes as well. The graphic is courtesy of the Storm Prediction Center.
In the picture: There were numerous reports of wind damage and large hail in the twenty four hour period ending at 700 am CDT on 05/28/2017, especially from Missouri into the Tennessee Valley. There were a few tornadoes as well. The graphic is courtesy of the Storm Prediction Center.
 

A tree was blown onto a car at Ash Flat (Sharp County), with trees on houses in Walnut Ridge (Lawrence County), Lepanto (Poinsett County), Marion (Crittenden County), and Whitton (Mississippi County). Another tree fell onto two mobile homes at Crawfordsville (Crittenden County), and an injury resulted. Downed trees blocked Highways 141 and 358 near Walcott (Greene County). A 67 mph gust was measured at Corning (Clay County).

 

Temperatures at 1200 am CDT on 05/28/2017.
In the picture: Temperatures at 1200 am CDT on 05/28/2017.
 

Gusts over 50 mph were associated with the outflow, including a 52 mph gust at Newport (Jackson County). Some trees were toppled at Sulphur Rock (Independence County) and Tuckerman (Jackson County). The outflow dropped temperatures into the 60s, and the severe weather potential decreased. 

 

WSR-88D (Doppler Weather Radar) showed storms bowing/bulging out east of Russellville (Pope County) at 1259 am CDT on 05/28/2017. This backward C-shape was caused by strong to damaging winds surging into the storms from the west.
Reflectivity at 1259 am CDT (05/28)  |  Storm Relative Velocity at 1259 am CDT (05/28)
In the pictures: WSR-88D (Doppler Weather Radar) showed storms bowing/bulging out east of Russellville (Pope County) at 1259 am CDT on 05/28/2017. This backward C-shape was caused by strong to damaging winds surging into the storms from the west.
 

Heading into the late evening of the 27th and the wee hours of the 28th, the only areas susceptible to severe storms were southern and western Arkansas (ahead of the outflow). Unfortunately, there were more storms to come.

At 1145 pm CDT, one storm spawned a tornado (rated EF1) from Short, OK to Natural Dam (Crawford County). Along the roughly eleven mile track, some homes were damaged and outbuildings were destroyed.  

A bowing line of storms tore through barns and outbuildings at Lutherville (Johnson County) and uncorked a 62 mph gust at Russellville (Pope County). Metal roofing was removed from a row of buildings at Pottsville (Pope County). North of Morrilton (Conway County), a tree was pushed on a house.

A similar line of storms caused tree and power line damage in much of Montgomery County and caused roof damage to a dozen storage units near Hot Springs (Garland County).

 

Forty eight hour rainfall through 700 pm CDT on 05/28/2017.
In the picture: Forty eight hour rainfall through 700 pm CDT on 05/28/2017.
 

As far as rainfall, much of the north and east received three quarters of an inch to an inch and a half of liquid, with locally more than two inches. Amounts from a quarter to three quarters of an inch were common in the south and west.

Forty eight hour rainfall through 700 pm CDT on the 28th included 2.07 inches at Little Rock (Pulaski County), 1.93 inches at Pine Bluff (Jefferson County), 1.86 inches at Mountain Home (Baxter County), 1.60 inches at Jonesboro (Craighead County), and 1.39 inches at Russellville (Pope County).

More than four inches of precipitation was measured in and around Branson, MO. A Flash Flood Emergency was issued for the area by the National Weather Service in Springfield, MO. At least two fatalities were blamed on high water (and another person was missing). These occurred when a vehicle was driven across a flooded road and was swept downstream.

 

Minor to moderate flooding continued in late May on the Black, Cache, and lower White Rivers.
In the picture: Minor to moderate flooding continued in late May on the Black, Cache, and lower White Rivers.
 

While the rain was not enough to cause substantial rises on local tributaries, it slowed falls on the Black, Cache, and lower White Rivers (in eastern Arkansas). These rivers remained above flood stages at most forecast points since a deluge hit in late April.

 

Storm Reports
Preliminary reports of severe weather in the Little Rock County Warning Area on May 27-28, 2017 (in red).
Submit a storm report.
There were multiple reports of hail and damaging winds on May 27th and 28th. For a look at the reports, click here.
 
Link of Interest
Plot Reports
In the picture: Preliminary reports of severe weather in the Little Rock County Warning Area on May 27-28, 2017 (in red).