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Are you interested in what happened during a recent event? Check out the report below.
 
Severe Storms on March 19, 2020
 
The forecast maps showed a cold front barreling toward Arkansas from the Plains on 03/19/2020. Showers and thunderstorms were expected ahead of the front. A secondary front followed from the north the next day, with Canadian high pressure ("H") and cooler air to follow.
In the pictures: The forecast maps showed a cold front barreling toward Arkansas from the Plains on 03/19/2020. Showers and thunderstorms were expected ahead of the front. A secondary front followed from the north the next day, with Canadian high pressure ("H") and cooler air to follow.
 

While the year started with a bang and lots of severe weather on January 10th/11th, severe storms were few thereafter heading into mid-March. An incoming storm system and cold front from the Plains promised to end our string of good luck on the 19th.

 

 

Simulated radar images showed widespread rain over northwest Arkansas to begin the day on 03/19/2020. A lull was noted by late morning, with thunderstorms redeveloping north and west of Little Rock (Pulaski County) during the late afternoon.
In the pictures: Simulated radar images showed widespread rain over northwest Arkansas to begin the day on 03/19/2020. A lull was noted by late morning, with thunderstorms redeveloping north and west of Little Rock (Pulaski County) during the late afternoon.
 

The day began with widespread rain over portions of northern and western Arkansas. One to two inch amounts were common in the far northwest. A brief lull followed, and then thunderstorms redeveloped in the afternoon north and west of Little Rock (Pulaski County).

 

The main storm system ("L") providing energy on 03/19/2020 went well to the north of Arkansas. This tended to limit how much severe weather occurred.
In the pictures: The main storm system ("L") providing energy on 03/19/2020 went well to the north of Arkansas. This tended to limit how much severe weather occurred.
 

The afternoon storms were expected to produce damaging winds, large hail, and isolated tornadoes, but there were limiting factors to prevent this from becoming an outbreak of severe weather. The main system aloft tied to the incoming cold front went well to the north of the region. Because this major source of energy was at a distance, storms struggled somewhat to go haywire (only a handful of damage reports were received by the National Weather Service).

 

Given lots of clouds and areas of precipitation, temperatures on 03/19/2020 climbed less than ten degrees at most locations. A lack of warming helped keep severe weather to a minimum.
In the picture: Given lots of clouds and areas of precipitation, temperatures on 03/19/2020 climbed less than ten degrees at most locations. A lack of warming helped keep severe weather to a minimum.
 

The atmosphere also did not warm much during the day, which kept the environment from becoming overly unstable. At 600 am CDT, temperatures were in the 60s to around 70 degrees. By 300 pm CDT, parts of the northwest stayed in the 60s, with lower to mid 70s at most locations. Highs for the day were in the upper 70s and lower 80s in places, especially in the far south.

 

In the video: The WSR-88D (Doppler Weather Radar) showed strong to severe thunderstorms along a line north and west of Little Rock (Pulaski County) at 930 pm CDT on 03/19/2020. Some storms exhibited rotation, and Tornado Warnings were issued at times.
 

The most severe storms were closest to the Missouri border after 600 pm CDT. One storm in particular tracked from southeast Boone County into southern Marion County and northwest Baxter County.

 

A supercell (storm with rotating updrafts and exhibiting features such as a hook echo and strong rotation) was just east of Everton (Boone County) at 700 pm CDT on 03/19/2020.
Reflectivity at 700 pm CDT (03/19)  |  Storm Relative Velocity at 700 pm CDT (03/19)
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 east of Everton (Boone County) at 700 pm CDT on 03/19/2020.
 

The storm had strong rotation at times and it headed quickly to the northeast at 40 to 50 mph. There was plenty of chaos in the path of the storm, and no doubt that one or more tornadoes were in play.

 

 

 

A house was damaged east of Everton (Boone County), and power lines were downed. Between Pyatt and Bruno (both in Marion County), several homes were damaged or destroyed with an injury reported. A school was also affected. A tree fell through a house west of Mountain Home (Baxter County).

 

How Many Tornadoes?

There were five tornadoes counted on March 19th. Adding these to the eleven tornadoes on January 10th and 11th made it sixteen tornadoes so far in 2020.

 

Two tornadoes (rated EF1/EF2) were confirmed in Baxter, Boone, and Marion Counties on 03/19/2020.
In the picture: Two tornadoes (rated EF1/EF2) were confirmed in Baxter, Boone, and Marion Counties on 03/19/2020.
 

In the end, two tornadoes (rated EF1/EF2) were spawned in a three county area. Three more weak tornadoes (all rated EF1) were confirmed with separate storms from five miles north of Hector (Pope County) to six miles west-southwest of Rupert (Van Buren County), and from four miles northeast of Evening Shade to four miles north of Poughkeepsie (both in Sharp County). These tornadoes toppled trees and hit a couple of barns and outbuildings.

 

Link of Interest
Damage Survey Information

 

In the video: The satellite loop during the late afternoon/evening of 03/19/2020 showed storms intensifying in northern and western Arkansas. Toward the end of the loop, storms began weakening, and as of 1115 pm CDT there was no severe weather across the state.
 

Elsewhere, multiple trees were uprooted by 70 to 75 mph gusts northeast of Waldron (Scott County). A 68 mph gust was measured a few miles north of Mountain Home (Baxter County). There was quarter size hail at Clinton (Van Buren County).

 

While there was not a tremendous amount of rain during this event, a couple of inches of liquid was enough to cause flooding in portions of eastern Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas. That is because the ground was saturated given seven day precipitation totals over six inches in places.
24 Hour Rainfall Through 100 am CDT (03/20)  |  7 Day Rainfall Through 100 am CDT (03/20)
In the pictures: While there was not a tremendous amount of rain during this event, a couple of inches of liquid was enough to cause flooding in portions of eastern Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas. That is because the ground was saturated given seven day precipitation totals over six inches in places.
 

By the time this event ended, two to three inches of precipitation dumped in the far northwest in the twenty four hour period ending at 100 am CDT on the 20th. This included Fayetteville (Washington County) and Highfill (Benton County). A section of Highway 112 in Fayetteville (Washington County) was closed due to flooding. A road southwest of Bentonville (Benton County) was also shut down because of high water.

The Arkansas River ran high in western sections of the state, with minor flooding at Van Buren (Crawford County) and Ozark (Franklin County). This was due to rain during this event plus downpours in recent days across eastern Oklahoma. Weekly amounts were over six inches in spots. Minor flooding continued along the Black, Cache, Ouachita, and lower White Rivers in southern and eastern Arkansas. Fortunately, a lack of rain this time around did not make the situation worse.

 

In the table: Through 03/19/2020, there were eleven consecutive days with measurable rain at Little Rock (Pulaski County).
 

Speaking of a lack of rain, only 0.01 inch was measured at Little Rock (Pulaski County) on the 19th. But, this was enough to make it eleven consecutive days with measurable precipitation. It was one day away from tying the all-time record of twelve days in a row. A trace of rain on the 20th ended the streak.

 

Storm Reports
Preliminary reports of severe weather in the Little Rock County Warning Area on March 19, 2020 (in red).
Submit a storm report.
There were a few reports of tornadoes, damaging winds, and large hail in northern and western Arkansas on March 19th. For a look at the reports, click here.
 
Link of Interest
Plot Reports
In the picture: Preliminary reports of severe weather in the Little Rock County Warning Area on March 19, 2020 (in red).