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June, 2018 Storm Report
 
Short Weather Summary
 
It was a top 10 warm June, and there was not enough rain to go around. Drought became a concern as soil moisture dropped. When there was rain, the most significant cloudbursts happened during the last two weeks of the month. Earlier in the month, there was huge hail and a lightning fatality.

 

Record Temperatures
 
There were a few record high temperatures tied or broken during the first half of June. Check out the record below.

 

Site Record High (Date of Occurrence)
Batesville 93T (06/10), 96T (06/14)
Jacksonville 97T (06/14)
Stuttgart 94T (06/10)
Note: "T" means record was tied.

 

Warmer Than Usual/Drought Developing/The Tropics Arrived Early
 
Subtropical Storm Alberto made landfall in the Florida panhandle on 05/28/2018 (Memorial Day). The system tracked into the Tennessee Valley, and stayed mostly to the east of Arkansas. Alberto was subtropical (versus tropical) because the storm developed with help of winds aloft and not just warm Gulf of Mexico water.
In the picture: Subtropical Storm Alberto made landfall in the Florida panhandle on 05/28/2018 (Memorial Day). The system tracked into the Tennessee Valley, and stayed mostly to the east of Arkansas. Alberto was subtropical (versus tropical) because the storm developed with help of winds aloft and not just warm Gulf of Mexico water.
 

As June began, rain was needed in Arkansas. It seemed the tropics were there to help, but to no avail. The remnants of Subtropical Storm Alberto, which reached the Florida panhandle on May 28th, mostly missed the region to the east. This was the first May tropical/subtropical system in the Gulf of Mexico since 1976.

While the tropics failed to bring relief, there were spotty downpours early on the 1st. Scattered thunderstorms from Missouri affected the far northern counties during the predawn hours. North of Vidette (Fulton County), more than three inches of liquid dumped. This combined with amounts close to half a foot just across the state line pushed creeks and small streams out of their banks. Roads and bridges were washed out in northern Fulton County.

 

Heat index values ranged from the mid 90s to 105 degrees in much of Arkansas at 400 pm CDT on 06/01/2018. Heat indices exceeded 105 degrees in spots.
In the picture: Heat index values ranged from the mid 90s to 105 degrees in much of Arkansas at 400 pm CDT on 06/01/2018. Heat indices exceeded 105 degrees in spots.
 

Later in the day, there was lots of heat. It was hot and humid on the 1st, with heat index values over 100 degrees in parts of the state. At 400 pm CDT, the heat index at Fort Smith (Sebastian County) was 108 degrees. It was a sign of things to come. By the time the month was over, average temperatures were 2 to 5 degrees above normal.  

 

Average Temperatures in June, 2018
Site Avg Temp +/-
Fayetteville (NW AR) 76.5° +3.6°
Harrison (NC AR) 78.2° +4.5°
Jonesboro (NE AR) 81.5° +3.7°
Fort Smith (WC AR) 82.3° +4.5°
Little Rock (C AR) 80.8° +1.7°
West Memphis (EC AR) 82.0° +3.9°
Texarkana (SW AR) 82.0° +3.5°
El Dorado (SC AR) 81.9° +3.7°
Pine Bluff (SE AR) 81.1° +2.0°

 

Hail was not as big as a softball (shown), but it was at least baseball size five miles southwest of Hector (Pope County) on 06/02/2018. The photo is courtesy of Amanda Duvall.
In the picture: Hail was not as big as a softball (shown), but it was at least baseball size five miles southwest of Hector (Pope County) on 06/02/2018. The photo is courtesy of Amanda Duvall. Click to enlarge.
Mammatus clouds (noted when it is turbulent/stormy) were spectacular in parts of northern Arkansas on 06/02/2018. The photo is courtesy of Mel Coleman.
In the picture: Mammatus clouds (noted when it is turbulent/stormy) were spectacular in parts of northern Arkansas on 06/02/2018. The photo is courtesy of Mel Coleman. Click to enlarge.
 

Oppressive conditions continued on the 2nd, and the atmosphere became extremely unstable. A cold front was on the horizon in the Plains, and the signs were there for big thunderstorms in the afternoon.Storms were huge west of Little Rock (Pulaski County). Hail bigger than baseballs pelted areas between Dover and Hector (both in Pope County). Hen egg size hail was measured at Mountain Valley (Garland County), with golf ball size hail just southwest of Harrison (Boone County). After sunset, storms started to weaken in the west, but a new round of storms flared up in eastern Arkansas as the front arrived. These new storms were wind makers, and they packed a wallop.

 

How Rare is Huge Hail?

With the exception of 2005 and 2013, baseball size or larger hail was observed in Arkansas at least once a year since 1980 (through 2017). Hail at least softball size occurred once every other year (19 of 38 years). As far as numbers of reports, of the roughly 5,400 instances of quarter size or larger hail, 233 were at least baseballs (4.3% of reports) and 73 were at least softballs (1.4% of reports). The largest hailstones were five inches in diameter (slightly larger than a DVD) on January 21, 1999 and April 2, 2006. 

 

WSR-88D (Doppler Weather Radar) relative velocity images showed a persistent mesocyclone and rotation (strong at times) between Wynne (Cross County) and Forrest City (St. Francis County) during the evening of 06/02/2018. While isolated tornadoes were suspected for significant damage in eastern Arkansas, powerful straight-line winds were to blame.
Rotation at 1116 pm CDT (06/02)  |  Rotation at 1121 pm CDT (06/02)
Rotation at 1126 pm CDT (06/02)  |  Rotation at 1131 pm CDT (06/02)
Loop
In the pictures: WSR-88D (Doppler Weather Radar) relative velocity images showed a persistent mesocyclone and rotation (strong at times) between Wynne (Cross County) and Forrest City (St. Francis County) during the evening of 06/02/2018. While isolated tornadoes were suspected for significant damage in eastern Arkansas, powerful straight-line winds were to blame.
 

The storms in the east destroyed (yes, destroyed) an airport at Colt (St. Francis County). Two large grain bins were dismantled south of Fisher (Poinsett County), with one grain bin tossed 75 feet. Lots of trees were uprooted or snapped west of Waldenburg (Poinsett County), a shed was mangled, and the roof of a shop was removed. A dozen power poles were snapped in a row along Highway 64 west of Wynne (Cross County). Numerous trees were on houses in Forrest City (St. Francis County), and two semi-trailers were overturned.

 

Local Analysis and Prediction System (LAPS) data showed CAPE (Convective Available Potential Energy) values climbing over 3000 Joules/kilogram across northern and western Arkansas during the afternoon of 06/08/2018. CAPE is not only a measure of energy available for thunderstorm development, it is related to the strength of storm updrafts and the potential for severe weather.
In the picture: Local Analysis and Prediction System (LAPS) data showed CAPE (Convective Available Potential Energy) values climbing over 3000 Joules/kilogram across northern and western Arkansas during the afternoon of 06/08/2018. CAPE is not only a measure of energy available for thunderstorm development, it is related to the strength of storm updrafts and the potential for severe weather.
 

On the 8th, it was unstable again in northern and western sections of the state. Scattered thunderstorms popped up quickly in the afternoon. One storm produced golf ball size hail at Flippin (Marion County).

 

The WSR-88D (Doppler Weather Radar) showed scattered thunderstorms popping up mainly in northern and western Arkansas during the afternoon of 06/08/2018.
Radar at 130 pm CDT (06/08)  |  Radar at 200 pm CDT (06/08)
Radar at 230 pm CDT (06/08)  |  Radar at 300 pm CDT (06/08)
Radar at 330 pm CDT (06/08)  |  Loop
In the pictures: The WSR-88D (Doppler Weather Radar) showed scattered thunderstorms popping up mainly in northern and western Arkansas during the afternoon of 06/08/2018.
 

Damaging straight-line winds (60+ mph) downed trees a few miles south-southeast of Washita (Montgomery County), at Caddo Gap (Montgomery County), Tulip (Dallas County), and just south of Mountain Pine (Garland County). Blakely Mountain Dam (Garland County) picked up 2.55 inches of rain, with 2.20 inches near Jessieville (Garland County).

Tragically, a 27-year-old man was struck by lightning while doing construction work in Maumelle (Pulaski County) just after 230 pm CDT. He was transported to a local hospital and eventually passed away.

 

A ridge of high pressure ("HIGH") was over the southern Rockies and southern Plains on 06/12/2018, but gradually built over Arkansas in the days to follow.
500 mb Map at 700 am CDT (06/12)  |  500 mb Map at 700 am CDT (06/13)
500 mb Map at 700 am CDT (06/14)  |  500 mb Map at 700 am CDT (06/15)
Loop
In the pictures: A ridge of high pressure ("HIGH") was over the southern Rockies and southern Plains on 06/12/2018, but gradually built over Arkansas in the days to follow.
 

A ridge of high pressure (along with heat and a lack of rain) loomed just to the southwest of Arkansas in mid-June. A cold front tried to push into the region from the north, but stalled as it encountered the ridge.

 

The satellite showed clouds and precipitation (showers and thunderstorms) becoming widespread across central and southern Arkansas during the afternoon of 06/13/2018.
Satellite at 200 pm CDT (06/13)  |  Satellite at 300 pm CDT (06/13)
Satellite at 400 pm CDT (06/13)  |  Satellite at 500 pm CDT (06/13)
Satellite at 600 pm CDT (06/13)  |  Loop
In the pictures: The satellite showed clouds and precipitation (showers and thunderstorms) becoming widespread across central and southern Arkansas during the afternoon of 06/13/2018.
 

Ahead of the front, storms became widespread over the southern half of the state on the 13th. There were numerous instances of severe weather, with mainly tree damage reported at multiple locations.

 

A landspout was witnessed east of Des Arc (Prairie County) during the afternoon of 06/13/2018. The photo is courtesy of Kimberly Parchman.
In the picture: A landspout was witnessed east of Des Arc (Prairie County) during the afternoon of 06/13/2018. The photo is courtesy of Kimberly Parchman.
 

There was also a weak tornado (the 25th of the year in Arkansas) witnessed between Des Arc and Little Dixie (both in Prairie County). The tornado (rated EF0) tracked one mile and was on the ground for fourteen minutes. The only damage was to a pumping station in a field. This was not a typical springtime tornado associated with a mesocyclone (a circulation that extends thousands of feet into the atmosphere). Instead, this "landspout" was shallow and mostly below the cloud base. Two days later, another landspout was reported five miles west of Wynne (Cross County).

 

 

Soil moisture was declining the most (versus normal) from southwest Arkansas into northeast Texas from March 31st through June 16th, 2018.
In the picture: Soil moisture was declining the most (versus normal) from southwest Arkansas into northeast Texas from March 31st through June 16th, 2018.
 

Given the hit and miss nature of precipitation in June, and warmer than average conditions, it was not a good situation heading into the latter half of the month. It was very dry in most areas, and soil moisture was declining rapidly. Drought conditions developed in west central and southwest sections of the state. It is no surprise that monthly rainfall totals were below average at most locations. Rainfall was more than two inches subpar at Fayetteville (Washington County), Harrison (Boone County), and Texarkana (Miller County). 

 

Precipitation in June, 2018
Site Amount Normal +/- % of Normal
Fayetteville (NW AR) 2.08 4,98 -2.90 42%
Harrison (NC AR) 1.40 4.24 -2.84 33%
Jonesboro (NE AR) 2.83 3.75 -0.92 75%
Fort Smith (WC AR) 4.74 4.28 +0.46 111%
Little Rock (C AR) 2.86 3.65 -0.79 78%
West Memphis (EC AR) 2.50 4.15 -1.65 60%
Texarkana (SW AR) 1.85 4.45 -2.60 42%
El Dorado (SC AR) 3.15 4.90 -1.75 64%
Pine Bluff (SE AR) 2.10 3.58 -1.48 59%

 

In the picture: A storm system aloft over southern Texas pushed tropical moisture toward Arkansas on 06/19/2018.
 

By the 19th/20th, the tropics tried to help again. A tropical system made it into south Texas from the Gulf of Mexico, and wrung out more than a foot of rain in a few hours. This was more than six months worth of liquid in a short while! In Weslaco, TX, more than 2000 homes were flooded, and hundreds of people were rescued. Some of the moisture surrounding the system headed this way, and interacted with yet another cold front from the north.

Here at home, parts of southern Arkansas got more than two inches of precipitation on the 20th. Twenty four hour amounts as of 700 am CDT on the 21st included 3.68 inches at Dermott (Chicot County), 2.94 inches at Lewisville (Lafayette County), 2.75 inches at Millwood Dam (Little River County), 2.30 inches at Ashdown (Little River County), and 2.24 inches at Bogg Springs (Polk County).

As the front drifted southward through the region on the 21st, it sparked a storm with golf ball size hail a few miles north of Weiner (Poinsett County). There was ping pong ball size hail at Waldenburg (Poinsett County),

 

Twenty four hour rainfall through 700 am CDT on 06/22/2018.
In the picture: Twenty four hour rainfall through 700 am CDT on 06/22/2018.
 

On the 22nd, the front parked close to the Louisiana border, and was a focus for more active weather. Two to more than four inches of rain dumped in the southeast, and it led to flash flooding in several counties. There was high water along Highway 160 at Hermitage (Bradley County), and some roads near town were impassible. Several county roads were under water south of Harrell (Calhoun County) and southwest of Hilo (Bradley County). Water reportedly got into homes a couple of miles northwest of Monticello (Drew County).

 

With high pressure strengthening from the southwest, a front in southern Arkansas on 06/22/2018 got shoved into northern and central sections of the state the next couple of days. Precipitation chances moved northward with the front.
In the picture: With high pressure strengthening from the southwest, a front in southern Arkansas on 06/22/2018 got shoved into northern and central sections of the state the next couple of days. Precipitation chances moved northward with the front.
 

The front slowly moved back to the north on the 23rd/24th. The focus for thunderstorms shifted with the front into northern and central Arkansas. Before dawn on the 23rd, a cluster of storms exited Oklahoma and made a bee line toward Little Rock (Pulaski County). Strong to damaging winds were unleashed along the way.

Southwest of Alexander (Pulaski and Saline County line), two mobile homes were blown off of their foundations, and large tree tops fell on homes. Tree debris blocked several roads. Gusts to 50 mph were measured at Adams Field and the Little Rock Air Force Base (both in Pulaski County).

 

There was a slight to enhanced risk of severe weather in the southern Plains early on 06/24/2018 as thunderstorms became numerous from Kansas into Oklahoma. The forecast was courtesy of the Storm Prediction Center.
In the picture: There was a slight to enhanced risk of severe weather in the southern Plains early on 06/24/2018 as thunderstorms became numerous from Kansas into Oklahoma. The forecast was courtesy of the Storm Prediction Center.
 

On the 24th, two rounds of storms barreled into the state from the southern Plains (early in the day and also in the afternoon). In addition to more tree damage in the west, Fort Smith (Sebastian County) received 2.86 inches of rain.

 

Most severe storms went around the eastern periphery of a ridge of high pressure ("H") on 06/28/2018.
In the picture: Most severe storms went around the eastern periphery of a ridge of high pressure ("H") on 06/28/2018.
 

Heat was the headline to finish the month. High pressure was overhead, and most precipitation was forced to the east. On the 28th, the temperature at Batesville (Independence County) and Hot Springs (Garland County) topped out at 101 degrees, and it was 100 degrees at Russellville (Pope County) and Searcy (White County). At 400 pm CDT, the heat index value at Corning (Clay County) was 118 degrees, with heat indices from 100 to 115 degrees across much of the state.

 

Links of Interest
May 31 - June 2, 2018 (huge hail/wind damage/flash flooding)
June 8-9, 2018 (severe storms)
June 12-15, 2018 (severe storms/spotty flash flooding)
June 20-24, 2018 (much needed rain/severe storms)
June 28-30, 2018 (hot/isolated storms)

 

Additional June Details
 
For more details about June, 2018...go to the "Temperatures and Precipitation" section below.

 

Temperatures and Precipitation
Temperatures were above average in June. Readings at North Little Rock (Pulaski County) are shown to right. June, 2018 Temperatures in North Little Rock

 

June, 2018 Precipitation in North Little Rock Precipitation was generally below to much below average, but was above average mainly in parts of southern Arkansas.

 

To right, a look at precipitation across the state. June, 2018 Precipitation in Arkansas

 

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