National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce
Monthly Storm Reports and Storm Data
Storm Reports
Are you interested in what happened during a recent event? Check out the report below.
 
A Freeze Then Dry/Mild on November 2-10, 2020
 
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.
 

It was a very wet year through October in Arkansas, and temperatures were mostly below normal since April. As November began, La Niña conditions (cooler than usual water near the equator in the Pacific Ocean) were coming to fruition, and this promised warmer/drier days heading into late fall and early winter..

 

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, there was a widespread freeze to start the day on November 2nd. At or below freezing temperatures were common in northern and western sections of the state. 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).

 

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.

 

It was a cold start to November, 2020 at Little Rock (Pulaski County), but temperatures were more than ten degrees above normal by the 8th (through the 10th).
In the picture: It was a cold start to November, 2020 at Little Rock (Pulaski County), but temperatures were more than ten degrees above normal by the 8th (through the 10th).
 

Here at home, it started heating up after the freeze. 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. There was little to no rain in much of Arkansas during this time frame. A cold front arrived from the Plains on the 10th, and triggered only a few showers given limited available moisture. More appreciable downpours stayed to the north of the region. 

 

Precipitation in November, 2020 (Through the 10th)
Site Amount Normal +/- % of Normal
Fayetteville (NW AR) 0.15 1.44 -1.29 10%
Harrison (NC AR) 0.08 1.45 -1.37 6%
Jonesboro (NE AR) TRACE 1.27 -1.27 0%
Fort Smith (WC AR) 0.01 1.49 -1.48 1%
Little Rock (C AR) TRACE 1.62 -1.62 0%
West Memphis (EC AR) TRACE 1.50 -1.50 0%
Texarkana (SW AR) 0.13 1.49 -1.36 9%
El Dorado (SC AR) 0.00 1.47 -1.47 0%
Pine Bluff (SE AR) TRACE 1.51 -1.51 0%

 

In the picture: Louisiana was ground zero for tropical activity in 2020. The state spent the most time in National Hurricane Center five-day forecast cones. Not far behind was southeast Arkansas and southwest Mississippi. The graphic is courtesy of Sam Lillo via Twitter.
 

As it dried out, there was no help coming from the tropics. Up to this point in 2020, tropical systems brought precipitation on at least four previous occasions (Cristobal in June, Laura in August, Beta in September, and Delta in October), Eta was too far to the east to worry about any umbrellas. Even 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

The cold front that passed through Arkansas on November 10th ran into abundant moisture as it approached the Atlantic Coast the next day. 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.