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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.
 
July, 2019 Storm Report
 
Short Weather Summary
 
July will be remembered for the remnants of Hurricane Barry and record rainfall produced in parts of southwest Arkansas. While it was hot at times, incoming cold fronts tempered the heat and brought record cool temperatures during the last week.

 

Record Temperatures
 
There were several record low temperatures tied or broken in late July. Check out the records below.

 

Site Record Low (Date of Occurrence)
Hot Springs 60 (07/26)
Jacksonville 59T (07/24), 58 (07/25), 60 (07/26)
Little Rock 62T (07/24), 60 (07/25), 62 (07/26)
North Little Rock 62 (07/24), 64T (07/25), 63 (07/26)
Stuttgart 62T (07/25)
Texarkana 61 (07/26)
Note: "T" means record was tied.

 

Very Hot at Times/Flooding with Barry/Record Cool in the Last Week
 
In the video: The satellite loop showed a thunderstorm complex rapidly dissipating in southwest Missouri during the predawn hours of 07/05/2019. Later in the afternoon/early evening, new storms developed farther south into northern Arkansas.
 

The month started with seasonal heat on the 5th, and afternoon temperatures in the upper 80s to mid 90s. High soil moisture levels contributed to elevated humidity, and this created heat index values from the mid 90s to around 105 degrees. There was some relief coming from the north. Decaying thunderstorms in Missouri sent cool outflow toward Arkansas, and this triggered new storms north of Little Rock (Pulaski County).

Once storms materialized across the north, they were severe in some cases. Trees and/or power lines were downed at Ash Flat (Sharp County) and five miles northeast of Pocahontas (Randolph County). Flash flooding was reported along Highway 115 just north of Pocahontas (Randolph County). Lightning sparked two house fires in Maynard (Randolph County).

Some locations in the northern half of the state received one to two inches of rain. Just south of Springdale (Washington County), 2.00 inches of precipitation was measured, with 1.82 inches roughly eight miles southwest of Hardy (Sharp County), 1.81 inches a few miles south of Bruno (Marion County), 1.57 inches about five miles northeast of Scranton (Logan County), and 1.55 inches at Mountain View (Stone County). These totals occurred in a twenty four hour period ending at 700 am CDT on the 6th.

 

Three to more than five inches of rain was measured in parts of Pine Bluff (Jefferson County) in a matter of a few hours during the evening of 07/08/2019.
In the picture: Three to more than five inches of rain was measured in parts of Pine Bluff (Jefferson County) in a matter of a few hours during the evening of 07/08/2019.
 

Hit and miss thunderstorms continued the next few days, especially farther south. On the 7th, storms dumped more than two inches of rain at Camden (Ouachita County), and over an inch and a half at Hope (Hempstead County) and Texarkana (Miller County).

On the 8th, a deluge in Pine Bluff (Jefferson County) resulted in three to five inches of precipitation in parts of the city (with two inches of this in about 30 minutes). Many roads flooded, and so did a municipal building. This affected local police and fire departments.

 

Afternoon heat index values were expected to peak from the upper 90s to around 110 degrees on 07/09/2019.
In the picture: Afternoon heat index values were expected to peak from the upper 90s to around 110 degrees on 07/09/2019.
 

It stayed hot during this time frame, with Heat Advisories posted by the National Weather Service. On the 9th, for example, heat indices approached 110 degrees in parts of the south/east.

 

A ridge of high pressure ("H") on 07/08/2019 was replaced by a northwest wind flow aloft three days later. This drove a weak cold front through Arkansas, with slightly cooler and drier air to follow. Meanwhile, a tropical system ("L") developed in the Gulf of Mexico.
In the picture: A ridge of high pressure ("H") on 07/08/2019 was replaced by a northwest wind flow aloft three days later. This drove a weak cold front through Arkansas, with slightly cooler and drier air to follow. Meanwhile, a tropical system ("L") developed in the Gulf of Mexico.
 

By the 10th, the pattern started changing a bit. A ridge of high pressure over the area relocated to the Rockies. Clockwise flow around the high created a northwest wind flow aloft. The drove a weak cold front toward Arkansas from Missouri. Slightly cooler and drier air was promised behind the front.

At the same time, a tropical system developed in the Gulf of Mexico. Forecast models indicated there was a chance the system would head this way, but the eventual track was uncertain.

 

The WSR-88D (Doppler Weather Radar) showed showers and thunderstorms building southward through Arkansas during the afternoon and early evening of 07/10/2019. Some of the storms were severe in western sections of the state.
Radar at 300 pm CDT (07/10)  |  Radar at 400 pm CDT (07/10)
Radar at 500 pm CDT (07/10)  |  Radar at 600 pm CDT (07/10)
Loop
In the pictures: The WSR-88D (Doppler Weather Radar) showed showers and thunderstorms building southward through Arkansas during the afternoon and early evening of 07/10/2019. Some of the storms were severe in western sections of the state.
 

As the tropical system formed, thunderstorms came to life ahead of the aforementioned cold front. The storms made the most impact in western Arkansas, with wind damage in several places. Trees were toppled at Waldron (Scott County), Mount Ida (Montgomery County), Big Fork (Polk County), Winthrop (Little River County), and Lockesburg (Sevier County).

 

In the video: The satellite showed Tropical Storm Barry hugging the Louisiana Coast during the early evening of 07/12/2019.
 

On the 13th, the tropical system made landfall along the Louisiana Coast as minimal Hurricane Barry (75 mph sustained winds). The remnants of Barry promised to bring a deluge to our neck of the woods, and threatened to flood fields and wipe out underdeveloped plants. This was bad news for a lot of farmers that were trying to get crops going after a very wet spring.

 

Tropical Storm Barry (downgraded from a minimal hurricane) was in southwest Louisiana during the afternoon of 07/13/2019. The system was expected to track through western Arkansas, and produce heavy to excessive rain in the days to follow.
In the picture: Tropical Storm Barry (downgraded from a minimal hurricane) was in southwest Louisiana during the afternoon of 07/13/2019. The system was expected to track through western Arkansas, and produce heavy to excessive rain in the days to follow.
 

The forecast called for the remnants of Barry to head through the Ouachita and Ozark Mountains (in the west), with heavy rain east of the track. More than half a foot of precipitation was expected across the central and eastern counties.

While it certainly rained, it did not come down in buckets. Rain was generally light to moderate, and spread out over a couple of days. Overall, it did not measure up to the hype, with many areas receiving two to five inch amounts.

 

As the remnants of Barry tracked into southern Missouri, forecast models showed lots of moisture and heavy rain on the south/east side of the system during the early morning hours of 07/16/2019.
In the picture: As the remnants of Barry tracked into southern Missouri, forecast models showed lots of moisture and heavy rain on the south/east side of the system during the early morning hours of 07/16/2019.
 

While it appeared we dodged a bullet, Barry had one last card to play. As the system exited to the north, some forecast models indicated a potential of over ten inches of rain southwest of Little Rock (Pulaski County) during the wee hours of the 16th. Given an underwhelming event thus far, this much rain seemed a little far fetched. But because data did not back down, and kept showing impressive totals, it was difficult to ignore. Forecasters went with the model solutions.

 

Seventy two hour rainfall through 700 pm CDT on 07/16/2019.
In the picture: Seventy two hour rainfall through 700 pm CDT on 07/16/2019.
 

In the end, the data was correct. The radar lit up in the southwest late on the 15th, and continued well into the next morning. Rainfall rates exceeded three inches per hour at times. Six inches to more than a foot of liquid was estimated by radar in sections of Clark, Hempstead, Howard, Nevada, and Pike Counties. Flash Flood Emergencies were issued by the National Weather Service in these areas.

 

 

Twenty four hour rainfall through 700 pm CDT on 07/16/2019. Parts of southwest Arkansas received more than a foot of precipitation.
In the picture: Twenty four hour rainfall through 700 pm CDT on 07/16/2019. Parts of southwest Arkansas received more than a foot of precipitation.
 

Near Murfreesboro (Pike County), 13.50 inches of rain was reported. Since the 14th, the site had 14.58 inches, which was temporarily a state record for precipitation tied to a tropical system (since 1950).

 

 

Maximum rainfall caused by tropical cyclones in Arkansas and surrounding states from 1950 to 2019. The graphic is courtesy of the Weather Prediction Center (WPC).
In the picture: Maximum rainfall caused by tropical cyclones in Arkansas and surrounding states from 1950 to 2019. The graphic is courtesy of the Weather Prediction Center (WPC).
 

Then there was word of an astounding 16.59 inches at Dierks (Howard County) in three days, which became the new tropical high mark. Of this, 16.17 inches dumped from 100 pm CDT on the 15th to 100 pm CDT on the 16th. Up until this point, the most rain that fell in a day across Arkansas was 14.06 inches near Big Fork (Polk County) on December 3, 1982. With so much rain in such a short amount of time, a nightmare high water scenario unfolded.

 

In the video: There was water everywhere in Gurdon (Clark County) following excessive rain early on 07/16/2019. The video is courtesy of Brian Emfinger via Twitter.
 

Water flooded roads, homes, and businesses in a narrow swath from just east of De Queen (Sevier County) to Dierks and Nashville (Howard County), Murfreesboro (Pike County), Prescott (Nevada County), and Arkadelphia (Clark County). Dozens of rescues were performed (from flooded homes, trees, and vehicles driven into water). Miraculously, there were no fatalities.

At Arkadelphia (Clark County), water was knee deep at one point at the humane society, and animals swam for their lives. Residents were asked to take animals home until the facility could get back on its feet. South of town, Interstate 30 was shut down near Gurdon (Clark County) and toward Prescott (Nevada County). Between these cities, traffic was backed up for ten miles at one point. There was considerable water damage at the police department and county jail in Nashville (Howard County). At the latter location, inmates had to be relocated.

 

The Little Missouri River at Boughton (Nevada County) continued to rise on 07/17/2019.
In the picture: The Little Missouri River at Boughton (Nevada County) continued to rise on 07/17/2019.
 

The Antoine and Little Missouri Rivers shot up at least twenty feet. At Boughton (Nevada County), the Little Missouri River crested between 24 and 25 feet on the 17th. The river had not been this high since 1982. Water from these tributaries emptied into the Ouachita River, causing it to swell at Camden (Ouachita County) and Thatcher Lock and Dam (Union County).

If not for Barry, July would have been relatively dry in much of the region. Instead, it was wet in most of the south/east. Monthly rainfall was one to more than three inches above average at El Dorado (Union County), Jonesboro (Craighead County), Pine Bluff (Jefferson County), and West Memphis (Crittenden County). Precipitation was subpar by over an inch in the northwest at Fayetteville (Washington County).

 

Precipitation in July, 2019
Site Amount Normal +/- % of Normal
Fayetteville (NW AR) 3.07 3.46 -0.39 89%
Harrison (NC AR) 2.03 3.14 -1.11 65%
Jonesboro (NE AR) 5.25 3.54 +1.71 148%
Fort Smith (WC AR) 3.33 3.30 +0.03 101%
Little Rock (C AR) 2.83 3.27 -0.44 87%
West Memphis (EC AR) 6.84 3.41 +3.43 201%
Texarkana (SW AR) 3.67 3.44 +0.23 107%
El Dorado (SC AR) 5.08 3.56 +1.52 143%
Pine Bluff (SE AR) 10.91 3.93 +6.98 278%

 

The forecast map showed a cold front sweeping through Arkansas with hit and miss showers and thunderstorms at 100 pm CDT on 07/22/2019.
In the picture: The forecast map showed a cold front sweeping through Arkansas with hit and miss showers and thunderstorms at 100 pm CDT on 07/22/2019.
 

After the Barry departed to the northeast of Arkansas on the 17th, high pressure and hot weather returned for several days. On the 22nd, the high wobbled back to the west, and this allowed a cold front to pass through. The front was accompanied by isolated to scattered showers and thunderstorms. While most of us got less than a quarter inch of rain, there were spotty heavy downpours and amounts over an inch. At Georgetown (White County), 2.14 inches of precipitation was measured, with 1.81 inches at Bluff City (Nevada County), 1.80 inches at Quitman (Cleburne County), and 1.20 inches at Camden (Ouachita County).

It cooled considerably behind the front. By the morning of the 23rd, temperatures in much of the state bottomed out in the 60s. The low at Fayetteville (Washington County) was 59 degrees. Later in the day, highs were only in the 80s, with a few 70s across the northern counties.

 

In the picture: Temperatures at 700 am CDT on 07/24/2019.
 

It was even cooler early on the 24th. Lows were in the mid 50s to mid 60s. At Little Rock National Airport (Pulaski County), the mercury dipped to 62 degrees, which tied the daily record low set in 1970. A daily record (set in 2000) was also tied at the Little Rock Air Force Base (Pulaski County), with a low of 59 degrees. Some of the coolest readings included 54 degrees at Calico Rock (Izard County), Harrison (Boone County), and Marshall (Searcy County), 55 degrees at Fayetteville (Washington County) and Lead Hill (Boone County), and 56 degrees at Mammoth Spring (Fulton County), Marche (Pulaski County), and Mountain View (Stone County). 

 

In the picture: For the third morning in a row, a record low was tied or broken at Little Rock National Airport (Pulaski County) on 07/26/2019. This had not happened in July since 1972.
 

It is very unusual for well below average temperatures to stick around for more than a day or two this time of year. But that's exactly what happened. On the 25th, the low at Little Rock National Airport (Pulaski County) was 60 degrees. Yes, it was another daily record, but it was also the lowest reading in July locally since the 16th in 1990. It was a repeat performance on the 26th, with the thermometer showing 62 degrees. This was the third day in a row with a record low tied or broken. It happened only one other time during the month (the 6th through the 8th in 1972) in 141 years.

 

Links of Interest
July 5-10, 2019 (isolated severe storms/some flooding)
July 14-17, 2019 (heavy rain/flooding with Barry)
July 19-26, 2019 (very hot then turning cooler)

 

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

 

Temperatures and Precipitation
Temperatures were below average in July. Readings at North Little Rock (Pulaski County) are shown to right. July, 2019 Temperatures in North Little Rock

 

July, 2019 Precipitation in North Little Rock Overall, precipitation was at or above average in much of southern and eastern Arkansas, and below average elsewhere. Amounts at North Little Rock (Pulaski County) are shown to left.

 

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

 

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