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September, 2018 Storm Report
 
Short Weather Summary
 
An overall wet pattern continued in September as the tropics woke up. The remnants of Tropical Storm Gordon affected Arkansas early in the month. A week later, Hurricane Florence battered the mid-Atlantic states. The focus shifted back to the middle of the country toward the end of the month as heavy to excessive rain fell along a nearly stationary front.

 

Record Temperatures
 
There were no record high or low temperatures tied or broken in September.

 

The Tropics Woke Up/Areas of Heavy Rain
 
The satellite clearly showed the remnants of Tropical Storm Gordon approaching Arkansas from the southeast at 1000 am CDT on 09/05/2018.
In the picture: The satellite clearly showed the remnants of Tropical Storm Gordon approaching Arkansas from the southeast at 1000 am CDT on 09/05/2018.
 

The tropical season (June 1st through November 30th) got off to a slow start, with only six named storms through August. However, storms came to life in early September, including Tropical Storm Gordon in the Gulf of Mexico. Gordon made landfall about 30 miles east of Biloxi, MS on the 4th. By the time the system wobbled into Arkansas late on the 5th/early on the 6th, downpours focused over the central and eastern counties.

 

In the video: The WSR-88D (Doppler Weather Radar) showed the remnants of Tropical Storm Gordon spinning over central Arkansas during the morning of 09/07/2018.
 

In the twenty four hour period ending at 700 am CDT on the 7th, Pine Bluff (Jefferson County) ended up with 4.14 inches of rain. This was at Grider Field east of the city. Closer to town, the Water Plant got 4.65 inches. Just to the southwest, water was over a road and was about to go over other streets in the area.

During the afternoon of the 7th (between 100 pm and 700 pm CDT), a tropical rainband dumped 2.26 inches of liquid at Adams Field on the east side of Little Rock (Pulaski County). Much of this fell in an hour. By 800 pm CDT, Gordon was between Mountain View (Stone County) and Melbourne (Izard County) in the north. A weak cold front drifted through Arkansas from the west, and was about halfway through the state.

 

In the video: There was a lot of standing water in Pine Bluff (Jefferson County) following excessive rain on 09/08/2018 and early the next morning. The images are courtesy of Austin Kellerman via Twitter.
 

Gordon exited into Missouri early on the 8th. The front became the main weather feature, and triggered showers and thunderstorms over the southeast half of Arkansas. During the evening, downpours flooded roads at Judsonia (White County). It was even worse at Pine Bluff (Jefferson County). The Water Plant got another 5.66 inches of rain, and this resulted in a lot of high water issues. Roads and buildings were affected, and numerous vehicles were stranded. Elsewhere, over two inches of precipitation was measured at Jonesboro (Craighead County), Newport (Jackson County), and West Memphis (Crittenden County).

 

In the video: Hurricane Florence was just off the North Carolina Coast on 09/13/2018. The storm made landfall the next morning near Wrightsville Beach, NC.
 

Following Gordon, the focus shifted to the Atlantic Ocean. Hurricane Florence made landfall near Wrightsville Beach, NC as a Category 1 storm (90 mph sustained wind) on the 14th. Once a Category 4 system, Florence wobbled inland and dumped two to three feet of rain in coastal North Carolina. Rivers were converted into lakes in the Carolinas, and hundreds of roads went under water. Thousands of evacuees wound up in shelters. More than 40 people were killed. When flood water began to recede, dead fish were strewn along miles of Interstate 40.

 

A front stalled across Arkansas in the thirty six hour period ending at 700 am CDT on 09/23/2018. Surrounding the front, rain was likely as a storm system ("L") approached from the southwest.
Forecast Map at 700 pm CDT (09/21)  |  Forecast Map at 700 am CDT (09/22)
Forecast Map at 700 pm CDT (09/22)  |  Forecast Map at 700 am CDT (09/23)
Loop
In the pictures: A front stalled across Arkansas in the thirty six hour period ending at 700 am CDT on 09/23/2018. Surrounding the front, rain was likely as a storm system ("L") approached from the southwest.
 

As Florence was pounding the mid-Atlantic states, it was hot and dry around here due to a ridge of high pressure building over the middle of the country. Data showed a cold front approaching from the north by the 21st. The front made it into the region before coming to a halt. With a lot of moisture pooling the front, that put Arkansas in the crosshairs of a potential heavy rain event.

The event started in Oklahoma and Texas on the 20th/21st. More than 15 inches of rain was measured in Fittstown, OK and Stonewall, OK. High water made roads impassible at Ada, OK. These three towns are in Pontotoc County where a State of Emergency was declared. Farther south, Interstate 35 was closed for a time due to flooding around Denton, TX. On the 21st/22nd, 8.16 inches of precipitation fell at Dallas, TX. It proved to be too much, and people in and around town had to be rescued from their vehicles.

Here at home, the fireworks began on the 20th with a severe storm and downed power lines in Alma (Crawford County). Early on the 21st, a few trees were toppled by gusty winds at Sturkie (Fulton County). As the day progressed, the deluge arrived. Between 700 am CDT and 100 pm CDT, Fort Smith (Sebastian County) received 2.95 inches of rain. Later in the afternoon and evening, water was over Highway 60 near Sweet Home (Perry County). On the south side of Cabot (Lonoke County), a neighborhood flooded with water in several homes.

 

Temperatures in northwest Arkansas started cooling on 09/21/2018 (highs only in the 70s) as rain arrived. As rain become widespread, it was mild statewide the next day.
High Temperatures (09/21)  |  High Temperatures (09/22)
In the pictures: Temperatures in northwest Arkansas started cooling on 09/21/2018 (highs only in the 70s) as rain arrived. As rain become widespread, it was mild statewide the next day.
 

As rain moved in on the 21st, high temperatures in the northwest were only in the 70s. That was the case at Fayetteville (Washington County) and Harrison (Boone County). Away from the rain (in the south/east), highs were in the 90s. It was 95 degrees at West Memphis (Crittenden County) and 96 degrees at El Dorado (Union County). On the 22nd, rain was widespread and highs were in the 60s and 70s statewide.

 

In the video: Event rainfall exceeding a half foot resulted in flooding at Searcy on 09/23/2018.
 

Rain continued on the 23rd (in areas), and was most intense in central/northeast sections of the state. At Searcy (White County), water was up to the bumpers of some vehicles in an apartment parking lot at Harding University.

 

Ninety six hour (four day) rainfall through 700 am CDT on 09/24/2018.
In the picture: Ninety six hour (four day) rainfall through 700 am CDT on 09/24/2018.
 

By 700 am CDT on the 24th, four day rainfall averaged two to four inches across much Arkansas except portions of the north and southeast. Several amounts exceeded five inches. At Danville (Yell County), 7.77 inches of precipitation was reported, with 6.58 inches at Searcy (White County), 6.55 inches at Cabot (Lonoke County), 5.91 inches at Nimrod Dam (Perry County), 5.72 inches at Fort Smith (Sebastian County), 5.36 inches at Alum Fork (Saline County), and 5.11 inches at Dardanelle (Yell County).

For the month, rainfall was more than double the average at Jonesboro (Craighead County), Little Rock (Pulaski County), and Pine Bluff (Jefferson County), and was subpar at Fayetteville (Washington County) and Harrison (Boone County).   

 

Precipitation in September, 2018
Site Amount Normal +/- % of Normal
Fayetteville (NW AR) 2.05 4.82 -2.77 43%
Harrison (NC AR) 2.89 4.20 -1.31 69%
Jonesboro (NE AR) 8.39 3.06 +5.33 274%
Fort Smith (WC AR) 5.75 4.05 +1.70 142%
Little Rock (C AR) 7.02 3.18 +3.84 221%
West Memphis (EC AR) 4.94 2.84 +2.10 174%
Texarkana (SW AR) 5.10 3.43 +1.67 149%
El Dorado (SC AR) 4.77 3.11 +1.66 153%
Pine Bluff (SE AR) 12.27 2.69 +9.58 456%

 

Links of Interest
September 6-9, 2018 (Tropical Storm Gordon/heavy rain)
September 20-23, 2018 (heavy rain/isolated severe storms)

 

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

 

Temperatures and Precipitation
Temperatures were a little above average in September. Readings at North Little Rock (Pulaski County) are shown to right. September, 2018 Temperatures in North Little Rock

 

September, 2018 Precipitation in North Little Rock Precipitation was above average across much of the region, and below average in parts of the north and southeast. Amounts at North Little Rock (Pulaski County) are shown to left.

 

To right, a look at precipitation across the state. September, 2018 Precipitation in Arkansas

 

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