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November, 2020 Storm Report
 
Short Weather Summary
 
Umbrellas were not necessary in November, with not much rain noted. While there was a freeze in northern and western Arkansas early in the month, it was mild overall. There were a few reports of severe weather, and one tornado counted.

 

Record Temperatures
 
There were a couple of record high temperatures in November on the 10th. Check out the records below.

 

Site Record High (Date of Occurrence)
Monticello 82 (11/10)
Stuttgart 83 (11/10)

 

 Very Dry/An Early Freeze/Some Severe Weather
 
Departure from average rainfall in November, 2020.
In the picture: Departure from average rainfall in November, 2020.
 

It was a very dry November across Arkansas. Rainfall was two to more than three inches below average at most locations. At Texarkana (Miller County), only 0.77 inch of precipitation was measured, and this was subpar by 4.05 inches. It was about as dry in October across the southwest, and drought conditions were developing.

 

Precipitation in November, 2020
Site Amount Normal +/- % of Normal
Fayetteville (NW AR) 2.16 4.23 -2.07 51%
Harrison (NC AR) 1.80 4.23 -2.43 43%
Jonesboro (NE AR) 2.32 4.90 -2.58 47%
Fort Smith (WC AR) 1.95 4.44 -2.49 44%
Little Rock (C AR) 2.10 5.28 -3.18 40%
West Memphis (EC AR) 1.83 4.95 -3.12 37%
Texarkana (SW AR) 0.77 4.82 -4.05 16%
El Dorado (SC AR) 1.46 4.89 -3.43 30%
Pine Bluff (SE AR) 1.48 4.83 -3.35 31%

 

It was also mild in November statewide. Temperatures were two to more than four degrees warmer than usual, Across the central and southern counties, readings at or below freezing waited until the last day of the month, which was two to three weeks later than normal.

 

Average Temperatures in November, 2020
Site Avg Temp +/-
Fayetteville (NW AR) 51.8° +4.4°
Harrison (NC AR) 52.3° +3.8°
Jonesboro (NE AR) 54.1° +4.5°
Fort Smith (WC AR) 54.9° +3.3°
Little Rock (C AR) 54.7° +2.1°
West Memphis (EC AR) 55.3° +4.4°
Texarkana (SW AR) 58.7° +4.5°
El Dorado (SC AR) 56.7° +2.8°
Pine Bluff (SE AR) 55.5° +2.4°

 

After a warm start to 2020, temperatures in Arkansas were largely below normal from April through October. Rainfall was above normal in each of the first ten months except July.
Temperature Trends in 2020 (Through Oct)  |  Precipitation Trends in 2020 (Through Oct)
In the pictures: After a warm start to 2020, temperatures in Arkansas were largely below normal from April through October. Rainfall was above normal in each of the first ten months except July.
 

The dry and mild outcome in November was quite a change from what had been experienced up until this point. It was a very wet year through October, and temperatures were mostly below average since April.

 

In the picture: Fall colors were stunning in early November, 2020. At the North Little Rock Airport (Pulaski County), this gum tree showed some of its pizzazz just before sunset on 11/07/2020.
 

The combination of high soil moisture and not-so-hot weather likely contributed to stunning colors on area trees. Leaves popped with yellows and reds, and put on a show that was more attention getting than in recent years.

 

At or below freezing temperatures were noted in much of northern and western Arkansas early on 11/02/2020.
In the picture: At or below freezing temperatures were noted in much of northern and western Arkansas early on 11/02/2020.
 

As the trees showed off, the month started with a freeze in northern and western Arkansas on the 2nd. It was 26 degrees at Ravenden (Lawrence County), 27 degrees at Mammoth Spring (Fulton County) and Marshall (Searcy County), and 28 degrees at Clinton (Van Buren County), Fayetteville (Washington County), Marche (Pulaski County), Mountain View (Stone County), and Salem (Fulton County).

The cold did not last long. At Little Rock (Pulaski County), afternoon temperatures were in the 70s to around 80 degrees from the 3rd through the 10th. Lows were in the 50s by the 7th.

 

In the video: Extremely dangerous Hurricane Eta made landfall in Nicaragua as a Category 4 storm (maximum sustained winds around 150 mph) early on 11/03/2020.
 

In the tropics, the 2020 hurricane season raged on. A record tying (with 2005) twenty eighth named storm (in the Atlantic basin) was a monster. Hurricane Eta was a Category 4 system, and slammed into the coast of Nicaragua early on the 3rd with maximum sustained winds close to 150 mph. After moving inland and weakening, Eta dumped a ton of rain and was responsible for life threatening flooding in Central America. The system eventually exited toward the northeast, and reached Cuba as a Tropical Storm on the 8th. By the 10th, Eta had not gained much strength off the Gulf Coast of Florida. Farther to the east (in the Atlantic Ocean) was newly formed Tropical Storm Theta on the 10th. Theta was moving away from us, and into the record books as the twenty ninth named storm.

 

Way Too Much Rain East of Arkansas

A cold front approached the Atlantic Coast on November 11th, and ran into abundant moisture. The moisture was provided by Tropical Storm Eta that was just off the Florida Gulf Coast and tracking toward the Carolinas. On the 11th/12th, parts of the Carolinas into Virginia received six to more than ten inches of rain, and this caused a lot of flooding (to homes and businesses, roads, etc). Following twenty foot rises, an overflowing South Yadkin River inundated a campground about ten miles northwest of Statesville, NC. At least three people were killed and more than thirty people were rescued. Two people were missing. In Charlotte, NC, more than 140 people were forced to evacuate a school that was surrounded by water.

 

The forecast map showed a cold front approaching Arkansas from the Plains, and a chance of severe weather ahead of the front on 11/14/2020.
In the picture: The forecast map showed a cold front approaching Arkansas from the Plains, and a chance of severe weather ahead of the front on 11/14/2020.
 

Heading into mid-November, there were severe storms in the forecast, and at least the possibility of tornadoes. It had been awhile since the region had any significant severe weather. The last tornadoes (three of them) were on September 1st (in Conway, Faulkner, and Cleburne Counties).

It appeared that a line of storms was going to develop in southern Missouri, and then track into northern and central Arkansas during the overnight hours of the 14th/early on the 15th. The line was expected to bring strong to damaging winds. If there were any storms that managed to pop up ahead of the line, these could produce a few tornadoes. That was the script.

 

In the video: The WSR-88D (Doppler Weather Radar) showed scattered to numerous strong to severe thunderstorms building across northern and western Arkansas by 1115 pm CDT on 11/14/2020.
 

Shortly before 600 pm CST, storms fired up just to our north, and became severe quickly. By 800 pm CST, severe storms were in far northwest Arkansas, and made headway through much of the region north and west of Little Rock (Pulaski County) by the midnight hour.

Along the way, there was a 61 mph gust at Fort Smith (Sebastian County), and a 60 mph gust near Mountain Home (Baxter County). Numerous trees were downed eight miles northwest of Ozark (Franklin County). Several trees and road signs were knocked down at Mountain View (Stone County). Empty train cars were pushed over at Hoxie (Lawrence County). There was significant roof damage to an auto shop and church at Decatur (Benton County).

 

Storm relative velocity map (SRM) images via the WSR-88D (Doppler Weather Radar) showed rotation in a storm as it tracked through western White County between 111 am and 118 am CST on 11/15/2020. The rotation was generally shallow and broad, but briefly tightened by 113 am CDT along Highway 5 north of El Paso (White County). From there, debris was noted in correlation coefficient (CC) images east of the circulation toward Floyd (White County). A weak tornado (rated EF1) was confirmed near Romance (White County).
SRM/CC at 111 am CST (11/15)  |  SRM/CC at 113 am CST (11/15)
SRM/CC at 116 am CST (11/15)  |  SRM/CC at 118 am CST (11/15)
Loop
In the pictures: Storm relative velocity map (SRM) images via the WSR-88D (Doppler Weather Radar) showed rotation in a storm as it tracked through western White County between 111 am and 118 am CST on 11/15/2020. The rotation was generally shallow and broad, but briefly tightened by 113 am CDT along Highway 5 north of El Paso (White County). From there, debris was noted in correlation coefficient (CC) images east of the circulation toward Floyd (White County). A weak tornado (rated EF1) was confirmed near Romance (White County).
 

Around 115 am CST on the 15th, the focus was on a storm advancing into central sections of the state. There was persistent rotation in the storm, but mostly not strong enough to worry about. However, the rotation tightened briefly, and this resulted in a quick tornado just south of Romance (White County).

 

A weak tornado (rated EF1) was confirmed just south of Romance (White County) early on 11/15/2020.
In the picture: A weak tornado (rated EF1) was confirmed just south of Romance (White County) early on 11/15/2020.
 

The tornado was weak (rated EF1) and lasted only a couple of minutes, but it was a nightmare. Several manufactured homes were damaged or destroyed, and there were reports of people trapped in the wreckage. In the end, four people were injured.

 

Link of Interest
Damage Survey Information

 

In the video: Drone footage showed several damaged or destroyed manufactured homes following a weak tornado (rated EF1) just south of Romance (White County) early on 11/15/2020. The video is courtesy Brian Emfinger via Twitter.
 

Video footage showed the destruction, with at least one mobile home rolled and demolished. Residents were busy picking up the pieces. This was the forty fifth tornado of the year in Arkansas (more than the usual thirty three tornadoes). Less than a half hour later, the front and storms along it reached Little Rock National Airport (Pulaski County), and a 52 mph gust was measured.

With two weeks left to go in the tropical season, an unprecedented thirtieth named storm in the Atlantic basin was churning its way toward Central America. Hurricane Iota went from a Category 2 storm/105 mph winds on the evening of the 15th to a Category 5 behemoth/160 mph sustained winds twelve hours later. Like powerful Hurricane Eta on the 3rd, Iota was headed for Nicaragua.

 

Areas of rain surrounded a cold front pushing through Arkansas from the north at 1100 am CST on 11/22/2020. Temperatures north of the front were in the 40s, with 60s farther south.
In the picture: Areas of rain surrounded a cold front pushing through Arkansas from the north at 1100 am CST on 11/22/2020. Temperatures north of the front were in the 40s, with 60s farther south.
 

On the 22nd, there were good chances of rain as a cold front pushed into the area from the north. Across the northern half of the state, amounts from a half inch to locally over an inch were common. There were quarter to half inch totals in the central counties, and less than a tenth of an inch in the south.

 

It was dry (dewpoints in the 30s) in northeast Arkansas at 300 pm CST on 11/24/2020. Moisture was increasing (dewpoints in the 50s) in southern/western sections of the state.
In the picture: It was dry (dewpoints in the 30s) in northeast Arkansas at 300 pm CST on 11/24/2020. Moisture was increasing (dewpoints in the 50s) in southern/western sections of the state.
 

A couple of days later, a powerful storm system barreled into the middle of the country from the Rockies, and triggered scattered to numerous showers and thunderstorms. Hit and miss precipitation popped up during the evening of the 24th, mainly from western into central Arkansas. That was followed by a line of showers and storms from the late evening into the predawn hours of the 25th.

There was some concern for severe weather, especially with the line of storms. Wind energy was impressive around the aforementioned system. This gave storms a fast forward speed, and this usually increases the chances of strong to damaging winds. Winds also turned with height, with the possibility of a tornado or two. However, the atmosphere was not exactly unstable (warm/moist). Temperatures were only in the 50s/60s, and dewpoints struggled to get into the 50s. This limited the amount of severe weather that occurred.

Statewide, there were only two reports of wind damage. Trees and power lines were downed just north of Plainview (Yell County). Trees were also toppled a mile west-northwest of Potter (Polk County), and there was minor structural damage as well.

 

Severe weather reports in the twenty four hour period ending at 600 am CST on 11/25/2020. The graphic is courtesy of the Storm Prediction Center.
In the picture: Severe weather reports in the twenty four hour period ending at 600 am CST on 11/25/2020. The graphic is courtesy of the Storm Prediction Center.
 

Damaging winds, hail, and a few tornadoes were reported from southern Kansas to northern Texas and northwest Louisiana where a more unstable environment existed. Just before 900 pm CST on the 24th, a tornado (rated EF2) tore through Arlington, TX, damaging or destroying several buildings. Roofs were compromised at three apartment complexes, and seventy five families were displaced. At least five injuries resulted. Two other weak tornadoes (rated EF1) hit Haskell and LeFlore Counties in eastern Oklahoma.

As November ended, temperatures trended downward. A widespread freeze was underway late on the 30th/early on December 1st, officially ending the growing season.

 

Links of Interest
November 2-10, 2020 (a freeze then mild/dry)
November 14-15, 2020 (severe storms)
November 22-25, 2020 (rain/isolated severe storms)

 

Additional November Details
 
For more details about November, 2020...go to the "Temperatures and Precipitation" section below.

 

Temperatures and Precipitation
Temperatures were above to much above average in November. Readings at North Little Rock (Pulaski County) are shown to right. November, 2020 Temperatures in North Little Rock

 

November, 2020 Precipitation in North Little Rock Precipitation was much below average. Amounts at North Little Rock (Pulaski County) are shown to left.

 

To right, a look at precipitation across the state. November, 2020 Precipitation in Arkansas

 

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