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June, 2021 Storm Report
 
Short Weather Summary
 
June will be remembered for an historic deluge and flooding in southeast Arkansas early in the month. June rainfall records were shattered in spots. While there was summer heat, it did not last long. In fact, record cool temperatures were experienced late in the month. After such a wet start, it was a dry finish to the month in much of the state.

 

Record Temperatures
 
There were several record low temperatures tied or broken in late June, and a couple of record highs earlier in the month. Check out the record below.

 

Site Record Low (Date of Occurrence)
Batesville 54T (06/22), 53 (06/23)
Hot Springs 57 (06/23)
Jacksonville 54T (06/22), 52 (06/23)
Little Rock 57T (06/23)
North Little Rock 58 (06/23)
Stuttgart 60 (06/22), 60 (06/23)
Note: "T" means record was tied.

 

Site Record High (Date of Occurrence)
Batesville 95 (06/12)
Texarkana 100 (06/13)

 

Flooding Rain in the Southeast/Not So Hot Overall/A Dry End to the Month
 
Low pressure aloft (at 500 millibars/roughly 18,000 feet) was a common theme through the first week of June, 2021. This kept clouds and rain in the forecast, and hot temperatures failed to materialize.
500 mb Map at 700 am CDT (06/01)  |  500 mb Map at 700 am CDT (06/02)
500 mb Map at 700 am CDT (06/03)  |  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)
Loop
In the pictures: Low pressure aloft (at 500 millibars/roughly 18,000 feet) was a common theme through the first week of June, 2021. This kept clouds and rain in the forecast, and hot temperatures failed to materialize.
 

May ended on a cool note, and there were no big changes through the first week of June. Slow moving storm systems aloft, clouds, and areas of rain kept temperatures down.

There was enough rain to cover Highway 67 with water near Donaldson (Hot Spring County) on the 1st. In the twenty four hour period ending at 700 am CDT on the 2nd, two to three inches of rain dumped at Antoine (Pike County), Jessieville (Garland County), Murfreesboro (Pike County), and Paragould (Greene County).

Just after 200 pm CDT on the 2nd, a brief landspout was spawned in an open field a few miles west of Luxora (Mississippi County). A turning motion associated with a storm system crossing Arkansas likely contributed to the production of the landspout.

A few days later, hit and miss thunderstorms ramped up on the 6th. Two to more than three inches of rain was measured at Cane Creek State Park (Lincoln County), Fordyce (Dallas County), Monticello (Drew County), Nashville (Howard County), and Pine Bluff (Jefferson County). Several roads were under water between Avilla (Saline County) and Ferndale (Pulaski County), and also at Monticello (Drew County).

 

Flooding in North Texas

Preceding storms on the 6th (before the sun came up), water was on the rise on the north side of Dallas, TX. Torrential downpours turned roads into rivers and caught motorists off guard in places like Plano, TX and Garland, TX. At the latter location, a woman drove into water, and emergency personnel were contacted. While responders found her vehicle, her body was swept downstream.

 

Flash flood and severe weather headlines were in place across much of central and southern Arkansas at 236 pm CDT on 06/07/2021.
In the picture: Flash flood and severe weather headlines were in place across much of central and southern Arkansas at 236 pm CDT on 06/07/2021.
 

During the predawn hours of the 7th, thunderstorm winds downed a tree on Highway 53 just south of Gurdon (Clark County). This caused a log truck to overturn. In the afternoon, more trees were toppled in Camden and East Camden (both in Ouachita County). A chapel roof was damaged just southwest of Cummins (Lincoln County), and part of a roof was blown off close to Sorrells (Jefferson County).

At least a dozen Tornado Warnings were issued in portions of Calhoun, Clark, Cleveland, Dallas, Garland, Hot Spring, Montgomery, Ouachita, and Pike Counties. A funnel cloud was spotted by law enforcement at Gum Springs (Clark County). There was a brief tornado reported (rated EFU, where "U" is unknown because there was no damage to evaluate) to the west of Calion (Union County) at 426 pm CDT. The tornado apparently did little more than kick up some dust.

 

High temperatures through the first week of June, 2021 were in the 70s/80s at Little Rock (Pulaski County).
In the picture: High temperatures through the first week of June, 2021 were in the 70s/80s at Little Rock (Pulaski County).
 

Temperatures through the 7th failed to reach 90 degrees at Little Rock (Pulaski County). On four of the seven days, readings did not make it out of the 70s.

 

Heat Wave in the Northeast

While it was mild in Arkansas, there was a heat wave from the mid-Atlantic states to New England. Thermometers showed lower to mid 90s from the 5th through the 7th at Boston, MA, Manchester, NH, New York, NY, and Washington, DC. These temperatures were 10 to 20 degrees above average.

 

Ten to more than fifteen inches of rain fell in portions of southeast Arkansas in the forty eight hour period ending at 700 am CDT on 06/09/2021.
In the picture: Ten to more than fifteen inches of rain fell in portions of southeast Arkansas in the forty eight hour period ending at 700 am CDT on 06/09/2021.
 

On the 8th, there was a life threatening deluge in southeast Arkansas. Showers and thunderstorms became widespread, and moved over the same areas for several hours.

Too much rain flooded roads at Star City and Varner (both in Lincoln County), Pine Bluff (Jefferson County), Stuttgart (Arkansas County), and also at Dumas and McGehee (both in Desha County). Water got into many homes. Crop and road damage (washouts) was reported in Bradley County. A creek was out of its banks just southeast of Timber Ridge (Pulaski County).

 

Flooding in Southeast Oklahoma

It was awful in southeast Oklahoma, mainly in McCurtain County. Parts of the county received more than eight inches of precipitation during the morning of the 8th. North of Valliant, OK and at Wright City, OK, roads were impassible and homes were swamped. People were stranded, and rescues were performed.

 

Numerous highways were flooded south and east of Little Rock (Pulaski County) by the morning of 06/09/2021. The information and graphic are courtesy of IDriveArkansas.
In the picture: Numerous highways were flooded south and east of Little Rock (Pulaski County) by the morning of 06/09/2021. The information and graphic are courtesy of IDriveArkansas.
 

There was high water along Highway 114 between Calmer and Rison (both in Cleveland County), Highway 425 near Yorktown (Lincoln County), Highway 293 east of Garrett Bridge (Lincoln County), Highway 46 not far from Ebb (Grant County), Highway 276 on the south side of Stuttgart (Arkansas County), Highway 79 east of Marianna (Lee County), and Highway 1 at Kelso (Desha County). These highways were eventually closed temporarily.

 

In the video: Flooding was extensive at Dumas (Desha County) on 06/08/2021. The video is courtesy of Brian Emfinger via Twitter.
 

The situation was the most serious in Desha and Drew Counties, and a Flash Flood Emergency was issued for the communities of Dumas, Pickens, Rohwer (all in Desha County), and Winchester (Drew County) at 1142 am CDT on the 8th. Radar estimated 10 to more than 15 inches of rain, and there was water everywhere. Some folks indicated (through social media) they had never witnessed flooding of this magnitude.

From an historic perspective, Rohwer (Desha County) received 9.25 inches of rain in the twenty four hour period ending at 700 am CDT on the 8th. This was the most rain in one day at the site, and the fourth largest one day total across the state in June. If that was not enough, 9.97 inches of liquid was measured the next day! Adding the numbers, the whopping 19.22 inches on the 8th/9th was the second biggest two day amount in Arkansas. It was just behind the 21.45 inches at Danville (Yell County) on December 3-4, 1982.

 

 

It had never been so wet prior to June 8-9, 2021 at Rohwer (Desha County) and Stuttgart (Arkansas County).
One Day Rainfall Records at Rohwer 2 NNE (Desha County)
One Day Rainfall Records at Stuttgart 9 ESE (Arkansas County)
In the pictures: It had never been so wet prior to June 8-9, 2021 at Rohwer (Desha County) and Stuttgart (Arkansas County).
 

Relentless cloudbursts continued to start the 9th in eastern Arkansas. A rain gauge near DeValls Bluff (Prairie County) completely filled (to six inches) between 500 am and 800 am CDT. Buildings were flooded and cars were stalled in Clarendon (Monroe County). It was the same story in Humnoke (Lonoke County), and sandbags were ordered to stop the water.

It was just getting worse in Stuttgart (Arkansas County), with one picture showing more water in a home than ever before (in the life of the photographer/42 years). That claim was likely true because the 7.50 inches of rain that caused the problem easily surpassed the previous one day June record of 4.07 inches on the 29th in 1939. At least fifteen homes were impacted by flooding at Altheimer (Jefferson County). Highway 302 from Highway 17 to Highway 79 was shut down in Monroe County, as was Highway 15 near Sherrill (Jefferson County), Highway 33 east of Tollville (Prairie County), and Highways 85 and 318 near Oneida (Phillips County).

 

Crop Losses in Southeast Arkansas

An economist with the Arkansas Agriculture Experiment Station estimated that record rainfall and widespread flooding in southeast Arkansas on June 8th/9th cost farmers at least $200 million in losses ($70 million each in soybeans and rice, and $60 million in corn). There are more details here.

 

Quick rises occurred along flashy tributaries such as the Little Missouri and Saline Rivers, but with no significant impacts. Minor flooding continued in the south/east along the Black, Cache, Ouachita, and lower White Rivers.

 

The WSR-88D (Doppler Weather Radar) showed strong to severe storms just south and east of England (Lonoke County) at 808 pm CDT on 06/09/2021. A couple of Tornado Warnings were in effect at the time.
In the picture: The WSR-88D (Doppler Weather Radar) showed strong to severe storms just south and east of England (Lonoke County) at 808 pm CDT on 06/09/2021. A couple of Tornado Warnings were in effect at the time.
 

As the weather calmed down in the east by the afternoon of the 9th, temperatures warmed well into the 80s to around 90 degrees across the northern and central counties. Heating and lots of humidity were enough to fuel isolated strong to severe storms toward evening.

Just after 700 pm CDT, a video showed a tornado (rated EFU) that lasted two minutes in a field near Blakemore (Lonoke County). Between 700 pm and 800 pm CDT, there was quarter size hail just east of College Station (Pulaski County). Little Rock (Pulaski County) got a quick 1.10 inches of rain. Trees were blown down at Cave City (Sharp County). At 805 pm CDT, there was a brief weak tornado (rated EF0) a few miles southeast of England (Lonoke County).

 

 

The focus shifted back to the southeast early on the 10th. You guessed it...the sky was falling again. Rain plus runoff from the soaking on the 8th/9th in northern and central Desha County inundated farms toward Halley (Desha County) in the south. At 200 pm CDT, an irrigation canal east of Pickens (Desha County) was breached, and adjacent farmland became a lake. The canal was patched by evening. At Florence (Drew County), residents were forced to use boats to get around. Water threatened structures at Dermott and Eudora (both in Chicot County), and sandbagging was in progress. It was clear that assistance was needed, and Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson declared a state of emergency. 

 

Flooding in Mississippi

Just like southeast Arkansas, there was tragedy in northern and central Mississippi. From Greenwood, MS and Holcomb, MS to Tupelo, MS, in excess of a foot of rain covered a lot of real estate since the beginning of June. Stories from the media mentioned boats, levee breaches, a looming dam break and evacuations, multiple rescues, shelters for those displaced by the water, and huge property and agricultural losses.

 

In the video: Water flowed along Cantrell Road into a nearby neighborhood in west Little Rock (Pulaski County) during the evening of 06/10/2021. The video is courtesy of Andrew Adkins and Barry Brandt via Twitter.
 

All was quiet quiet in Little Rock (Pulaski County) on the 10th, and the sun was out. For the first time in 2021, the temperature touched 90 degrees (the high was 92 degrees), and it was three weeks late (it normally happens by May 18th). Toward evening, it got loud toward Pinnacle Mountain (Pulaski County). A severe storm pumped out quarter size hail, winds strong enough to push over a few trees, and up to six inches of rain in less than two hours. The terrain accentuated the flow of water across roads and into neighborhoods.

 

Severe thunderstorms surged from Montana into the Dakotas during the predawn hours of 06/11/2021. Later in the day, another cluster of strong to severe storms headed from western Missouri into northern Arkansas.
Satellite at 300 am CDT (06/11)  |  Satellite at 700 pm CDT (06/11)
In the pictures: Severe thunderstorms surged from Montana into the Dakotas during the predawn hours of 06/11/2021. Later in the day, another cluster of strong to severe storms headed from western Missouri into northern Arkansas.
 

After an incredible amount of rain from central into southeast Arkansas to begin June, a strengthening ridge of high pressure over the southern Rockies and southern Plains was set to slow things down locally by the 12th. Before the ridge arrived, the northern counties had to deal with a round of thunderstorms during the evening of the 11th.

 

Severe Storms in the Northern Rockies/Northern Plains

Storms in northern Arkansas were preceded by fireworks well to the northwest. Late on June 10th and into the wee hours of the 11th, a nasty line of severe storms unleashed 60 to 90 mph winds and baseball size hail in eastern Montana. Lot of wind damage accompanied the storms as they plowed through the Dakotas.

 

Severe weather reports in the forty eight hour period ending at 700 am CDT on 06/12/2021. The graphic is courtesy of the Storm Prediction Center.
In the picture: Severe weather reports in the forty eight hour period ending at 700 am CDT on 06/12/2021. The graphic is courtesy of the Storm Prediction Center.
 

The storms in the north came to life in the afternoon from eastern Kansas into western Missouri and headed this way. Trees were downed on the east side of Mountain Home (Baxter County) between 900 pm and 1000 pm CDT.

 

Heat index values at 400 pm CDT on 06/12/2021. Readings ranged from the mid 90s to around 105 degrees at most locations in Arkansas.
In the picture: Heat index values at 400 pm CDT on 06/12/2021. Readings ranged from the mid 90s to around 105 degrees at most locations in Arkansas.
 

The ridge became established on the 12th, and the heat kicked in. The high temperature at Fort Smith (Sebastian County) was 98 degrees. Camden (Ouachita County), Conway (Faulkner County), and Pine Bluff (Jefferson County) had 97 degrees, and it was 96 degrees at Blytheville (Mississippi County), Flippin (Marion County), Jonesboro (Craighead County), and Little Rock (Pulaski County). Combining heat with humidity, heat index values at 400 pm CDT ranged from the mid 90s to around 105 degrees at most places.

Isolated thunderstorms popped up toward the Mississippi River, but dry weather prevailed elsewhere. Even so, the effects of recent heavy rain were still evident, with a report of a fatality in southwest Arkansas. Three to four miles south of Horatio (Little River County), a high Little River flooded a campground, and one person drowned.

It was oppressive again on the 13th in the south. The mercury made it to 100 degrees at Texarkana (Miller County). The heat index peaked around 110 degrees in town, as well as at El Dorado (Union County) and Monticello (Drew County).

 

Twenty four hour temperature change as of 700 am CDT on 06/21/2021. Readings were up across Arkansas ahead of a cold front, and it was muggy. Cooler and drier air was on the way from the northwest behind the front.
In the picture: Twenty four hour temperature change as of 700 am CDT on 06/21/2021. Readings were up across Arkansas ahead of a cold front, and it was muggy. Cooler and drier air was on the way from the northwest behind the front. The graphic is courtesy of the Weather Prediction Center.
 

A somewhat rare June cold front was on the doorstep to the north on June 21st. The front was set to bring significantly cooler/drier conditions to the area.

 

It was rainy and cool in northern Arkansas behind a cold front at 1200 pm CDT on 06/21/2021. Temperatures toward the Missouri border were in the 60s. Ahead of the front, it was warm and humid with scattered showers, and readings were in the 80s to around 90 degrees.
In the picture: It was rainy and cool in northern Arkansas behind a cold front at 1200 pm CDT on 06/21/2021. Temperatures toward the Missouri border were in the 60s. Ahead of the front, it was warm and humid with scattered showers, and readings were in the 80s to around 90 degrees.
 

By 1200 pm CDT, the front was about halfway through the state. Showers were widespread behind the front, and there were rumbles of thunder as well. Temperatures were in the 60s at many locations including Fayetteville (Washington County), Harrison (Boone County), and Mountain Home (Baxter County). Across the central and southern counties, readings were in the 80s to around 90 degrees with isolated to scattered showers. There was no severe weather, but a 56 mph gust occurred with a thunderstorm at Fort Smith (Sebastian County) between 930 am and 1000 am CDT.

Across the north, rainfall ranged from a half inch to an inch with locally more than two inches. In the twenty four hour period ending at 700 am CDT on the 22nd, Harrison (Boone County) got 1.85 inches of precipitation, with 1.59 inches at Lead Hill (Boone County), 1.35 inches at Mountain View (Stone County), and 1.09 inches at Jonesboro (Craighead County). Similar amounts occurred in the southeast. In central sections, less than a tenth of an inch was common.

At Little Rock (Pulaski County), there was only a trace of rain. The last measurable rain (0.01 inch or more) happened on the 10th. During the first ten days of the month, there was a whopping 7.11 inches of liquid. The lack of precipitation to finish the month was not atypical, with more sites than not in Arkansas reporting below average June totals.

 

Precipitation in June, 2021
Site Amount Normal +/- % of Normal
Fayetteville (NW AR) 3.02 4.31 -1.29 70%
Harrison (NC AR) 3.92 3.85 +0.07 102%
Jonesboro (NE AR) 2.67 3.05 -0.38 88%
Fort Smith (WC AR) 3.05 4.56 -1.51 67%
Little Rock (C AR) 7.11 3.55 +3.56 200%
West Memphis (EC AR) 3.25 4.10 -0.85 79%
Texarkana (SW AR) 3.30 3.92 -0.62 84%
El Dorado (SC AR) 2.75 3.88 -1.13 71%
Pine Bluff (SE AR) 7.14 3.27 +3.87 218%

 

In the picture: Tropical Storm Claudette was over eastern Mississippi during the afternoon of 06/19/2021. Areas of heavy rain were mainly east of the center of circulation.
 

We missed out on more appreciable rain with Tropical Storm Claudette on June 19th. Claudette formed in southern Louisiana during the predawn hours, and tracked toward the Carolinas. Two to more than four inches of rain fell along/east of the track, with totals exceeding ten inches from southern Mississippi to the Florida panhandle.

 

Impacts From Claudette/Tornado in Illinois

In addition to an 81 mph gust at Pensacola, FL (with a squall line) on June 19th, several mostly weak tornadoes (rated EF0/EF1) were spawned from southern Alabama into southwest Georgia. The strongest of these (rated EF2) was on the ground for twenty two miles, and destroyed mobile homes, ripped up a high school auditorium roof, and caused major tree damage at East Brewton, AL. Twenty people were injured.

About 35 miles southwest of Montgomery, AL, a car apparently hydroplaned on Interstate 65, and started a chain reaction crash involving at least eighteen vehicles. One of these was a bus that was sandwiched between two eighteen wheelers. Ten people were killed on the bus, including nine children.

The next day, there was a destructive tornado (rated EF3) on the southwest side of Chicago, IL during the late evening. At least 230 homes were damaged (some heavily), with Naperville, IL and Woodridge, IL hit the hardest. Eleven people were injured.

 

In the picture: Temperatures dropped into the lower 50s across portions of northern and western Arkansas early on 06/22/2021.
 

Back at home, after the passage of the aforementioned front, it was much cooler by the morning of the 22nd. The low temperature at Evening Shade (Sharp County), Mammoth Spring (Fulton County), and Marshall (Searcy County) was 50 degrees.

 

Record Heat and Bone Dry in the West

As summer took a break locally, long term drought and a persistent ridge of high pressure contributed to extreme heat, low water levels, and wildfires across the western United States in mid to late June.

On the 15th, the temperature at Billings, MT soared to 108 degrees, which tied the all-time high in the city. The same thing happened at Sheridan, WY and Salt Lake City, UT, with the mercury topping out at 107 degrees. Wildfires were ongoing in the west as of the 18th. This included a large 165,000 acre Telegraph Fire east of Phoenix, AZ, and close to a 30,000 acre Pinnacle Fire northeast of Tucson, AZ. Lake Mead was experiencing the lowest water levels since the 1930s (about a third of its full capacity). Sitting just east of Las Vegas, NV along the Colorado River, the lake supplies water to 25,000,000 people.

All-time highs were established at Portland, OR and Seattle, WA on the 28th, with thermometers showing 116 degrees and 108 degrees respectively. Highways buckled and streetcar cables melted. The majority of homes in this part of the world are not equipped with air conditioners, so many folks went to cooling centers for relief.

Our neighbors to the north were not exempt from blowtorch conditions. On the 29th, the temperature soared to an almost surreal 121 degrees at Lytton, British Columbia. It was an all-time high mark for Canada. The next day, evacuations were underway to flee a catastrophic wildfire that consumed most of the village.

 

Statewide highs for the day were in the mid 70s to lower 80s (normal highs are in the mid 80s to lower 90s). Lows on the 23rd were in the 50s to around 60 degrees. The low of 57 degrees at Little Rock (Pulaski County) tied a record for the day set in 1902.

 

High pressure ("H") brought extreme heat to the Pacific Northwest, and hot/mostly dry conditions to the southeast states in late June, 2021. It was mild and wet in the middle of the country.
In the picture: High pressure ("H") brought extreme heat to the Pacific Northwest, and hot/mostly dry conditions to the southeast states in late June, 2021. It was mild and wet in the middle of the country.
 

Toward the end of June (the last week), there was seasonal heat in Arkansas, and umbrellas were not needed much. Another tropical system (Tropical Storm Danny) missed us well to the east, and made landfall along the South Carolina coast (on the 28th). From Michigan to the Texas panhandle, three inches to over a half foot of rain drenched the landscape. The wetness progressed slowly southward, with clouds thickening and chances of showers increasing locally as July began. 

 

Links of Interest
June 1-10, 2021 (flooding rain/isolated severe storms/mild)
June 11-13, 2021 (isolated severe storms/hot)
June 21-23, 2021 (rain/turning cooler)

 

Additional June Details
 
For more details about June, 2021...go to the "Temperatures and Precipitation" section below.

 

Temperatures and Precipitation
Temperatures were at or a little below average in June. Readings at North Little Rock (Pulaski County) are shown to right. June, 2021 Temperatures in North Little Rock

 

June, 2021 Precipitation in North Little Rock Precipitation was largely at/below average, but was well above normal from central into southeast Arkansas. Amounts at North Little Rock (Pulaski County) are shown to left.

 

To right, a look at precipitation across the state. June, 2021 Precipitation in Arkansas

 

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