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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.
 
August, 2021 Storm Report
 
Monthly Statistics
 
  Temperatures Precipitation
Site Max Min Avg Norm Dep Hi Lo Sum Norm Dep
Fayetteville (NW AR) 89.6 67.9 78.8 76.9 +1.9 96 61 0.56 3.17 -2.61
Harrison (NC AR) 88.2 68.3 78.2 77.6 +0.6 96 61 3.30 3.42 -0.12
Jonesboro (NE AR) 90.4 71.4 80.9 80.0 +0.9 98 62 3.82 3.41 +0.41
Fort Smith (WC AR) 93.6 73.6 83.6 82.3 +1.3 100 69 0.86 3.60 -2.74
Little Rock (C AR) 92.1 72.9 82.5 80.8 +1.7 98 65 1.31 3.16 -1.85
Texarkana (SW AR) 93.6 75.0 84.3 82.0 +2.3 100 70 3.61 2.98 +0.63
El Dorado (SC AR) 91.8 72.0 81.9 81.8 +0.1 96 64 5.14 3.40 +1.74
Pine Bluff (SE AR) 93.6 73.8 83.7 80.9 +2.8 99 65 1.19 3.38 -2.19

 

Temperatures were at or above average across much of Arkansas in August. Readings were more than two degrees on the plus side of normal at Pine Bluff (Jefferson County) and Texarkana (Miller County). Precipitation was mostly below average in northern and central sections of the state, and above average farther south. It was very dry (rainfall deficits more than two inches) at Fayetteville (Washington County), Fort Smith (Sebastian County), and Pine Bluff (Jefferson County).

 

Record Temperatures
 
There was only one record low temperature broken in early August. Check out the record below.

 

Site Record Low (Date of Occurrence)
Stuttgart 65 (08/04)

 

Quick Event Summary
 

It was typical summertime weather across Arkansas in August. There was heat at times, with scattered thunderstorms producing downpours in places. The tropics became active (half a dozen named storms), but the state was mostly unaffected.

 

A front was nearly stationary across northern Arkansas on 08/14/2021. Scattered showers and thunderstorms surrounded the front.
In the picture: A front was nearly stationary across northern Arkansas on 08/14/2021. Scattered showers and thunderstorms surrounded the front.
 

The month began with areas of heavy rain in southern and western Arkansas. This was provided by a cold front from the north. In the twenty four hour period ending at 700 am CDT on the 2nd, Millwood Dam (Little River County) picked up 2.72 inches of precipitation, and Mount Ida (Montgomery County) had 2.35 inches. The front was followed by a brief period of cooler/drier air. In fact, on the morning of the 4th, there was a record low temperature of 65 degrees at Stuttgart (Arkansas County).

A week later, it heated up. The temperature hit 100 degrees at Conway (Faulkner County), Russellville (Pope County), and Texarkana on the 12th. Thermometers touched the century mark again at De Queen (Sevier County) and Texarkana (Miller County) on the 13th.

Fortunately, another cold front was on the doorstep in Missouri. Ahead of the front, Jonesboro (Craighead County) received 2.32 inches of rain in an hour (between 100 am and 200 am CDT) on the 13th. That amount surpassed the liquid that was measured in all of July (2.12 inches)! Several roads flooded from the downtown area to eastern portions of the city. Later in the day, a little more than two inches fell at Mountain Home (Baxter County). There was also some severe weather. Trees were blown down at Peel (Marion County) and in west Little Rock (Pulaski County). Quarter size hail was reported west and southwest of Decatur and near Garfield (both in Benton County).

 

 

Drought was widespread from the western United States into the northern Plains and upper Midwest in mid-August, 2021. Abnormally dry conditions were noted in portions of northern, eastern, and central Arkansas.
In the picture: Drought was widespread from the western United States into the northern Plains and upper Midwest in mid-August, 2021. Abnormally dry conditions were noted in portions of northern, eastern, and central Arkansas.
 

Even with gullywashers here and there, there was signs of dryness over parts of northern, eastern, and central Arkansas in mid-August. It was nothing like the megadrought going on out west.

Drought covered a lot of real estate across the western states, with numerous large wildfires mainly
in northern California, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. The largest of these, the Dixie Fire
in California, consumed more than 800,000 acres by the end of the month. Flames destroyed at least 1,300 structures. It was the state's second largest wildfire on record (behind the August Complex in 2020 that torched just over a million acres).

Meanwhile, to the east, Tropical Storm Fred made landfall in the Florida panhandle (Cape San Blas, FL) on the 16th with maximum sustained winds around 65 mph. System moved along spine of Appalachians, with more than ten inches of rain in parts of western NC. The East Fork of the Pigeon River hit historic levels, washing away bridges and depositing piles of debris on roads. Several homes were floated away. Five people were killed.

 

A ridge of high pressure ("H") built over Arkansas from the Plains by 08/23/2021. The high brought hot and mostly dry conditions to the state.
In the picture: A ridge of high pressure ("H") built over Arkansas from the Plains by 08/23/2021. The high brought hot and mostly dry conditions to the state.
 

Back at home, thunderstorms were few and far between after the 20th. A large ridge of high pressure from the Plains moved overhead, and capped the atmosphere. It was hot as well, with afternoon temperatures largely in the 90s. On several days, afternoon dewpoints dropped into the 60s (drying out a bit), which made it feel somewhat more comfortable (less humid), but this tended to stress vegetation.

At Little Rock (Pulaski County), while it appeared the first 100 degree reading of the summer was within reach, it failed to materialize. The high for the month was 98 degrees (on the 10th through the 12th), and there was nary a triple digit temperature in 1143 days (the fifth longest streak on record). As September began, the streak abruptly ended on the 1st. 

There was one isolated storm to mention on the 26th. The storm tore up some fencing at a high school football field near Lincoln (Washington County). A nearby anemometer recorded at 66 mph gust.

 

More than fifteen inches of rain dumped in portions of central Tennessee in the twenty four hour period ending at 900 am CDT on 08/21/2021. The heaviest amounts were concentrated around McEwen, TN. Water moved from town westward like a tidal wave, and inundated Waverly, TN. Twenty five to thirty miles to the east and southwest, less than an inch of precipitation fell. The graphic is courtesy of the National Weather Service in Nashville, TN.
In the picture: More than fifteen inches of rain dumped in portions of central Tennessee in the twenty four hour period ending at 900 am CDT on 08/21/2021. The heaviest amounts were concentrated around McEwen, TN. Water moved from town westward like a tidal wave, and inundated Waverly, TN. Twenty five to thirty miles to the east and southwest, less than an inch of precipitation fell. The graphic is courtesy of the National Weather Service in Nashville, TN.
 

While it dried out in Arkansas, a preliminary Tennessee state record 17.06 inches of rain dumped at McEwen, TN on the 21st (in a twenty four hour period ending during the morning). To the west of town in nearby Waverly, TN, a wall of water moved along Trace Creek and made it appear that a large tornado ripped through the community. Video showed the event unfolding quickly, and there was not enough time to prepare. Tragically, twenty people lost their lives.

 

Hurricane Ida (a Category 4 storm) slammed into the Louisiana Coast with 150 mph sustained winds on 08/29/2021.
In the picture: Hurricane Ida (a Category 4 storm) slammed into the Louisiana Coast with 150 mph sustained winds on 08/29/2021.
 

In the tropics, Hurricane Grace (maximum sustained winds around 125 mph) went ashore just south of
Tuxpan, MX early on the 21st. Henri, once a minimal hurricane (75 mph sustained winds), hit near Westerly, RI as a tropical storm on the 22nd. The system slowed way down, with prolonged wind and rain in New England. There was extensive flooding, downed trees, and more than 100,000 power outages.

The storm of the month slammed into the Gulf Coast of Louisiana on the 29th, which was the sixteenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. This time it was Hurricane Ida (a Category 4 storm/150 mph sustained winds), and New Orleans, LA was in the crosshairs.

 

In the video: The satellite showed Hurricane Ida bearing down on the Louisiana Gulf Coast by the late morning of 08/29/2021.
 

This monster caused extensive damage (including mangled cell towers which greatly affected communication), unleashed one to two feet of rain that put communities under water (most notably LaPlace, LA), cut off power to more than a million people, and left many folks without a clean water supply. From there, the system weakened and tracked toward the Tennessee and Ohio Valleys. The remnants of Ida barely grazed Arkansas on the way to the northeast, and impacts were minimal locally (breezy conditions/some precipitation toward the Mississippi River).

 

Temperature and Precipitation Trends
 
Temperatures at Little Rock (Pulaski County).
In the picture: Temperatures at Little Rock (Pulaski County). Click to enlarge.

 

Precipitation at Little Rock (Pulaski County).
In the picture: Precipitation at Little Rock (Pulaski County). Click to enlarge.

 

Precipitation across Arkansas.
In the picture: Precipitation across Arkansas.

 

Link of Interest
Detailed Monthly Statistics