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Cool and Dry in the East; Turning Stormy in the Northwest

Much cooler temperatures behind a cold front will bring a feeling of fall to the East Coast today. In addition, an active fall storm pattern developing in the Pacific Northwest this week will bring areas of heavy rain and high elevation snow. Northern California will benefit from rainfall this week that will aid firefighters given the recent large wildfires. Read More >

 

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October 2014

  • Fort Smith: September-October 2014 was the 6th wettest September-October on record, with 14.80" of rain.
  • Using the radar-derived estimated observed precipitation from the RFCs, rainfall totals for October 2014 ranged from 2” to 12” from west to east across eastern Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas. The majority of eastern Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas received 3”-6” of rain this month. A large portion of the area received above normal rainfall this month, with far northeast Oklahoma, northwest Arkansas, and Le Flore County getting 150%-300% of the normal October rain. However, below normal rainfall, only 25%-75% of normal, occurred across portions of Osage, Pawnee, Creek, Okfuskee, Okmulgee, McIntosh, Pittsburg, Pushmataha, and Choctaw Counties in eastern Oklahoma.
  • It was feast or famine across eastern Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas during October 2014 as several rounds of heavy rain resulted in flooding in between dry spells.
  • Mainstream river flooding occurred along the Neosho River near Commerce (minor flooding), Verdigris River near Lenapah (moderate flooding), and the Poteau River near Panama (minor flooding).
  • Scattered showers and thunderstorms developed along a quasi-stationary front across southeast KS/southwest MO during the afternoon of the 9th. This activity moved south into northeast OK and northwest AR during the afternoon and evening hours. As this first round of storms diminished, a second round redeveloped close to an outflow boundary near the KS/OK state line during the evening, in the area that had already seen rain. The quasi-stationary front stretched from northeast OK into west central OK by early morning on the 10th, with a 25-35kt south-southwesterly low-level flow supporting heavy rain near and north of the boundary. Training of storms led to moderate to heavy rain over the same area that had received rainfall during the first round of storms. Rainfall rates of 1”-1.5”/hour were common in the heaviest rain cores, with a few locations measuring 1.5”-2.1” of rain in just one hour. Rainfall totals north of Hwy 412 ranged from 0.75” to near 7”. The result was both flash flooding and mainstem river flooding across northeast OK. Moderate flooding occurred along the Verdigris River near Lenapah, with the river cresting near 33.8’. The river rose 26’ in just 8 hours and 45 min (4.00’ at midnight; 30.00’ at 8:45am CDT). Minor flooding occurred along the Neosho River near Commerce, with a river crest of just over 17’. Many city and county roads were closed due to high water in the areas that received the highest rainfall totals in northeast OK and northwest AR. 2 people were injured when a train derailed in Crawford County due to a washout.

    Rainfall Totals as of 1:30pm CDT Oct. 10, 2014:
    Childers 2SSE, OK     6.77”     Commerce, OK     6.30”     Copan Dam, OK     5.92”
    Copan 3ENE, OK        5.77”     Quapaw 3SE, OK  5.44”     Vinita 10NNW, OK  5.27”
    Lenapah 3E, OK          5.02”

    The front finally began to move south during the day on the 10th, bringing additional heavy rain further south across eastern OK and west central AR during the afternoon through late evening hours. Rainfall totals south of I-44 primarily ranged from 1”-2.5”, with several areas receiving 2.5”-5” of rain. Central Le Flore County had 5”-6” of rainfall. This led to rises along the Poteau River, but flood stage was not exceeded. Some shower activity lingered during the day on the 11th, bringing an additional 0.25”-0.75” of rain to northeast and east central OK, as well as northwest AR. Higher rain totals of 0.75”-1.5” occurred over Delaware and far northwest Benton Counties.

    24-hour Rainfall Totals as of 7am CDT Oct. 11, 2014:
    Page 5N, OK               5.30”      Bengal 2NNW, OK              4.33”     Porter, OK               4.20”
    Wilburton 2SW, OK    3.99”      Hartshorne 3.9NNE, OK    3.69”     Haskell 2E, OK      3.50”
  • Heavy rain once again affected the area late on the 12th and into the morning of the 13th. Storms developed when a surface low and associated cold front pushed into the area and a strong mid-level shortwave approached overhead. These storms eventually turned into a line of storms ahead of the strong cold front and moved eastward, bringing rain to all of eastern OK and northwest AR. Rainfall totals ranged from around 0.50” to around 3”, with the heaviest rainfall occurring east of a McAlester to Bentonville line. This rain, on top of what had fallen just a few days prior, led to minor flooding along the Poteau River near Panama. The Poteau River near Poteau remained just below flood stage. The Illinois River near Tahlequah also rose in response to these two rain events, exceeding action stage, but remaining below flood stage. In addition to the heavy rain, an EF-1 tornado occurred north of Hindsville in northern Madison County.
  • According to the Drought Monitor from October 28, 2014, Severe Drought (D2) conditions were occurring across portions of eastern Kay, southwest Osage, Pawnee, northern Creek, and far western Tulsa Counties in eastern Oklahoma. Moderate Drought (D1) conditions were present across portions of Osage, western Tulsa, and Creek Counties in eastern Oklahoma. Abnormally Dry (D0), but not experiencing drought, conditions existed across northern Osage, Washington, Tulsa, far western Rogers, southern Creek, Okmulgee, Okfuskee, far western McIntosh, western Pittsburg, and Choctaw Counties in eastern Oklahoma. Drought/abnormally dry conditions were not present in northwest Arkansas.
  • According to the Oklahoma Climatological Survey, October 2014 was the 10th wettest for northeast Oklahoma, the 23rd wettest for east central Oklahoma, and the 30th wettest for southeast Oklahoma.  Records go back to 1921.  From January 1-October 31, 2014, northeast Oklahoma ranked as the 22nd driest, east central Oklahoma was the 27th driest, and southeast Oklahoma was the 18th driest year-to-date period.
Outlook
  • The Climate Prediction Center CPC outlook for November 2014 (issued October 31, 2014) indicates an enhanced chance for above median precipitation all of northeast Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas, with the highest chances across southeast Oklahoma. This outlook also indicates equal chances for above, near, and below normal temperatures across all of eastern Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas. This outlook is based on short-range forecasts of expected weather conditions, primarily for the first 2 weeks of November, as well as climate signals.
  • The Climate Prediction Center CPC outlook for the 3-month period November-December-January 2014-15, CPC is forecasting a slightly enhanced chance for below normal temperatures along and south of I-40, with equal chances for above, near, and below normal temperatures for the remainder of eastern Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas. This outlook also indicates equal chances for above, near, and below median precipitation across all of eastern Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas (outlook issued October 16, 2014). This outlook is based on both statistical and dynamical forecast tools and considering El Niño conditions.
  • According to CPC, current atmospheric and oceanic observations continue to indicate ENSO neutral conditions. Forecasts still indicate a transition to a weak  El Niño event in late autumn or early winter.