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June, 2019 Storm Report
 
Short Weather Summary
 
It was a stormy June, with more than the usual rain and almost record hail in Polk County. The month began with unprecedented flooding along the Arkansas River. Heat did not make headlines, with a few record low temperatures in the middle of the month.

 

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

 

Site Record Low (Date of Occurrence)
Batesville 54 (06/11), 54 (06/13), 50 (06/14)
Hot Springs 57 (06/14)
North Little Rock 60T (06/14)
Stuttgart 61 (06/14)
Note: "T" means record was tied.

 

Another Wet Month/Arkansas River Flooding Continues/Almost Record Hail
 
Record or near record crests occurred along the Arkansas River in late May and early June, 2019. At several forecast points, previous record crests were surpassed by more than two feet.
In the picture: Record or near record crests occurred along the Arkansas River in late May and early June, 2019. At several forecast points, previous record crests were surpassed by more than two feet.
 

As June began, it was all about the Arkansas River. After fifteen to twenty inches of rain in May across northeast Oklahoma and southeast Kansas, and massive releases from nearby lakes, the Arkansas River rose to unprecedented levels. Crests in late May/early June were more than two feet above previous high marks at Van Buren (Crawford County), Toad Suck (Perry County), and Pendleton (Desha County).

Numerous highways were closed and flooded. This included Highway 22 near Barling (Sebastian County), which did not open until water receded on the 4th (after cresting on the 1st). A 64-year-old man lost his life on this highway on May 28th after driving around a barricade.

 

In the pictures: City, county, and state government officials got together on 06/02/2019 to work on a solution to a levee breach near Dardanelle (Yell County). The information is courtesy of Mayor Richard Harris of Russellville (Pope County) via Twitter.
 

One of the more attention grabbing issues during the flood was a levee breach near Dardanelle (Yell County). On the 1st, there was fear that water from the breach could inundate 300 to 400 homes in town. Sandbagging took place to protect property from rising water. In the end, the homes were spared, but farms and farmland in the area were heavily impacted. There was also major damage to Highway 155, which could take months to repair.

 

In the picture: The Lollie Levee near Conway (Faulkner County) held its ground on 06/07/2019 against a record high Arkansas River. The information is courtesy of the City of Conway via Twitter.
 

There was also a lot happening around Conway (Faulkner County). On the 3rd, a Flood Warning was issued for Lake Conway as Palarm Creek backed up. People were advised to evacuate before water flowed into houses surrounding the lake a couple of days later.

Meanwhile, there were images of Lollie Levee eroding, and it appeared that failure was imminent. This put parts of Conway (Faulkner County) in danger of flooding. There were more evacuations, and the situation was monitored closely. By the 7th, it became clear that the levee would hold. The levee was presented a key to the city on the 10th.

 

In the pictures: An overflowing Arkansas River flooded homes and businesses between Little Rock (Pulaski County) and Pine Bluff (Jefferson County) on 06/02/2019. The photos are courtesy of Brian Emfinger via Twitter.
 

Farther downstream, the story was not as rosy. There were a lot of structures under water toward Pine Bluff (Jefferson County), and this was several days before an eventual crest on the 6th.

On the 9th, it was announced that a major disaster declaration was approved for eight counties (Conway, Crawford, Faulkner, Jefferson, Perry, Pulaski, Sebastian, and Yell) as a result of the Arkansas River flood.

 

500 millibar (18,000 feet) maps showed a storm system aloft ("LOW") tracking from the southwest United States into Arkansas in the seventy two hour period ending at 700 am CDT on 06/07/2019.
500 mb Map at 700 am CDT (06/04)  |  500 mb Map at 700 am CDT (06/05)
500 mb Map at 700 am CDT (06/06)  |  500 mb Map at 700 am CDT (06/07)
Loop
In the pictures: 500 millibar (18,000 feet) maps showed a storm system aloft ("LOW") tracking from the southwest United States into Arkansas in the seventy two hour period ending at 700 am CDT on 06/07/2019.
 

While the Arkansas River wreaked havoc, there were some weather worries. A storm system was headed this way from the southwest United States during the first week of June, and it promised heavy rain.

Thunderstorms got going on the 3rd/4th in northern and western sections of the state. Rainfall exceeded two inches at Big Fork (Polk County), Mena (Polk County), and Pine Ridge (Montgomery County). Trees were blown down at Lodi (Pike County), Hector (Pope County), and just east of Hazen (Prairie County). Utility poles were pushed over a few miles south of Hoxie (Lawrence County).

On the 5th, persistent downpours in the west resulted in two to more than three inches of precipitation at Booneville (Logan County), Fort Smith (Sebastian County), Parks (Scott County), and Subiaco (Logan County). Roads were flooded in Knoxville (Johnson County) and near Paris (Logan County). Two low water bridges became impassible just northwest of Chickalah (Yell County).

 

Heavy rain and rapid rises along the Buffalo River were in the forecast across northern Arkansas early on 06/07/2019.
In the picture: Heavy rain and rapid rises along the Buffalo River were in the forecast across northern Arkansas early on 06/07/2019.
 

During the wee hours of the 7th, rain came down in buckets across parts of the north. Two to four inches of rain was measured at Calico Rock (Izard County), Fayetteville (Washington County), Gilbert (Searcy County), Highfill (Benton County), Marianna (Lee County), and Mountain View (Stone County). Lightning started a fire that destroyed an electric substation in Mountain Home (Baxter County).

The Buffalo River jumped eight to ten feet from Hasty (Newton County) to Grinder's Ferry (Searcy County), and at least 60 people camping in the area were rescued.

 

Low temperatures on 06/11/2019. Readings were in the 50s to lower 60s at most locations.
In the picture: Low temperatures on 06/11/2019. Readings were in the 50s to lower 60s at most locations.
 

Rain came to an end late on the 9th/early on the 10th as a cold front crossed the region from the Plains. The front was followed by much drier air and cooler conditions. High temperatures on the 10th were in the mid 70s to mid 80s. By the morning of the 11th, readings were in the 50s to lower 60s. Readings were below average for several days, with record lows (mainly on the 14th) at Batesville (Independence County), Hot Springs (Garland County), North Little Rock (Pulaski County), and Stuttgart (Arkansas County).

 

The WSR-88D (Doppler Weather Radar) showed isolated hail storms intially in western Arkansas by early evening on 06/19/2019. In the hours to follow, two clusters of storms became dominant over the central and southern counties, and produced strong to damaging winds. The southernmost cluster took on a classic backward C-shape (bow echo), which often results in wind damage.
Radar at 629 pm CDT (06/19)  |  Radar at 701 pm CDT (06/19)
Radar at 732 pm CDT (06/19)  |  Radar at 801 pm CDT (06/19)
Radar at 835 pm CDT (06/19)  |  Radar at 904 pm CDT (06/19)
Radar at 933 pm CDT (06/19)  |  Radar at 1002 pm CDT (06/19)
Loop
In the pictures: The WSR-88D (Doppler Weather Radar) showed isolated hail storms intially in western Arkansas by early evening on 06/19/2019. In the hours to follow, two clusters of storms became dominant over the central and southern counties, and produced strong to damaging winds. The southernmost cluster took on a classic backward C-shape (bow echo), which often results in wind damage.
 

The fireworks returned on the 19th, and one of the largest severe weather events in Arkansas of 2019 unfolded. The event began with softball size hail or larger around Vandervoort and Cove (both in Polk County) between 630 pm and 700 pm CDT. Evidence from photos showed that some hailstones were close to five inches in diameter, potentially tying the state record set on January 21, 1999 and April 2, 2006. Records go back to the 1950s.

As the evening progressed, two clusters of storms evolved across the central and southern counties. They moved quickly to the east at 50 to more than 60 mph. This usually increases the chances of wind damage.

Trees and/or power lines were downed at many locations including Camden (Ouachita County), De Queen (Sevier County), El Dorado (Union County), Harrell (Calhoun County), Lewisville (Lafayette County), Little Rock (Pulaski County), Mount Ida and Norman (both in Montgomery County), Cabot and Lonoke (both in Lonoke County), Florence and Montongo (both in Drew County), and McGehee (Desha County).

 

Severe weather reports in the twenty four hour period ending at 700 am CDT on 06/20/2019. 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 06/20/2019. The graphic is courtesy of the Storm Prediction Center.
 

Wind gusts were estimated around 70 mph at Hurricane Lake (Saline County) and Stephens (Ouachita County). Measured wind gusts included 67 mph at the Little Rock Air Force Base (Pulaski County), and 64 mph at Little Rock National Airport (Pulaski County) and the Stuttgart Airport in Fairmont (Prairie County). 

Widespread volatile conditions knocked out power to at least 100,000 homes. In addition to the wind and hail, lightning struck a house in North Little Rock (Pulaski County) and caused a fire.

 

There was massive hail (bigger than grapefruits in places) near Cove (Polk County) during the early evening of 06/19/2019. Downed trees fell on storage buildings on the southwest side of Little Rock (Pulaski County), near a church in Lonoke (Lonoke County), next to a house in Harrell (Calhoun County), and onto a house northeast of Monticello (Drew County). Before storms arrived in central sections of the state, mammatus clouds were witnessed. This indicated a lot of instability and turbulence in the atmosphere. The first three and last photos are courtesy of Danielle Jopling, Elizabeth Beavers, Michelle Bettis and D. Sasser via social media.
Massive Hail Near Cove (Polk County)
Trees on Storage Buildings in Southwest Little Rock (Pulaski County)
Downed Tree Near a Church in Lonoke (Lonoke County)
Tree Down Next to a House in Harrell (Calhoun County)
Tree Toppled Onto a House Northeast of Monticello (Drew County)
Mammatus Clouds Near Conway (Faulkner County)
In the pictures: There was massive hail (bigger than grapefruits in places) near Cove (Polk County) during the early evening of 06/19/2019. Downed trees fell on storage buildings on the southwest side of Little Rock (Pulaski County), near a church in Lonoke (Lonoke County), next to a house in Harrell (Calhoun County), and onto a house northeast of Monticello (Drew County). Before storms arrived in central sections of the state, mammatus clouds were witnessed. This indicated a lot of instability and turbulence in the atmosphere. The first three and last photos are courtesy of Danielle Jopling, Elizabeth Beavers, Michelle Bettis and D. Sasser via social media.
 

About a week after the event (on the 27th), one of largest hailstones was 3D scanned by researchers from the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS). The stone was 4.6 inches in diameter (a little larger than a grapefruit), or just shy of the record.

 

Link of Interest
Video Near Cove (Polk County) of Huge Hail (courtesy of Justin Bond via Twitter)

 

The WSR-88D (Doppler Weather Radar) showed a supercell (storm with rotating updrafts) near Blue Mountain (Logan County) at 535 am CDT on 06/23/2019. Rotation was detected via storm relative velocity images. More specifically, winds toward the radar (green/blue colors) were adjacent (gate-to-gate) to winds away from the radar (red colors). Reflectivity images showed a classic hook echo.
Reflectivity at 535 am CDT (06/23)  |  Storm Relative Velocity at 535 am CDT (06/23)
In the pictures: The WSR-88D (Doppler Weather Radar) showed a supercell (storm with rotating updrafts) near Blue Mountain (Logan County) at 535 am CDT on 06/23/2019. Rotation was detected via storm relative velocity images. More specifically, winds toward the radar (green/blue colors) were adjacent (gate-to-gate) to winds away from the radar (red colors). Reflectivity images showed a classic hook echo.
 

On the 23rd, the focus was on a couple of big thunderstorm clusters. The first cluster hammered areas north and west of Little Rock (Pulaski County) during the early morning hours, and it had a little of everything. Two weak tornadoes were spawned to the southeast of Paris (Logan County). The tornadoes uprooted or snapped trees, with one of the trees falling through a house. A mobile home roof and porch were also damaged. At Russellville (Pope County), thunderstorm gusts reached an estimated 90 mph at Arkansas Tech. Winds this strong tore up an outfield wall and first base dugout at a baseball field.

 

Link of Interest
Damage Survey Information

 

In the video: Flooding was noted at the Danville (Yell County) Airport following excessive rain on 06/23/2019. The video is courtesy of Danville Chief of Police Rick Padgett via Twitter.
 

There was a lot of rain and reports of flash flooding. Creeks and small streams were on the rise, and roads were under water. At Waldron (Scott County), Highways 28 and 71 were closed. Roads were also shut down near Gravette and Highfill (both in Benton County). Culverts were washed out along Highway 80 southwest of Danville (Yell County). Closer to town, there was plenty of standing water at the airport. County roads were impassible or washed out around Ozone (Johnson County) and Parthenon (Newton County).

 

In the video: A satellite loop showed a large area of showers and thunderstorms heading from northern into central Arkansas during the afternoon of 06/23/2019. At 300 pm CDT, the leading edge of the precipitation was as far south as Augusta (Woodruff County), Little Rock (Pulaski County), and Mount Ida (Montgomery County).
 

The first round of storms was followed quickly by another round in the late morning and afternoon hours. These storms packed a wallop in Siloam Springs (Benton County) and Tontitown (Washington County) between 955 am and 1020 am CDT. Significant tree damage was reported at both locations. Between 1200 pm and 300 pm CDT, trees and/or power lines were toppled at Calico Rock (Izard County), Clarkridge (Baxter County), Evening Shade (Sharp County), Harmony (Johnson County), Melbourne (Izard County), Pocahontas (Randolph County), north of Strawberry (Lawrence County), Swifton (Jackson County), and Toad Suck (Perry County). There were instances of trees on homes, on vehicles, and blocking roads. A 61 mph wind gust was measured at Walnut Ridge (Lawrence County), with a 60 mph gust estimated at Bradford (White County).

More heavy rain flooded a park in West Fork (Washington County). Houses next to the park had to be evacuated. High water forced the closure of Highway 282 at Rudy (Crawford County), and stranded a vehicle three miles southeast of Fayetteville (Washington County). Many roads were flooded in Fort Smith (Sebastian County).

Flooding was horrible around Anderson, MO. Overflowing tributaries inundated homes with water, with only roofs visible in some cases. Torrents of water flowed across major thoroughfares, completely paralyzing traffic. One woman was missing after her home was swept away.

 

Link of Interest
Horrible Flooding in Southwest Missouri on June 23, 2019 (courtesy of Charles Peek via Twitter)

 

Forty eight hour rainfall through 700 am CDT on 06/24/2019. Four to more than six inches of rain dumped in northern and western sections of the state.
In the picture: Forty eight hour rainfall through 700 am CDT on 06/24/2019. Four to more than six inches of rain dumped in northern and western sections of the state.
 

More than a month's worth of rain fell in portions of northern and western Arkansas in the forty eight hour period ending at 700 am CDT on the 24th. Nine miles west of Waldron (Scott County). one rain gauge collected 11.35 inches of precipitation! Abbott (Scott County) had 8.10 inches, with 7.50 inches at Devils Knob (Johnson County), 7.38 inches at Nunley (Polk County), 6.73 inches at Dierks (Howard County), 6.30 inches at Saint Paul (Madison County), and 6.20 inches at Jasper (Newton County).

Not surprisingly, episodes like this resulted in above average rainfall in June at most locations. Amounts were two to more than four inches in the plus category at Fayetteville (Sebastian County), Fort Smith (Sebastian County), Texarkana (Miller County), and West Memphis (Crittenden County).

 

Precipitation in June, 2019
Site Amount Normal +/- % of Normal
Fayetteville (NW AR) 8.93 4.98 +3.95 179%
Harrison (NC AR) 4.00 4.24 -0.24 94%
Jonesboro (NE AR) 3.43 3.75 -0.32 91%
Fort Smith (WC AR) 8.47 4.28 +4.19 198%
Little Rock (C AR) 4.49 3.65 +0.84 123%
West Memphis (EC AR) 7.71 4.15 +3.56 186%
Texarkana (SW AR) 7.93 4.45 +3.48 178%
El Dorado (SC AR) 5.73 4.90 +0.83 117%
Pine Bluff (SE AR) 3.93 3.58 +0.35 110%

 

In the video: The satellite showed a mesoscale convective vortex (MCV), or small area of low pressure left over from decaying thunderstorms to the north of Arkansas (swirl of clouds in Missouri) on 06/26/2019. Such a system often triggers new storms in areas where the atmosphere becomes warm and unstable.
 

As the month came to a close, a storm system aloft visited from Missouri on the 26th. Cooler air overhead associated with the system moved over much warmer conditions near the ground. This agitated the atmosphere, and hit and miss thunderstorms flared up across the north.

Storms were mostly non-severe, but there was a report of golf ball size hail just northwest of Cherokee Village (Sharp County). A low water crossing was flooded near Compton (Newton County). High water and debris in the road closed Highway 412 about two miles east of Marble (Carroll County).

 

In the picture: Water levels were high in Trappers Lake following heavy rain at the Davidsonville Historic State Park southwest of Pocahontas (Randolph County) on 06/28/2019. The photo is courtesy of Geoff Havens via Twitter.
 

The storm system drifted to the southeast toward northern Mississippi the next couple of days. Along the track of the system, thunderstorms continued developing in eastern Arkansas. Early on the 28th, areas of heavy rain in the east prompted the National Weather Service to issue Flash Flood Warnings for several counties.

In some spots, precipitation amounts exceeded three inches. Roughly 8 to 9 miles southwest of Pocahontas (Randolph County), 3.75 inches of liquid dumped in 2 to 3 hours. Closer to town, numerous streets were under water. County roads were also flooded at Balch and Amagon (both in Jackson County).

From the afternoon of the 28th to the morning of the 29th, active weather shifted farther south. Storms during this time frame pushed over trees at Strong (Union County) and produced quarter size hail at Elliott (Ouachita County). By 700 am CDT on the 29th, 2.10 inches of rain fell at Texarkana (Miller County).

 

Links of Interest
June 2-10, 2019 (Arkansas River flood/stormy then turning cooler)
June 19, 2019 (massive hail/wind damage)
June 23, 2019 (flooding rain/severe storms)
June 25-29, 2019 (isolated severe storms/some flooding)

 

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

 

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

 

June, 2019 Precipitation in North Little Rock Precipitation was largely above average, but was subpar in portions of the north and east.

 

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

 

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