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November, 2018 Storm Report
 
Short Weather Summary
 
It was somewhat dry in November compared to the deluge experienced the previous three months. The first widespread freeze in fall arrived during the first half of the month. There was accumulating light snow as well, especially in eastern Arkansas. It was the earliest snow on record at some sites. Following the snow, there was a lot of wind. When it warmed up at the end of the month, a few tornadoes were spawned.

 

Record Temperatures
 
There were a few record low temperatures broken in November during the first half of the month. There was one record high tied on the last day. Check out the records below.

 

Site Record Low (Date of Occurrence)
Hot Springs 22 (11/15)
North Little Rock 26 (11/10), 23 (11/15)
Stuttgart 23 (11/15)

 

Site Record High (Date of Occurrence)
Hot Springs 73T (11/30)
Note: "T" means record was tied.

 

 A Cold Month/Earliest Snow on Record in Places/A Few Tornadoes
 
Across Arkansas, drought conditions were worsening in July, 2018. Three months later, excessive rain made fields muddy and harvesting was difficult to impossible.
In the picture: Across Arkansas, drought conditions were worsening in July, 2018. Three months later, excessive rain made fields muddy and harvesting was difficult to impossible.
 

As November began, Arkansas had just gone through three months of surplus rainfall. It was the sixth wettest August/September/October on record since 1895. It could not have come at a worse time. Fields were muddy, and made harvesting difficult to impossible in places. It dried out a bit in November, especially in the northwest half of the state. Rain was one to more than two inches subpar at Fayetteville (Washington County) and Fort Smith (Sebastian County).

 

Precipitation in November, 2018
Site Amount Normal +/- % of Normal
Fayetteville (NW AR) 2.72 4.23 -1.51 64%
Harrison (NC AR) 3.78 4.23 -0.45 89%
Jonesboro (NE AR) 4.38 4.90 -0.52 89%
Fort Smith (WC AR) 1.67 4.44 -2.77 38%
Little Rock (C AR) 4.58 5.28 -0.70 87%
West Memphis (EC AR) 4.33 4.95 -0.62 87%
Texarkana (SW AR) 5.52 4.82 +0.70 115%
El Dorado (SC AR) 4.52 4.89 -0.37 92%
Pine Bluff (SE AR) 5.06 4.83 +0.23 105%

 

Tornado Watches were in effect for areas from northern Louisiana into western and central Tennessee at 840 pm CST on 11/05/2018. This included southeast Arkansas.
In the picture: Tornado Watches were in effect for areas from northern Louisiana into western and central Tennessee at 840 pm CST on 11/05/2018. This included southeast Arkansas.
 

While it was somewhat dry, there was still a lot to talk about. The month got off to a bang on the 5th, with severe weather possible in the southeast. Severe storms (mcluding tornadoes) were most likely from northern Louisiana into northern and western Mississippi and central Tennessee. This is where more than a dozen tornadoes were eventually spawned. One of these (rated EF2) hit Christiana, TN, and was the most powerful tornado in this part of the state in almost three years. The tornado flipped a home on its side and killed one person.

 

In the video: Motorists drove through high water on Crystal Hill Road in west Little Rock (Pulaski County) on 11/05/2018. The video is courtesy of Emily Edmisten via Twitter.
 

A band of heavy rain setup from central into northeast Arkansas. In the twenty four hour period ending at 600 am CST on November 6th, North Little Rock (Pulaski County) got 2.21 inches of rain and Blytheville (Mississippi County) received 2.02 inches.

In west Little Rock (Pulaski County), too much rain resulted in water flowing over Crystal Hill Road. There was also high water over Campground Road southeast of Cabot (Lonoke County).

 

Temperatures were below to well below average much of the first two weeks of November, 2018 at Little Rock (Pulaski County).
In the picture: Temperatures were below to well below average much of the first two weeks of November, 2018 at Little Rock (Pulaski County).
 

As of the 9th, a widespread freeze had yet to affect the region. However, the pattern was changing, and it looked really cold in the days ahead. A northwest wind flow aloft drove a cold front through Arkansas from the Plains. A large area of Canadian high pressure followed, and temperatures dropped.

 

Temperatures were below freezing statewide at 600 am CST on 11/10/2018.
In the picture: Temperatures were below freezing statewide at 600 am CST on 11/10/2018.
 

On the morning of the 10th, readings in the northwest plummeted into the teens, with 20s to lower 30s elsewhere. It was 13 degrees at Compton (Newton County), 16 degrees at Fayetteville (Washington County), Harrison (Boone County), Lead Hill (Boone County), and Strickler (Washington County), 17 degrees at Yellville (Marion County), and 19 degrees at Gilbert (Searcy County).

It is no wonder that the month finished with much below average temperatures given cold air during the first half of the month. In fact, it was a Top 10 cold November. Readings were generally four to six degrees in the minus category.

 

Average Temperatures in November, 2018
Site Avg Temp +/-
Fayetteville (NW AR) 41.3° -6.1°
Harrison (NC AR) 43.0° -5.5°
Jonesboro (NE AR) 45.1° -4.5°
Fort Smith (WC AR) 46.5° -5.1°
Little Rock (C AR) 47.3° -5.3°
West Memphis (EC AR) 48.2° -2.7°
Texarkana (SW AR) 49.3° -4.9°
El Dorado (SC AR) 49.4° -4.5°
Pine Bluff (SE AR) 48.2° -4.9°

 

A storm system aloft ("L") pulled moisture into Arkansas from the east to produce areas of light snow on 11/14/2018.
In the picture: A storm system aloft ("L") pulled moisture into Arkansas from the east to produce areas of light snow on 11/14/2018.
 

On the 14th, it remained cold when a storm system aloft headed this way from the west. The system strengthened along the way, and tried to pull moisture toward us from the southeast states (where rain was extensive).

Temperatures failed to get above freezing at Blytheville (Mississippi County), Harrison (Boone County), Newport (Jackson County), North Little Rock (Pulaski County), and West Memphis (Crittenden County). At North Little Rock (Pulaski County), it was the coldest November day on record (going back to 1975). 

 

Snowfall on 11/14/2018. Two to more than four inches of powder was reported in portions of southern and eastern Arkansas.
In the picture: Snowfall on 11/14/2018. Two to more than four inches of powder was reported in portions of southern and eastern Arkansas.
 

While the system struggled to ingest moisture (most areas received less than a tenth of an inch of liquid), there was enough to produce two to more than four inches of snow in parts of the south and east. Some of the higher snowfall totals included 5 to 6 inches at Georgetown (White County), 3 to 4 inches near Des Arc (Prairie County), 3 inches around Rison (Cleveland County) and Patterson (Woodruff County), and 2 to 3 inches at Augusta (Woodruff County), southeast of Stuttgart (Arkansas County), south of Pine Bluff (Jefferson County), and Rye (Cleveland County).

 

Five to six inches of snow piled up at Georgetown (White County) on 11/14/2018. The photo is courtesy of Debra Lang.
In the picture: Five to six inches of snow piled up at Georgetown (White County) on 11/14/2018. The photo is courtesy of Debra Lang. Click to enlarge.
Roughtly two inches of snow accumulated at Des Arc (Prairie County) on 11/14/2018. The photo is courtesy of Charles Walls.
In the picture: Roughly two inches of snow accumulated at Des Arc (Prairie County) on 11/14/2018. The photo is courtesy of Charles Walls. Click to enlarge.
 

An inch of snow was tallied in Pine Bluff (Jefferson County). This was the second earliest measurable snow since records began in 1883. At Monticello (Drew County), 1.1 inches of snow fell. This was not only the earliest snow, but made it the snowiest November locally. Records at the site go back to 1876.

 

 

By the evening of the 14th, roads were partially snow or ice covered from central into northeast Arkansas. Numerous accidents were reported on Interstate 40 east of Little Rock (Pulaski County). One accident involved a tractor trailer on the White River bridge north of DeValls Bluff (Prairie County). Some motorists waited up to ten hours for accidents to be cleared. 

 

There was a severe to exceptional drought (D2 to D4) in much of the western United States on 11/06/2018.
In the picture: There was a severe to exceptional drought (D2 to D4) in much of the western United States on 11/06/2018.
 

While the weather was active here at home, that was not the case out west. Precipitation was lacking in California, with vegetation drying out and a drought intensifying. Conditions were perfect for wildfires, but it got even worse when the winds kicked up. Gusts reached 40 to 60 mph, and this fanned the flames.

 

In the picture: Red Flag Warnings were posted in southern California on 11/11/2018 given extremely critical conditions (dry vegetation and strong Santa Ana winds).
 

The largest of these fires (called the Camp Fire) was in northern sections of the state. As of November 15th, more than 500,000 acres were torched. At least 15,000 structures were burned to the ground, with the towns of Concow and Paradise destroyed. At least 80 people were killed, with 1,000 people missing. This was the deadliest and most destructive fire in state history.

In southern California, another big fire (the Woolsey Fire) wreaked havoc. At least 100,000 acres were burned, including 500 structures and dozens of homes in Malibu. At least 3 lives were lost.

 

The surface map showed an intensifying storm system ("L") tracking across Missouri on 11/25/2018. Precipitation (rain/snow) mostly stayed to the north with the system. A couple of cold fronts associated with the system plowed through Arkansas. A tight pressure gradient (packed isobars or lines of equal pressure) surrounding the system led to strong and gusty west to northwest winds locally.
Surface Map at 600 am CST (11/25)  |  Surface Map at 900 am CST (11/25)
Surface Map at 1200 pm CST (11/25)  |  Surface Map at 300 pm CST (11/25)
Surface Map at 600 pm CST (11/25)  |  Loop
In the pictures: The surface map showed an intensifying storm system ("L") tracking across Missouri on 11/25/2018. Precipitation (rain/snow) mostly stayed to the north with the system. A couple of cold fronts associated with the system plowed through Arkansas. A tight pressure gradient (packed isobars or lines of equal pressure) surrounding the system led to strong and gusty west to northwest winds locally.
 

By the 24th, it felt like spring. High temperature were in the 60s and 70s (normal readings are in the 50s to lower 60s). A powerful storm system arrived the next day, and brought snow to the north of Arkansas and a lot of wind locally.

 

Forty eight hour snow accumulations through 600 am CST on 11/26/2018.
In the picture: Forty eight hour snow accumulations through 600 am CST on 11/26/2018.
 

Snow accumulated more than a half foot in places from Kansas City, MO to Chicago, IL. There were blizzard conditions at times (sustained winds or frequent gusts of at least 35 mph, and falling/blowing/drifting snow reducing visibilities to a quarter mile or less).

 

Peak wind gusts on 11/25/2018. A couple of gusts topped 50 mph.
In the picture: Peak wind gusts on 11/25/2018. A couple of gusts topped 50 mph.
 

Around here, a couple of fronts associated with the system shifted the winds to the west/northwest, and gusts reached 35 to 45 mph across much of the region. Isolated gusts were over 50 mph. A 54 mph gust was reported at Corning (Clay County), with a 51 mph gust at Fort Smith (Sebastian County). There was a 49 mph gust at Russellville (Pope County), and a 48 mph gust at Little Rock (Pulaski County) and Stuttgart (Arkansas County). The wind caused more than 10,000 power outages.

 

In the video: The satellite loop showed two rounds of showers and thunderstorms ahead of a powerful storm system ("L") tracking from the Texas panhandle to eastern Kansas. Northwest of the system, areas of snow developed in colder air. This is water vapor imagery, with blue/white colors representing higher levels of moisture/clouds and yellow colors indicating drier air.
 

November ended with a potentially large severe weather episode. An intensifying storm system exited the southern Rockies into the southern Plains, and ran into springlike air to its east. It was a recipe for severe thunderstorms.

 

The WSR-88D (Doppler Weather Radar) showed two rounds of showers and thunderstorms developing ahead of a powerful storm system ("L") in the Texas panhandle at 918 pm CST on 11/30/2018.
In the picture: The WSR-88D (Doppler Weather Radar) showed two rounds of showers and thunderstorms developing ahead of a powerful storm system ("L") in the Texas panhandle at 918 pm CST on 11/30/2018.
 

The region eventually dealt with two rounds of thunderstorms. The first round initiated during the late afternoon hours. While precipitation was widespread, storms struggled to become strong given modest instability. Also, the incoming system was still well off in the distance, and did not give storms the charge they needed to take off.

This first round of rain cooled and stabilized the atmosphere, especially from Little Rock (Pulaski County) eastward. There was not as much rain across the western counties, and this is where severe storms were most likely once the incoming system arrived.

Between 900 pm and midnight CST, round two was in full swing as a line of thunderstorms surged from central into eastern Oklahoma and southwest Missouri. Ahead of the line, a few supercells (storms with rotating updrafts) popped up and produced isolated tornadoes. One of these tornadoes (rated EF2) damaged or destroyed homes, boats, and boat docks near Lake Ten Killer. Hangers were dismantled at an airport west of Cookson, OK. A weak tornado (rated EF1) hit a motel at Aurora, MO, and one person was killed.

 

A supercell (storm with rotating updrafts and exhibiting features such as a hook echo and strong rotation) was just northwest of Van Buren (Crawford County) at 1108 pm CST on 11/30/2018.
Reflectivity at 1108 pm CST (11/30)  |  Storm Relative Velocity at 1108 pm CST (11/30)
In the pictures: A supercell (storm with rotating updrafts and exhibiting features such as a hook echo and strong rotation) was just northwest of Van Buren (Crawford County) at 1108 pm CST on 11/30/2018.
 

In Arkansas, the second round started with a couple of tornadoes (rated EF1/EF2) that tore through areas from Van Buren to Mountainburg (both in Crawford County) between 1100 pm and 1200 am CST. Numerous homes were damaged (some severely), with a lot of trees snapped or uprooted. In the same time frame, there was a weak tornado (rated EF0) north of Magazine (Logan County). Roofing material was removed from a couple of homes, and a barn was blown away. A couple of hours later, a fourth tornado (rated EF1) destroyed a carport and mangled the tin roof of a barn about seven miles southwest of Hope (Hempstead County).

 

 

Severe weather reports in the forty eight hour period ending at 600 am CST on 12/02/2018. The graphic is courtesy of the Storm Prediction Center.
In the picture: Severe weather reports in the forty eight hour period ending at 600 am CST on 12/02/2018. The graphic is courtesy of the Storm Prediction Center.
 

There were quite a few reports of wind damage across the north and west. Many of the reports were after 1200 am CST on December 1st. The most extensive destruction was at Ash Flat (Sharp County), with roofs off of buildings, a storage building thrown, and trailers thrown across a parking lot into a ditch. Winds were likely over 80 mph. Downed trees blocked highways and buildings were damaged at Canehill (Washington County). Poultry houses were torn up at Clifty and Hindsville (both in Madison County). A tree fell on a car north of Clarksville (Johnson County). A 67 mph wind gust was measured at Flippin (Marion County), with a 58 mph gust at Siloam Springs (Benton County). Trees were toppled at Harrison (Boone County), Hector (Pope County), northwest of Holly Springs (Dallas County), and Marshall (Searcy County).

Toward the end of the event (between 630 am and 700 am CST), there was a report of ping pong ball size hail at Watson (Desha County).

During the afternoon and evening of December 1st, there were at least twenty eight tornadoes counted in central Illinois. This was the state's largest December tornado outbreak on record, and third largest overall. The hardest hit town (described as a war zone) was Taylorville, IL, with over 500 buildings affected. At least twenty people were injured.

 

Twenty four hour rainfall through 600 am CST on 12/01/2018.
In the picture: Twenty four hour rainfall through 600 am CST on 12/01/2018.
 

As far as rainfall, more than two inches of liquid dumped in places, mainly from central into northeast Arkansas. Twenty four hour amounts through 600 am CST on December 1st included 3.24 inches at Ozark (Franklin County), 2.89 inches at Harrison (Boone County), 2.80 inches at Cabot (Lonoke County), 2.78 inches at Beedeville (Jackson County), 2.73 inches at Paragould (Greene County), 2.60 inches at Jonesboro (Craighead County), 2.58 inches at Conway (Faulkner County), 2.55 inches at Fordyce (Dallas County), 2.31 inches at Pocahontas (Randolph County), 2.26 inches at Poinsett State Park (Poinsett County), 2.19 inches at Highfill (Benton County), 2.14 inches at Newport (Jackson County), and 2.10 inches at Sparkman (Dallas County).

At Harrison (Boone County), there was a whopping 1.84 inches of rain between 800 and 900 pm CST on the 30th. This caused water to flow across a road on the west side of town toward Lake Harrison. A man and a woman (both in their 40s) in a vehicle tried to drive through the water. Tragically, they were swept away into a drainage ditch.

 

Links of Interest
October 31-November 1, 2018 (more heavy rain)
November 5-7, 2018 (areas of heavy rain)
November 9-15, 2018 (turning colder/rain then light snow)
November 25, 2018 (very windy/turning colder)
November 30-December 1, 2018 (severe storms/heavy rain)

 

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

 

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

 

November, 2018 Precipitation in North Little Rock Precipitation was at or above average in parts of the southeast half of 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. November, 2018 Precipitation in Arkansas

 

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