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Storm Reports
Are you interested in what happened during a recent event? Check out the report below.
 
Hot/Severe Storms on April 8, 2020
 
There was an enhanced risk of severe weather in parts of the mid-Mississippi, Ohio, and Tennessee Valleys as well as northeast Arkansas on 04/08/2020. The forecast is courtesy of the Storm Prediction Center.
In the picture: There was an enhanced risk of severe weather in parts of the mid-Mississippi, Ohio, and Tennessee Valleys as well as northeast Arkansas on 04/08/2020. The forecast is courtesy of the Storm Prediction Center.
 

The first week of April was tame across the region, with some rain at times but no severe weather. Unfortunately, it looked to be an explosive situation on the 8th as a cold front headed this way from Canada. Severe storms were likely ahead of the front, and the focus was on northeast Arkansas.

 

 

High temperatures on 04/08/2020. Readings were in the 80s to lower 90s.
In the picture: High temperatures on 04/08/2020. Readings were in the 80s to lower 90s.
 

It was a very warm afternoon, with high temperatures in the 80s to lower 90s. It was 93 degrees at Fort Smith (Sebastian County), 92 degrees at Harrison (Boone County) and Russellville (Pope County), and 91 degrees at Fayetteville (Washington County), Mena (Polk County), and Mountain Home (Baxter County). Normal highs are in the upper 60s to mid 70s.

 

CAPE (Convective Available Potential Energy...or a measure of instability) values were very high (over 4000 J/kg) in much of Arkansas during the afternoon of 04/08/2020. The graphic is courtesy of the College of DuPage.
In the picture: CAPE (Convective Available Potential Energy...or a measure of instability) values were very high (over 4000 J/kg) in much of Arkansas during the afternoon of 04/08/2020. The graphic is courtesy of the College of DuPage.
 

To go along with the heat, humidity levels were elevated in southern and eastern sections of the state. Dewpoints in the south/east were in the upper 60s and lower 70s. This not only made it feel like summer, it made the environment extremely unstable. When there is this much energy, storm hazards tend to be amplified, and more capable of causing harm.

 

A sounding (temperature and dewpoint profile with height) at North Little Rock (Pulaski County) showed warming aloft (an inversion) at 100 pm CDT on 04/08/2020. This tended to cap the atmosphere and kept thunderstorms from developing across most of Arkansas. In fact, much of the state had little in the way of clouds.
In the picture: A sounding (temperature and dewpoint profile with height) at North Little Rock (Pulaski County) showed warming aloft (an inversion) at 100 pm CDT on 04/08/2020. This tended to cap the atmosphere and kept thunderstorms from developing across most of Arkansas. In fact, much of the state had little in the way of clouds.
 

There was a limiting factor. Data acquired from a balloon launch by the National Weather Service at the North Little Rock Airport (Pulaski County) revealed warming aloft (an inversion) at 100 pm CDT. Readings went from 68 degrees at 2000 feet to 75 degrees at 2500 feet. This tended to cap the lower levels of the atmosphere, and prevented storms from igniting across much of the area. For most of the afternoon, there were few clouds.

 

In the video: The satellite showed thunderstorms blowing up in northeast Arkansas during the late afternoon and early evening of 04/08/2020.
 

Capping was weakest in the northeast, and this is where isolated storms went haywire by 500 pm CDT. One storm in particular peaked the interest of radar operators and kept them busy for several hours.

 

A hail shaft was spotted well to the southeast of Calico Rock (Izard County) during the late afternoon of 04/08/2020. The photo is courtesy of Sam Riley.
In the picture: A hail shaft was spotted well to the southeast of Calico Rock (Izard County) during the late afternoon of 04/08/2020. The photo is courtesy of Sam Riley.
 

The storm unleashed baseball size hail at Strawberry (Lawrence County), and golf balls at Horseshoe Bend (Izard County), Lynn (Lawrence County), and Ravenden (Lawrence County). On the whole, these instances of hail happened between 600 pm and 700 pm CDT. Later in the evening, a separate storm dropped hen egg size hail north of Lafe (Clay County).

 

In the video: The WSR-88D (Doppler Weather Radar) showed strong rotation (red/yellow outbound winds adjacent to green/blue inbound winds) from Swifton (Jackson County) to Cash (Craighead County) and Harrisburg (Poinsett County) during the late afternoon of 04/08/2020.
 

Rotation picked up in the attention-grabbing storm as it reached Swifton (Jackson County), and a funnel cloud was sighted. As the storm tracked into the Memphis County Warning Area toward Cash (Craighead County) and Harrisburg (Poinsett County), a couple of tornadoes were spawned.

 

Homes were damaged or destroyed at Harrisburg (Poinsett County), and a mobile home was removed from its cinder block foundation about four miles east-northeast of Weiner (Poinsett County). Two people were injured at the latter location. A tornado (rated EF2) was responsible for the destruction on 04/08/2020. The photos are courtesy of John Robinson.
House Destroyed at Harrisburg (Poinsett County)
Heavily Damaged Home at Harrisburg (Poinsett County)
Mobile Home Removed From Cinder Blocks Near Weiner (Poinsett County)
In the pictures: Homes were damaged or destroyed at Harrisburg (Poinsett County), and a mobile home was removed from its cinder block foundation about four miles east-northeast of Weiner (Poinsett County). Two people were injured at the latter location. A tornado (rated EF2) was responsible for the destruction on 04/08/2020. The photos are courtesy of John Robinson.
 

Five to six miles southwest of Cash (Craighead County), a brief tornado (rated EF0) damaged a farm shed around 750 pm CDT. Fifteen minutes later, another tornado (rated EF2) formed roughly nine miles northwest of Harrisburg (Poinsett County). The tornado removed a mobile home from its cinder block foundation, and tossed it into a field. Two people were injured.

 

In the pictures: A tornado was captured on camera as it entered Harrisburg (Poinsett County) from the northwest around 830 pm CDT on 04/08/2020. The photos are courtesy of Brian Emfinger via Twitter.
 

Eventually (at 825 pm CDT), the tornado made it into the north side of Harrisburg (Poinsett County) and damaged or destroyed at least thirty homes, uprooted trees, and downed power lines.

 

Tracks of storms were traced in a rainfall display for the twenty four hour period ending at 700 am CDT on 04/09/2020. This included the most destructive storm of the event from just north of Mountain Home (Baxter County) to south of Jonesboro (Craighead County). A late evening storm (non-severe) was picked up from Little Rock (Pulaski County) to northeast of Pine Bluff (Jefferson County). Before the event happened, there were morning storms (on the 8th) toward the Louisiana border.
In the picture: Tracks of storms were traced in a rainfall display for the twenty four hour period ending at 700 am CDT on 04/09/2020. This included the most destructive storm of the event from just north of Mountain Home (Baxter County) to south of Jonesboro (Craighead County). A late evening storm (non-severe) was picked up from Little Rock (Pulaski County) to northeast of Pine Bluff (Jefferson County). Before the event happened, there were morning storms (on the 8th) toward the Louisiana border.
 

Because storms were very spotty, there was not much rain during this event. Most locations got nothing at all. At Blytheville (Mississippi County), 1.20 inches of precipitation was measured, with 0.59 inch at Jonesboro (Craighead County).

 

Severe weather reports in the twenty four hour period ending at 700 am CDT on 04/09/2020. The graphic is courtesy of the Storm Prediction Center.
In the picture: Severe weather reports in the twenty four hour period ending at 700 am CDT on 04/09/2020. The graphic is courtesy of the Storm Prediction Center.
 

Overall, this event did not feature a lot of tornadoes, However, there were over seven hundred reports of damaging winds and large hail mainly from the mid-Mississippi, Ohio, and Tennessee Valleys to North Carolina and Virginia.

 

Storm Reports
Preliminary reports of severe weather in the Little Rock County Warning Area on April 8, 2020 (in red).
Submit a storm report.
There were several reports of very large hail in northeast Arkansas on April 8th. 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 April 8, 2020 (in red).