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Isolated Severe Storms/Turning Cooler on May 8-12, 2020
 
Forecast maps showed a storm system ("L") dragging a cold front through Arkansas early on 05/08/2020. Surrounding the front, showers and thunderstorms (some severe) were likely. The front was followed by high pressure ("H") in the Plains and much cooler air.
Forecast Map at 100 am (05/08)  |  Forecast Map at 100 pm (05/08)
Forecast Map at 100 am (05/09)  |  Loop
In the pictures: Forecast maps showed a storm system ("L") dragging a cold front through Arkansas early on 05/08/2020. Surrounding the front, showers and thunderstorms (some severe) were likely. The front was followed by high pressure ("H") in the Plains and much cooler air.
 

During the predawn hours on May 8th, a storm system approached Arkansas from the southern Plains. Ahead of the system, showers and thunderstorms overspread the region.

 

In the picture: A line of strong to severe thunderstorms and a potential of damaging winds approached southwest Arkansas early on 05/08/2020.
 

Thunderstorms were most potent on the leading edge of the precipitation. There was a potential of strong to damaging winds in southwest sections of the state.

 

The satellite showed a large cluster of showers and thunderstorms in Oklahoma at 200 am CDT on 05/08/2020. Six hours later, precipitation was in southeast Arkansas and about to exit the state.
Satellite at 200 am CDT (05/08)  |  Satellite at 800 am CDT (05/08)
In the pictures: The satellite showed a large cluster of showers and thunderstorms in Oklahoma at 200 am CDT on 05/08/2020. Six hours later, precipitation was in southeast Arkansas and about to exit the state.
 

Between 400 am and 600 am CDT, trees were blown down in Acorn (Polk County), De Queen (Sevier County), Foreman (Little River County), Fouke (Miller County), and Pine Ridge (Montgomery County). Some trees fell on structures (several homes and at least one church) and caused mostly roof damage. At De Queen (Sevier County), three people had to be rescued after being trapped in a house hit by a fallen tree.

Rain continued after sunrise in the southeast half of the state, and then exited toward the Gulf Coast. Forty eight hour amounts through 700 am CDT on the 9th generally ranged from a half inch to an inch and a half, with locally higher totals. Locations with an inch or more included Blytheville (Mississippi County), Hot Springs (Garland County), Jonesboro (Craighead County), Monticello (Drew County), Mount Ida (Montgomery County), Pine Bluff (Jefferson County), and West Memphis (Crittenden County). 

 

Temperatures at 600 am CDT on 05/09/2020.
In the picture: Temperatures at 600 am CDT on 05/09/2020.
 

Following the rain, clouds broke up and breezy north winds at 10 to 20 mph were noted. Gusts exceeded 30 mph at times at many places. Conditions quieted down during the evening of the 8th, and it turned cooler. Temperatures dropped into the 30s and 40s by the morning of the 9th.

 

In the table: Temperatures dropped well into the 30s in parts of northern Arkansas early on 05/09/2020.
 

By 700 am CDT on the 9th, the low at Lead Hill (Boone County) was 34 degrees. It was 35 degrees at Fayetteville (Washington County) and Mountain View (Stone County), and 36 degrees at Calico Rock (Izard County), Harrison (Boone County), Highfill (Benton County), Salem (Fulton County), and Silver Hill (Searcy County).

There were some records of note. The thermometer showed 37 degrees at Hardy (Sharp County), which was under the previous low for the day of 40 degrees set in 1917. The 39 degree reading at Batesville (Independence County) was colder than the existing low mark of 41 degrees in 1938.   

 

Temperatures at 300 pm CDT on 05/12/2020.
In the picture: Temperatures at 300 pm CDT on 05/12/2020.
 

Temperatures remained below average across much of the region through the 12th, and well below normal in the northern and central counties. More record lows (readings mainly in the lower to mid 40s) were tied or broken on the 10th. This included records that stood since 1923 at Camden (Ouachita County), and the 1960s at Booneville (Logan County), Jacksonville (Pulaski County), and Little Rock (Pulaski County). As far as daytime highs, areas of clouds and rain held the mercury at 51 degrees in Harrison (Boone County) on the 11th. The next day, it was only 49 degrees in town, and 55 degrees in Little Rock (Pulaski County). These were the coolest highs at these sites on the 12th since 1919. Meanwhile, it was 80 degrees at El Dorado (Union County) and Monticello (Drew County).

 

One hundred forty four hour (six day) precipitation through 700 am CDT on 05/13/2020.
In the picture: One hundred forty four hour (six day) precipitation through 700 am CDT on 05/13/2020.
 

While it was largely dry on the 9th/10th, there was more than an inch of rain on the 11th/12th at many places in northern/central Arkansas. This included Black Rock (Lawrence County), Bogg Springs (Polk County), Calico Rock (Izard County), Hardy (Sharp County), Hattieville (Conway County), Jasper (Newton County), Lead Hill (Boone County), Marshall (Searcy County), Mountain Home (Baxter County), Mountain View (Stone County), Pocahontas (Randolph County), Salem (Fulton County), and Waldron (Scott County).

For the month (through the 12th), while there was more than the usual precipitation toward the Missouri border, rainfall totals were below average overall. This was especially true from Little Rock (Pulaski County) southward, with liquid deficits topping an inch.   

 

Precipitation in May, 2020 (Through the 12th)
Site Amount Normal +/- % of Normal
Fayetteville (NW AR) 2.54 2.34 +0.20 109%
Harrison (NC AR) 1.91 1.97 -0.06 97%
Jonesboro (NE AR) 2.71 2.25 +0.46 120%
Fort Smith (WC AR) 1.73 2.12 -0.39 82%
Little Rock (C AR) 1.00 2.10 -1.10 48%
West Memphis (EC AR) 1.32 2.33 -1.01 57%
Texarkana (SW AR) 1.21 1.31 -0.10 92%
El Dorado (SC AR) 0.58 2.00 -1.42 29%
Pine Bluff (SE AR) 1.43 2.07 -0.64 69%

 

Storm Reports
Preliminary reports of severe weather in the Little Rock County Warning Area on May 8, 2020 (in red).
Submit a storm report.
There were isolated reports of damaging winds in western Arkansas early on May 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 May 8, 2020 (in red).