National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce
Monthly Storm Reports and Storm Data
Storm Reports
Are you interested in what happened during a recent event? Check out the report below.
 
Arkansas Yearly Climate Summary (2020)/Pg1
 
Links of Interest
Storms of 2020 in Arkansas (in PDF)
Note: This is a file with lists of significant events (tornadoes, damaging winds, hail, etc) during the year in Arkansas.
Significant Events in 2020 Across Arkansas (html)
Significant Events in 2020 Across the U.S. (html)
U.S. Billion Dollar Weather Events in 2020 (html)
Year 2020 (Arkansas) (text)
Year 2020 (Little Rock) (text) Year 2020 (North Little Rock) (text)
Year 2020 (Harrison) (text) Year 2020 (Pine Bluff) (text)

 

Some Quick Stats for Arkansas
 
2020 Statistics
Month Tornadoes Tornado Deaths Wind (Tstm and Non-Tstm) Deaths Flood/Flash Flood Deaths Lightning Deaths
Jan 11 (EF1: 8, EF2: 3) 0 0 0 0
Feb 0 0 0 0 0
Mar 8 (EF1: 6, EF2: 1, EF3: 1) 0 0 0 0
Apr 4 (EF0: 1, EF1: 1, EF2: 2) 0 1 0 0
May 9 (EF0: 3, EF1: 4, EFU: 2) 0 0 0 0
Jun 0 0 0 0 0
Jul 1 (EF0: 1) 0 0 0 0
Aug 8 (EF0: 3, EF1: 4, EF2: 1) 0 0 0 0
Sep 3 (EF0: 1, EF1: 1, EF2: 1) 0 0 0 0
Oct 0 0 0 0 0
Nov 1 (EF1: 1) 0 0 0 0
Dec 0 0 0 0 0
Total 45 0 1 0 0
Note: This was the most tornadoes in Arkansas since 2011. Two tornadoes in May were assigned ratings of EFU (unknown) because there was no damage to evaluate. The latest tornado (rated EF1) affected areas near Romance (White County) on November 15th. The strongest tornado (rated EF3/maximum winds around 140 mph) tracked just under 13 miles through the south/east side of Jonesboro (Craighead County) on March 28th. This was the strongest tornado in the state since April 27, 2014.

 

In 2020, above average temperatures (in red) occurred in six months, and above average precipitation (in green) was noted in nine months. Overall, it was a little warmer and a lot wetter than normal.
Temperature Trends  |  Precipitation Trends
In the picture: In 2020, above average temperatures (in red) occurred in six months, and above average precipitation (in green) was noted in nine months. Overall, it was a little warmer and a lot wetter than normal.
 

Looking statewide, this was the third year in a row with precipitation more than ten inches above average. It was the 11th wettest year dating back to 1895. The year began with very mild and wet conditions from January through March. In six of seven months to follow. temperatures were below average and precipitation was above average. The reset button was hit in November, with precipitation shutting off (very dry), and temperatures warming up (very mild). Dryness continued into December, but the year ended as it started with a lot of rain in the last couple of days.

 

2020 Extremes
Type of Extreme Extreme Reached/Date of Extreme
Hottest Temperature 101° at Batesville Regional Airport
(Independence Co.) - Aug 10
Coldest Temperature 10° at Dennard 10 WSW (Van Buren Co.) - Feb 14
Mountain Home 1 NNW (Baxter Co.) - Feb 15
Most Rain (Year) 100.03" at Mena 12.9 NW (Polk Co.)
Most Rain (Month) 19.71" at Dierks (Howard Co.) - Aug
Most Rain (Day) 7.57" at Mena (Polk Co.) - Aug 13
Least Rain (Year) 41.50" at West Fork 0.1 SSW (Washington Co.)
Least Rain (Month) 0.20" at Bella Vista 0.6 WSW (Benton Co.) - Aug
Most Snow (Year) 7.0" at Jasper 3.8 SE (Newton Co.)
and Rogers 2.4 SSW (Benton Co.)
Most Snow (Month) 6.0" at Decatur 2.6 ESE (Benton Co.) - Dec
Rogers 2.4 SSW (Benton Co.) - Dec
Most Snow (Day) 6.0" at Decatur 2.6 ESE (Benton Co.) - Dec 14
Rogers 2.4 SSW (Benton Co.) - Dec 14
Highest Snow Depth 6" at Harrison 10.6 SW (Boone Co.) - Dec 13
Decatur 2.6 ESE (Benton Co.), Holiday Island
1.3 SSW (Carroll Co.), and Rogers 2.4 SSW
(Benton Co.) - Dec. 14

 

It was wet to very wet across much of Arkansas in 2020.
Precipitation  |  Departure From Normal  |  Percent of Normal
In the pictures: It was wet to very wet across much of Arkansas in 2020.
 

Too much rain to begin the year and river flooding led to a lack of planting by farmers. The Black, Cache, Ouachita, and lower White Rivers were high to overflowing at times through the spring. Fields were either under water or too wet for use through much of the beginning of the growing season. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) released a report on August 12th, and it was mentioned that the state had 1.1 million unplanted (or prevented) acres. This was 3rd highest in the nation behind North Dakota (2.6 million acres) and South Dakota (1.2 million acres).

 

Precipitation in 2020
Site Amount Normal +/- % of Normal
Fayetteville (NW AR) 49.86 48.51 +1.35 103%
Harrison (NC AR) 53.60 44.14 +9.46 121%
Jonesboro (NE AR) 56.25 48.10 +8.15 117%
Fort Smith (WC AR) 61.62 45.46 +16.16 136%
Little Rock (C AR) 60.04 49.75 +10.29 121%
West Memphis (EC AR) 53.89 52.23 +1.66 103%
Texarkana (SW AR) 68.81 49.65 +19.16 139%
El Dorado (SC AR) 66.18 52.92 +13.26 125%
Pine Bluff (SE AR) 63.04 51.15 +11.89 123%
Note: The statewide average precipitation was 63.43 inches, or 13.83 inches above average. This was the 11th wettest year on record.

 

Average Temperatures in 2020
Site Avg Temp +/-
Fayetteville (NW AR) 59.3° +2.3°
Harrison (NC AR) 58.7° +0.8°
Jonesboro (NE AR) 59.9° -0.1°
Fort Smith (WC AR) 62.8° +1.1°
Little Rock (C AR) 62.3° -0.4°
West Memphis (EC AR) 62.6° +1.6°
Texarkana (SW AR) 64.8° +0.9°
El Dorado (SC AR) 64.5° +1.0°
Pine Bluff (SE AR) 62.9° 0.0°
Note: The statewide average temperature was 61.1 degrees, or 0.7 degree above average. This was the 38th warmest year on record.

 

In the picture: Tarmac the Weather Car arrived at the National Weather Service in North Little Rock (Pulaski County) in late 2019, but didn't make a splash on the internet until 2020.
 

2020 was also the year of Tarmac the Weather Cat. He became a fixture at the National Weather Service in North Little Rock (Pulaski County), and followed forecasters in and out of the office. Over time, forecasters posted pictures of Tarmac on the internet, and he became a social media star.

 

There's More to the Story...
 
Now it's time to check out significant events in 2020 across Arkansas. To check out the rest of the story, click here.