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Flooding Rain/Isolated Tornadoes on September 1-2, 2020
 
A northwest wind flow aloft (inset) drove cold fronts toward Arkansas in late August, 2020. A ridge of high pressure ("HIGH") along the Gulf Coast forced the fronts to stall across the region.
In the picture: A northwest wind flow aloft (inset) drove cold fronts toward Arkansas in late August, 2020. A ridge of high pressure ("HIGH") along the Gulf Coast forced the fronts to stall across the region.
 

The very wet pattern in late August continued in early September. Moisture pooled around a stalled front/boundary in northern and western Arkansas, and heavy to excessive rain was the result.

 

Twenty four hour rainfall through 700 am CDT on 09/02/2020.
In the picture: Twenty four hour rainfall through 700 am CDT on 09/02/2020.
 

On the 1st, several inches of rain dumped from Mena (Polk County) and Waldron (Scott County) to Russellville (Pope County), Mountain View (Stone County), and Paragould (Greene County).

 

In the video: Following excessive rain, life threatening flooding was occurring in western Arkansas in early September, 2020. The video is courtesy of Charles Peek via Twitter.
 

The ground was already saturated in parts of the west after more than a foot of precipitation in August. Water had nowhere to go, and flooding became life threatening. At Waldron (Scott County), numerous roads were under water (including Highways 28 and 71), and this was spilling into homes and businesses. Local residents had to be rescued. 

Farther north/east, vehicles stalled in high water at Fort Smith (Sebastian County), and this stranded motorists. County roads were flooded near the Petit Jean River at Booneville (Logan County). More county roads were inundated with water at Dardanelle (Yell County), and parts of Highways 27 and 28 were affected. An overflowing creek closed Highway 28 around Bluffton (Yell County). County roads were washed out near Hanover (Stone County). Highway 115 was flooded and shut down near Jessup (Lawrence County). 

In eastern Oklahoma, the situation was dire. SIx to eight inches of rain trapped people in homes, forced evacuations, and submerged cars from Panama, OK to Poteau, OK. A Flash Flood Emergency was issued for Shady Point, OK by the National Weather Service in Tulsa, OK.  

 

There was major flooding along the Petit Jean River at Danville (Yell County) in early September, 2020.
In the picture: There was major flooding along the Petit Jean River at Danville (Yell County) in early September, 2020.
 

Back in Arkansas, rivers were on the rise. Portions of the Cache and lower White Rivers were already elevated, but were not getting out of hand. The Fourche LaFave and Petit Jean Rivers were another story, and were going up quickly. Major flooding was noted along the Petit Jean River at Danville (Yell County), with a Top 10 highest crest by the 2nd.

 

A supercell (storm with rotating updrafts and exhibiting features such as a hook echo and strong rotation) was just south of Heber Springs (Cleburne County) at 312 pm CDT on 09/01/2020. The supercell was part of a line of storms moving through central Arkansas. 
Reflectivity at 312 pm CDT (09/01)  |  Storm Relative Velocity at 312 pm CDT (09/01)
More About Rotation
In the pictures: A supercell (storm with rotating updrafts and exhibiting features such as a hook echo and strong rotation) was just south of Heber Springs (Cleburne County) at 312 pm CDT on 09/01/2020. The supercell was part of a line of storms moving through central Arkansas. 
 

On top of too much rain, there was some severe weather. One storm produced three tornadoes from central into northeast sections of the state (Conway, Faulkner, and Cleburne Counties). This was somewhat of a rare event. Climatologically, less than one tornado locally in August, with only two tornadoes in September (usually later in the month). 

 

A tornado (rated EF2) was confirmed four miles south of Heber Springs (Cleburne County) to five miles east-southeast of town on 09/01/2020.
In the picture: A tornado (rated EF2) was confirmed four miles south of Heber Springs (Cleburne County) to five miles east-southeast of town on 09/01/2020.
 

The strongest of the tornadoes (rated EF2) cut a 5.3 mile swath through areas just south and southeast of Heber Springs (Cleburne County) between 300 pm and 330 pm CDT on the 1st. Tree damage was extensive, with numerous trees snapped four to five miles southeast of town. Some trees were on a home, and a few outbuildings were damaged.

 

A tornado (rated EF2) snapped numerous trees and deposited a tree onto a home several miles south and southeast of Heber Springs (Cleburne County) on 09/01/2020.
Numerous Trees Snapped 4.5 Miles Southeast of Heber Springs (Cleburne County)
Trees on a House 3.5 Miles South of Heber Springs (Cleburne County)
In the pictures: A tornado (rated EF2) snapped numerous trees and deposited a tree onto a home several miles south and southeast of Heber Springs (Cleburne County) on 09/01/2020.
 

The other two tornadoes (rated EF0/EF1) tracked just north of Plumerville and Menifee (both in Conway County), and northwest of Wooster and Greenbrier (both in Faulkner County). More trees were uprooted, and there was some minor structural damage.

 

Link of Interest
Damage Survey Information

 

Storm Reports
Preliminary reports of heavy rain, flash flooding, and isolated tornadoes in the Little Rock County Warning Area on September 1-2, 2020 (in red).
Submit a storm report.
There were numerous reports of heavy rain, flash flooding, and isolated tornadoes on September 1st and 2nd. For a look at the reports, click here.
 
Link of Interest
Plot Reports
In the picture: Preliminary reports of heavy rain, flash flooding, and isolated tornadoes in the Little Rock County Warning Area on September 1-2, 2020 (in red).