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Pockets of Heavy Rain/Turning Cooler and Drier on July 1-4, 2021
 
A cold front pushed through Arkansas from the north to begin July, 2021. Showers and a few rumbles of thunder surrounded the front, with drier/cooler air to follow.
In the picture: A cold front pushed through Arkansas from the north to begin July, 2021. Showers and a few rumbles of thunder surrounded the front, with drier/cooler air to follow.
 

June ended on a dry note in Arkansas. After a ridiculous 19.89 inches of rain at Rohwer (Desha County) on the 8th through the 10th, only 0.21 inch of liquid was measured the rest of the month. Little Rock (Pulaski County) had 7.11 inches of precipitation the first ten days, and a trace thereafter. Less than a tenth of an inch of rain fell at Hot Springs (Garland County) and West Memphis (Crittenden County) from the 10th through the 30th. You get the picture. As July began, there was some promise of heavy downpours in places courtesy of a cold front from the north. A batch of cooler and drier was also on the way.

 

In the video: The WSR-88D (Doppler Weather Radar) showed hit and miss precipitation across Arkansas around 1200 pm CDT on 07/01/2021.
 

Showers and thunderstorms were hit and miss on July 1st as the cold front penetrated into the region from Missouri. Rain tended to be the most concentrated in northern/eastern sections of the state, and was the most spotty in the south. In fact, parts of the south got nothing at all.

 

Twenty four hour rainfall through 700 am CDT on 07/02/2021.
In the picture: Twenty four hour rainfall through 700 am CDT on 07/02/2021.
 

In the twenty four hour period ending at 700 am CDT on the 2nd, an impressive 4.08 inches of rain dumped at Blytheville (Mississippi County), with 2.04 inches at Hot Springs (Garland County), 1.80 inches at Alum Fork (Saline County), 1.73 inches at Gilbert (Searcy County), 1.70 inches at Alicia (Lawrence County), 1.51 inches at Marche (Pulaski County), and 1.41 inches at Batesville Lock and Dam (Independence County) and Newport (Jackson County).

There was a report of flash flooding in and around Heber Springs (Cleburne County). Radar estimated several inches of rain locally, most of which occurred within a hour. 

 

Low temperatures on 07/03/2021. Unseasonably cool readings were made possible by dry/comfortable air behind a cold front, and dewpoints dropping from the 60s/70s into the 50s/60s.
Low Temperatures (07/03)  |  Dewpoint Trends (Early July)
In the pictures: Low temperatures on 07/03/2021. Unseasonably cool readings were made possible by dry/comfortable air behind a cold front, and dewpoints dropping from the 60s/70s into the 50s/60s.
 

After the front went through, it was unseasonably cool for a few days. On the morning of the 3rd, low temperatures were in the upper 50s to upper 60s at most locations in Arkansas (normal lows are in the mid 60s to lower 70s). Highs were in the 80s (normally in the upper 80s to lower 90s).

 

Top ten coolest low temperatures at Little Rock (Pulaski County) on 07/04/2021.
In the picture: Top ten coolest low temperatures at Little Rock (Pulaski County) on 07/04/2021.
 

On the 4th, the official thermometer at Little Rock (Pulaski County) registered a morning low of 60 degrees. This was tied for the second coolest Independence Day low on record (only four degrees away from the 56 degree minimum in 1968).

 

Tropical Storm Elsa was nearing the Florida Gulf Coast (east of the panhandle) at 400 pm CDT on 07/06/2021. The system made landfall the next morning near Fish Creek, FL. As Elsa headed for the Carolinas, flooding rain surrounded a storm system wobbling along the Texas Gulf Coast.
Projected Track of Elsa  |  Satellite View of Elsa and South Texas Storms
In the picture: Tropical Storm Elsa was nearing the Florida Gulf Coast (east of the panhandle) at 400 pm CDT on 07/06/2021. The system made landfall the next morning near Fish Creek, FL. As Elsa headed for the Carolinas, flooding rain surrounded a storm system wobbling along the Texas Gulf Coast.
 

In the tropics, the focus was on Tropical Storm Elsa. The system was just east of Jamaica early on the 4th, and was over central Cuba by the afternoon of the 5th. After briefly becoming a minimal hurricane and then weakening slightly, Elsa made landfall along the Florida Gulf Coast (east of the panhandle) on the morning of the 7th and tracked toward the Carolinas.

 

In the Days to Follow

Heavy rain, wind, and isolated tornadoes accompanied tropical system Elsa northward along the East Coast. Two to more than six inches of rain dumped along the track of Elsa, with locally over ten inches in parts of Florida. Flash flooding was reported in places. On the 7th, a weak tornado (rated EF1) tore through the south/east side of Jacksonville, FL, and roughed up homes, businesses, industrial buildings, and at least one apartment building. Farther northeast on the same day, another tornado (rated EF2) flipped at least a dozen recreational vehicles at a campground near a Navy submarine base at St. Marys, GA. Ten people were injured. Later that evening, an 81 mph gust was measured at Calibogue Sound, SC.

A nearly stationary storm system and abundant tropical moisture resulted in torrents of rain in south Texas. Clouds unleashed 13.34 inches of rain at Rockport, TX on the 6th and 7th, and turned the town into a lake (widespread flooding). Almost half of foot of precipitation was tallied at Corpus Christi, TX on the 8th. On the northwest side of San Antonio, TX, more than six inches of liquid early on the 6th sent Leon Creek to its fourth highest level on record. The flashy tributary overflowed, and too much water closed Interstate 35 temporarily and inundated nearby structures.

 

Storm Reports
Preliminary reports of flash flooding in the Little Rock County Warning Area on July 1, 2021 (in red).
Submit a storm report.
There were isolated reports of flash flooding on July 1st. For a look at the reports, click here.
 
Link of Interest
Plot Reports
In the picture: Preliminary reports of flash flooding in the Little Rock County Warning Area on July 1, 2021 (in red).