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December, 2019 Storm Report
 
Short Weather Summary
 
December was the driest month of 2019 in Arkansas. While there was active weather, much of it tended to avoid around the state (to the north and the south/east). It was largely mild, with record high temperatures at times.

 

Record Temperatures
 
There were several record high temperatures tied or broken in December, especially late in the month. Check out the records below.

 

Site Record High (Date of Occurrence)
Batesville 71 (12/25)
El Dorado 80T (12/09)
Fayetteville 70 (12/23), 67 (12/28)
Hot Springs 70 (12/25)
Jacksonville 70 (12/25)
North Little Rock 68 (12/25)
Stuttgart 68 (12/29)
Note: "T" means record was tied.

 

 Mostly Mild/Very Little Precipitation
 
Departure from average precipitation in December, 2019.
In the picture: Departure from average precipitation in December, 2019.
 

Not much fell from the sky in December. Monthly precipitation totals were two to four inches below average at most sites. Parts of the north and west got less than an inch of liquid, including Fort Smith (Sebastian County).

 

Precipitation in December, 2019
Site Amount Normal +/- % of Normal
Fayetteville (NW AR) 1.33 3.24 -1.91 41%
Harrison (NC AR) 1.38 3.20 -1.82 43%
Jonesboro (NE AR) 2.55 4.77 -2.22 53%
Fort Smith (WC AR) 0.87 3.29 -2.42 26%
Little Rock (C AR) 1.62 4.97 -3.35 33%
West Memphis (EC AR) 2.09 5.42 -3.33 39%
Texarkana (SW AR) 1.40 5.05 -3.65 28%
El Dorado (SC AR) 1.76 5.18 -3.42 34%
Pine Bluff (SE AR) 2.29 5.44 -3.15 42%

 

Forecast maps showed moisture building into colder air across southern Arkansas to yield a narrow swath of light snow during the afternoon of 12/10/2019. The moisture was behind a cold front, and ahead of an approaching storm system ("L") to the southwest. Above freezing temperatures (dashed white lines in degrees F) limited snow accumulations, with snow sticking to grassy areas and not roadways.
Forecast Map (Zoomed Out) at 1200 pm CST (12/10)
Forecast Map (Zoomed In) at 1200 pm CST (12/10)
In the pictures: Forecast maps showed moisture building into colder air across southern Arkansas to yield a narrow swath of light snow during the afternoon of 12/10/2019. The moisture was behind a cold front, and ahead of an approaching storm system ("L") to the southwest. Above freezing temperatures (dashed white lines in degrees F) limited snow accumulations, with snow sticking to grassy areas and not roadways.
 

The month started off mild before a cold front swept through Arkansas from the north on the 9th. Springlike air was replaced by much colder conditions the next day. Moisture behind the front yielded areas of rain, and not a lot of it. Amounts were under an inch. Eventually, rain changed to light snow in places.

 

Temperatures were mostly in the 60s and 70s at 100 pm CST on 12/09/2019. Twenty four hours later, readings were in the mid 30s to lower 40s.
Temperatures at 100 pm CST (12/09)  |  Temperatures at 100 pm CST (12/10)
In the pictures: Temperatures were mostly in the 60s and 70s at 100 pm CST on 12/09/2019. Twenty four hours later, readings were in the mid 30s to lower 40s.
 

Temperatures from 100 pm CST on the 9th to the same time on the 10th dropped by more than 40 degrees in southern sections of the state. Readings went from 78 degrees to 36 degrees at El Dorado (Union County), and from 75 degrees to 34 degrees at Monticello (Drew County).

 

Light snow (an inch or less) accumulated in parts of southeast Arkansas on 12/10/2019.
In the picture: Light snow (an inch or less) accumulated in parts of southeast Arkansas on 12/10/2019.
 

As far as the snow, there was a dusting in parts of the south from Hampton (Calhoun County) to Arkansas City (Desha County). Up to an inch of powder accumulated at Monticello (Drew County). Snow tended to accumulate on grassy areas. A warm ground and above freezing temperatures left roads wet and not white. No travel issues were reported.

 

Arkansas was mostly between snow and ice to the north and tornadoes to the south/east on 12/16/2019.
In the picture: Arkansas was mostly between snow and ice to the north and tornadoes to the south/east on 12/16/2019.
 

Another storm system brought active weather on the 16th, but this tended to go around us. It was cold north of the system, with snow and ice across Missouri. Springlike air existed to the southeast of the region, with an outbreak of severe weather along the Gulf Coast. 

In southern Missouri, some locations had up to a quarter of an inch of ice. Several inches of snow fell along Interstate 70 from St. Louis, MO to Indianapolis, IN and on into Ohio. From Louisiana to Alabama, the main worry was tornadoes.

 

In the video: The satellite showed thunderstorms blowing up in areas to the south and east of Arkansas on 12/26/2019.
 

At least three dozen reports of tornadoes were received by the National Weather Service. One of these tornadoes (rated EF3) tracked 62 miles and cut through DeRidder, LA and Alexandria, LA. Extensive damage to homes and businesses resulted, and there was one fatality. At the former location, people were trapped inside mangled structures. At least seven people were injured at a group home hit by a tornado in Sumrall, MS. Two people were killed and four people were injured due to a tornado in Town Creek, AL.

In Arkansas, there was only one report of severe weather. Quarter size hail occurred a few miles northwest of Hamburg (Ashley County). Like the event on the 10th, much of the state got under an inch of rain. Less than a quarter inch fell north/west of Little Rock (Pulaski County).

 

In the picture: Mild temperatures were in the forecast in the days leading up to 12/25/2019.
 

In the days leading up to the holidays, a mild southwest flow developed ahead of a new storm system over the southwest United States. This led to several record high temperatures on the 25th. It was 71 degrees at Batesville (Independence County), 70 degrees at Hot Springs (Garland County) and Jacksonville (Pulaski County), and 68 degrees at North Little Rock (Pulaski County).

 

The WSR-88D (Doppler Weather Radar) showed small bowing (backward C-shaped) segments within a line of showers and embedded thunderstorms between 1000 pm and 1100 pm CST on 12/28/2019. A couple of these segments tracked along Interstate 30, and produced wind damage in portions of Pulaski and Saline Counties.
Radar at 1010 pm CST (12/28)  |  Radar at 1020 pm CST (12/28)
Radar at 1030 pm CST (12/28)  |  Radar at 1040 pm CST (12/28)
Radar at 1050 pm CST (12/28)  |  Radar at 1100 pm CST (12/28)
Loop
In the pictures: The WSR-88D (Doppler Weather Radar) showed small bowing (backward C-shaped) segments within a line of showers and embedded thunderstorms between 1000 pm and 1100 pm CST on 12/28/2019. A couple of these segments tracked along Interstate 30, and produced wind damage in portions of Pulaski and Saline Counties.
 

Eventually, the system dragged a cold front toward Arkansas on the 28th. The front sparked a line of showers and isolated thunderstorms. While temperatures remained mild (in the 60s to lower 70s), the atmosphere was not overly unstable. It made it difficult for thunderstorms to develop, and there was very little lightning.

Looking aloft, winds were sustained at 50 to 60 mph between 5000 and 10000 feet. These higher speeds combined with acceleration in heavy downpours were driven toward the ground in spots. This resulted in some wind damage.

 

Dugout Destroyed at a High School Baseball Field at Haskell (Saline County)
Tree Fell on a Mobile Home South of Little Rock (Pulaski County)
Roofing Material Removed from a House near Guy (Faulkner County)
In the pictures: Damaging winds destroyed a dugout at Haskell (Saline County), downed trees onto a mobile home south of Little Rock (Pulaski County), and removed roofing material from a house near Guy (Faulkner County) during the evening of 12/28/2019. The second photo is courtesy of John Robinson.
 

At Haskell (Saline County), trees were downed and minor roof damage occurred. A dugout was also destroyed at a local high school. A large pine tree fell on a mobile home in the Landmark area about ten miles south of Little Rock (Pulaski County). A woman was injured and was taken to a hospital. Just northeast of Williford (Sharp County), a barn was heavily damaged. A house near Guy (Faulkner County) lost much of its roof. More trees were toppled around Ozone (Johnson County), Solgohachia (Conway County), Quitman (Cleburne County), and east of Malvern (Hot Spring County).

 

Links of Interest
December 10, 2019 (light snow)
December 16, 2019 (a close call)
December 28-29, 2019 (severe storms)

 

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

 

Temperatures and Precipitation
Temperatures in December were above normal. Readings at North Little Rock (Pulaski County) are shown to right. December, 2019 Temperatures in North Little Rock

 

December, 2019 Precipitation in North Little Rock Precipitation was below to well below average at most locations. Amounts at North Little Rock (Pulaski County) are shown to left.

 

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

 

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