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August, 2019 Storm Report
 
Short Weather Summary
 
It was two different worlds across Arkansas in August. Across the north, it was stormy with more than the usual rain and several episodes of severe weather. Across the south, it was dry with spotty rain. After a relatively mild summer thus far, heat became a factor statewide, with oppressive conditions at times. The tropics heated up toward the end of the month with Hurricane Dorian approaching the East Coast.

 

Record Temperatures
 
There were no record temperatures tied or broken in August.

 

Plenty of Heat/Stormy in Northern Arkansas/Dry in the South
 
Sixty day percent of normal precipitation as of 700 am CDT on 08/31/2019. For much of this time frame, high pressure ("H") was persistent in the central/southern Rockies and southern Plains. Under the ridge, there was not much rain (below average precipitation). East of the ridge (including much of Arkansas), storm systems and fronts brought more than enough rain (above average precipitation).
In the picture: Sixty day percent of normal precipitation as of 700 am CDT on 08/31/2019. For much of this time frame, high pressure ("H") was persistent in the central/southern Rockies and southern Plains. Under the ridge, there was not much rain (below average precipitation). East of the ridge (including much of Arkansas), storm systems and fronts brought more than enough rain (above average precipitation).
 

For much of August, there was a persistent area of high pressure from the Rockies into the southern Plains. Several cold fronts went around the high and pushed into Arkansas from the north. The fronts triggered showers and thunderstorms, and produced above average rainfall (by two to more than four inches) in northern and central sections of the state. Farther south, the high was strong enough to keep precipitation to a minimum. Less than an inch of rain fell at El Dorado (Union County), with under two inches at Texakana (Miller County).

 

Precipitation in August, 2019
Site Amount Normal +/- % of Normal
Fayetteville (NW AR) 5.24 3.24 +2.00 162%
Harrison (NC AR) 8.04 3.58 +4.46 225%
Jonesboro (NE AR) 6.05 2.54 +3.51 238%
Fort Smith (WC AR) 11.70 2.59 +9.11 452%
Little Rock (C AR) 5.29 2.59 +2.70 204%
West Memphis (EC AR) 6.57 3.06 +2.51 215%
Texarkana (SW AR) 1.31 2.91 -1.60 45%
El Dorado (SC AR) 0.25 3.11 -2.86 8%
Pine Bluff (SE AR) 4.54 2.48 +2.06 183%

 

The surface map showed a cold front pushing through Arkansas from the north at 400 pm CDT on 08/07/2019. South of the front, it was hot (temperatures were in the 90s) and humid (dewpoints in the 70s).
In the picture: The surface map showed a cold front pushing through Arkansas from the north at 400 pm CDT on 08/07/2019. South of the front, it was hot (temperatures were in the 90s) and humid (dewpoints in the 70s). 
 

One such front approached from the north on the 6th. Scattered severe thunderstorms with damaging winds developed ahead of the front in northeast Arkansas. A 66 mph wind gust was measured at Corning (Clay County), with trees and power lines downed locally. Along Highway 155 southeast of Jonesboro (Craighead County), a semi truck was blown over.

 

Temperatures were mostly in the 90s with heat index values from the mid 90s to just over 110 degrees at 100 pm CDT on 08/07/2019.
Temperatures at 100 pm CDT (08/07)  |  Heat Index Values at 100 pm CDT (08/07)
In the pictures: Temperatures were mostly in the 90s with heat index values from the mid 90s to just over 110 degrees at 100 pm CDT on 08/07/2019.
 

On the 7th, the front pushed into the region. Temperatures were in the 90s, and it was the hottest day of the year so far at some locations. At Little Rock (Pulaski County), for example, the mercury reached 99 degrees. It was also humid, and this created heat index values over 110 degrees in spots.

 

In the video: The satellite loop showed scattered thunderstorms building southward with a front through Arkansas during the afternoon of 08/07/2019.
 

Relief came to parts of the state when hit and miss thunderstorms popped up in the afternoon. The storms gradually worked southward with the front, and unleashed more wind. 

Trees were pushed over a couple of miles south of Bono (Craighead County). A lone storm in western Arkansas cranked out 60 mph gusts about four miles northeast of Ozark (Franklin County). The same storm plowed through Paris (Logan County), and uprooted and snapped trees. There was tree debris on Highway 309.

Early on the 8th, a large area of rain was parked across the northeast counties for several hours. From 700 am to 700 pm CDT, 5.45 inches of precipitation dumped at Greers Ferry Dam (Cleburne County), with 3.58 inches at Georgetown (White County).

 

The WSR-88D (Doppler Weather Radar) showed showers and thunderstorms becoming widespread from northwest into central Arkansas from 430 am to 930 am CDT on 08/10/2019.
Radar at 430 am CDT (08/10)  |  Radar at 530 am CDT (08/10)
Radar at 630 am CDT (08/10)  |  Radar at 730 am CDT (08/10)
Radar at 830 am CDT (08/10)  |  Radar at 930 am CDT (08/10)
Loop
In the pictures: The WSR-88D (Doppler Weather Radar) showed showers and thunderstorms becoming widespread from northwest into central Arkansas from 430 am to 930 am CDT on 08/10/2019.
 

During the morning of the 9th (starting in the predawn hours), up to six inches of rain flooded numerous roads north of Ozark (Franklin County), including Highway 23. Multiple homes were flooded at Mountainburg (Crawford County). Southwest of town, a stranded motorist in high water was rescued.

On the 10th, precipitation setup from northwest into central Arkansas. Birdtown (Conway County) got 5.40 inches of rain, with 5.24 inches just southwest of Houston (Perry County), and 4.50 inches at Toad Suck (Perry County). 

 

In the picture: It was the wettest August day in more than forty years at Little Rock (Pulaski County) on 08/10/2019. Almost four inches of rain was measured.
 

At Little Rock (Pulaski County), 3.87 inches of liquid made it the wettest August day since 1978, and the 4th wettest calendar day in August. Records have been kept locally since 1874.

 

Heat index values topped 110 degrees in parts of southern and eastern Arkansas at 200 pm CDT on 08/13/2019.
In the picture: Heat index values topped 110 degrees in parts of southern and eastern Arkansas at 200 pm CDT on 08/13/2019.
 

In the days to follow, it was very hot and thunderstorms were spotty. On the 11th, the high temperature at Camden (Ouachita County) was 100 degrees. It was 101 degrees at Fort Smith (Sebastian County) on the 12th, and 99 degrees at Hot Springs (Garland County). The mercury topped out at 101 degrees at De Queen (Sevier County) on the 13th, and 100 degrees at Arkadelphia (Clark County), Camden (Ouachita County), Hot Springs (Garland County), and Texarkana (Miller County).

A heat index of 120 degrees was noted at Fort Smith (Sebastian County) at 300 pm CDT on the 11th. At West Memphis, heat indices reached 119 degrees at 500 pm CDT on the 12th, and 120 degrees at 600 pm CDT on the 13th. Conditions were ugly to say the least.

 

In the picture: There were Heat Advisory and Excessive Heat Warning headlines in Arkansas on 08/11/2019.
 

Given dangerous heat, Excessive Heat Warnings were issued for parts of Arkansas for several days by the National Weather Service. Such a headline is posted when heat indices meet or exceed 110 degrees.

Heat continued to be the main headline through the 21st. There were scattered afternoon thunderstorms, mainly in the northern half of the state. A few of the storms were severe.

From the 18th through the 21st, severe storms delivered a 67 mph gust at Pocahontas (Randolph County), destroyed a metal barn southeast of Attica (Randolph County), and pelted Sellers Store (Sharp County) with quarter size hail. Trees were downed north of Hardy (Sharp County) and at Capps (Boone County), with power lines downed at Lakeway (Marion County) and Mountain Home (Baxter County). A quick two to three inches of rain flooded roads near Pocahontas (Randolph County) and Viola (Fulton County), and a gravel road was washed out at Bergman (Boone County).

 

Forecast maps showed a cold front slowly sagging southward through Arkansas in the forty eight hour period ending at 700 pm CDT on 08/24/2019. Surrounding the front, scattered to numerous showers and thunderstorms were expected.
Forecast Map at 700 pm CDT (08/22)  |  Forecast Map at 700 am CDT (08/23)
Forecast Map at 700 pm CDT (08/23)  |  Forecast Map at 700 am CDT (08/24)
Forecast Map at 700 pm CDT (08/24)  |  Loop
In the pictures: Forecast maps showed a cold front slowly sagging southward through Arkansas in the forty eight hour period ending at 700 pm CDT on 08/24/2019. Surrounding the front, scattered to numerous showers and thunderstorms were expected.
 

The heat began to subside on the 22nd as another cold front started drifting through Arkansas toward the Gulf Coast. There were more clouds and better chances of thunderstorms in the forecast. 

 

One hundred sixty eight hour (seven day) rainfall through 700 am CDT on 08/24/2019.
In the picture: One hundred sixty eight hour (seven day) rainfall through 700 am CDT on 08/24/2019.
 

Torrential rain accompanied the front as well. At Fort Smith (Sebastian County), a whopping 4.39 inches of precipitation came down in the twenty four hour period ending at 700 am CDT on the 23rd. Five miles southeast of Mountainburg (Crawford County), a road was washed out and closed indefinitely. At Paragould (Greene County), 3.31 inches of rain fell, with 3.13 inches at Pine Bluff (Jefferson County), 2.26 inches at Highfill (Benton County) and Nimrod Dam (Perry County), 2.19 inches at Corning (Clay County), and 2.03 inches at Booneville (Logan County).

By the next morning (the 24th), Fort Smith (Sebastian County) received another 4.13 inches of rain (an event total of 8.90 inches)! At least fifteen homes and a dormitory at a university were flooded locally, with cars stranded in high water. Tragically, a woman was killed when water swept her vehicle away. She was apparently delivering newspapers. More than a dozen houses were flooded in Lavaca (Sebastian County). Elsewhere, two to four inches of liquid was tallied at Gilbert (Searcy County), Harrison (Boone County), Jasper (Newton County), Silver Hill (Searcy County), Subiaco (Logan County), and Yellville (Marion County).

 

Severe weather reports in the twenty four hour period ending at 700 am CDT on 08/27/2019. The graphic is courtesy of the Storm Prediction Center.
In the picture: Severe weather reports in the twenty four hour period ending at 700 am CDT on 08/27/2019. The graphic is courtesy of the Storm Prediction Center.
 

One more front from the north was responsible for perhaps the largest round of severe weather on the 26th/27th. Just north of Harrison (Boone County), damaging winds pushed trees onto power lines shortly before 500 pm CDT on the 26th. Closer to town, there was quarter size hail at 510 pm CDT. Later that night and early on the 27th, trees were flattened at Bella Vista, Bentonville, and Centerton (all in Benton County), Huntsville (Madison County), and northeast of Moko (Fulton County). Trees fell on a carport and a storage shed at Gravette (Benton County). A carport was ripped up at Fort Smith (Sebastian County). Car windows were blown out at Perryville (Perry County). A 60 mph gust was estimated near Greenwood (Sebastian County), and a 59 mph gust was measured at Walnut Ridge (Lawrence County).

 

In the video: Hurricane Dorian became a Category 4 storm with 130 mph sustained winds during the evening of 08/30/2019.
 

As August came to a close, the tropics were alive with a catastrophic hurricane nearing the Bahamas. Hurricane Dorian became a Category 4 storm by the 30th, with 130 mph sustained winds. Speeds were up to 150 mph late on the 31st. By that time, the system was 125 miles east of Great Abaco Island (225 miles east of Freeport).

 

Links of Interest
August 6-10, 2019 (severe storms/turning cooler/heavy rain)
August 11-13, 2019 (very hot/isolated strong storms)
August 18-24, 2019 (more heat/isolated severe storms/heavy rain)
August 26-27, 2019 (severe storms)

 

Additional August Details
 
For more details about August, 2019...go to the "Temperatures and Precipitation" section below.

 

Temperatures and Precipitation
Temperatures were a little above average in August. Readings at North Little Rock (Pulaski County) are shown to right. August, 2019 Temperatures in North Little Rock

 

August, 2019 Precipitation in North Little Rock Precipitation was above average in much of northern and central Arkansas, and below average in the south. Amounts at North Little Rock (Pulaski County) are shown to left.

 

To right, a look at precipitation across the state. August, 2019 Precipitation in Arkansas

 

For a look at actual temperatures and precipitation in Arkansas as measured by the cooperative observer network, click here.