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Are you interested in what happened during a recent event? Check out the report below.
 
Severe Storms/Heavy Rain on May 25-27, 2020
 
The surface map showed an almost stalled cold front draped from northwest Missouri into southeast Kansas, eastern Oklahoma, and into Texas at 700 pm CDT on 05/25/2020. Severe weather and flash flooding were expected along the front in the western half of Arkansas.
In the picture: The surface map showed an almost stalled cold front draped from northwest Missouri into southeast Kansas, eastern Oklahoma, and into Texas at 700 pm CDT on 05/25/2020. Severe weather and flash flooding were expected along the front in the western half of Arkansas.
 

Toward the end of May, a very slow moving cold front approached Arkansas from the west. The front kept the weather pattern active, and promised to bring more rain that we did not need.

 

Precipitable water (PWAT), or water vapor contained in a vertical column of the atmosphere, climbed to between 1.60 and 1.80 inches (close to one and a half times the average) in parts of southern and western Arkansas by 700 pm CDT on 05/25/2020. Typically in late May, values are between 1.00 and 1.25 inches.
Precipitable Water at 700 pm CDT (05/25)
Percent of Normal Precipitable Water at 700 pm CDT (05/25)
In the pictures: Precipitable water (PWAT), or water vapor contained in a vertical column of the atmosphere, climbed to between 1.60 and 1.80 inches (close to one and a half times the average) in parts of southern and western Arkansas by 700 pm CDT on 05/25/2020. Typically in late May, values are between 1.00 and 1.25 inches.
 

The atmosphere contained more than the usual water, especially in southern and western sections of the state. It was added moisture to wring out of the clouds, and jack up rainfall totals.

 

 

The satellite showed thunderstorms building from southwest Arkansas into areas farther northeast in the five hour period ending at 1100 pm CDT on 05/25/2020.
Satellite at 600 pm CDT (05/25)  |  Satellite at 700 pm CDT (05/25)
Satellite at 800 pm CDT (05/25)  |  Satellite at 900 pm CDT (05/25)
Satellite at 1000 pm CDT (05/25)  |  Satellite at 1100 pm CDT (05/25)
Loop
In the pictures: The satellite showed thunderstorms building from southwest Arkansas into areas farther northeast in the five hour period ending at 1100 pm CDT on 05/25/2020.
 

There was also a potential of severe weather. Between 400 pm and 600 pm CDT, wind damage occurred at several locations in southwest Arkansas. Trees and/or power lines were downed at Ogden (Little River County), east of Prescott (Nevada County), and at Stamps (Lafayette County). West of Mena (Polk County), a chicken house was damaged. A brief tornado (rated EF1) at Lewisville (Lafayette County) uprooted trees that fell into a church, a house, and a mobile home. 

 

In the video: A supercell (storm with rotating updrafts) approached Siloam Springs (Benton County) around 700 pm CDT on 05/25/2020. A wall cloud (lowering of the cloud base) was clearly noted, with a brief tornado (rated EF1) spawned in West Siloam Springs, OK. The video is courtesy of Darby Bybee via Twitter.
 

By 700 pm CDT, a supercell (storm with rotating updrafts) with very impressive structure was close to Siloam Springs (Benton County). Just to the west of town (in Oklahoma), another short-lived tornado (rated EF1) was spawned.

Later in the evening, scattered storms developed farther north and east. The storms moved very quickly to the north/northwest at 50 to 60 mph. A fast forward speed usually increases the potential of wind damage, and that is what happened.  Trees and large tree limbs came down just east of England (Lonoke County), Fordyce (Dallas County), and Sheridan (Grant County).  Small outbuildings were destroyed at Ludwig Lake near Hillcrest (Johnson County). A 55 mph gust was measured at the Little Rock Air Force Base (Pulaski County).

In the twenty four hour period ending at 700 am CDT on the 26th, two to three inches of rain dumped at Bentonville (Benton County), Big Fork (Polk County), Bogg Springs (Polk County), Fort Smith (Sebastian County), Highfill (Benton County), Mena (Polk County), and Waldron (Scott County).

 

Scattered showers and thunderstorms swirled around a slow moving storm system ("L") at 500 millibars (or roughly 18,000 feet) in the ten hour period ending at 400 pm CDT on 05/27/2020.
500 mb Map/Radar at 600 am CDT (05/27)  |  500 mb Map/Radar at 900 am CDT (05/27)
500 mb Map/Radar at 100 pm CDT (05/27)  |  500 mb Map/Radar at 400 pm CDT (05/27)
Loop
In the pictures: Scattered showers and thunderstorms swirled around a slow moving storm system ("L") at 500 millibars (or roughly 18,000 feet) in the ten hour period ending at 400 pm CDT on 05/27/2020.
 

By the 27th, the aforementioned front edged into the area, with a storm system aloft close behind. The day began with a band of heavy rain in northeast. Up to five inches of liquid was measured at Tuckerman (Jackson County). Three to four inches of precipitation was tallied near Jacksonport (Jackson County) between 600 am and 800 am CDT. Water covered portions of Highway 226 from just south of Swifton (Jackson County) to the Craighead County Line. The road was closed as a result. Several streets in Newport (Jackson County) were also flooded.

Later in the afternoon to the west, hit and miss storms produced penny size hail at Delaware (Logan County) and London (Pope County). A large tree was pushed over onto a golf course to the northeast of Bethel (Yell County). 

 

Forty eight hour rainfall as of 700 am CDT on 05/27/2020 (shown in twenty four hour increments). For the month (through early on the 28th), there was more than a foot of rain in parts of northern and western Arkansas, which was more than eight inches above average.
24 Hour Rain (05/26)  |  24 Hour Rain (05/27)
Rain in May (Through 05/28)
Departure From Normal Rain in May (Through 05/28)
In the pictures: Forty eight hour rainfall as of 700 am CDT on 05/27/2020 (shown in twenty four hour increments). For the month (through early on the 28th), there was more than a foot of rain in parts of northern and western Arkansas, which was more than eight inches above average.
 

For the month (through 700 am CDT on the 28th), Waldron (Scott County) had a staggering 16.17 inches of rain (just under the record of 17.75 inches in 2015). Mountain Home (Baxter County) was up to 14.91 inches (shattering the record of 11.87 inches in 1946), with 13.32 inches south of Mount Ida (Montgomery County). Elsewhere, five to more than ten inches of precipitation was common in most of Arkansas except in the far east. Along the Mississippi River, May totals were actually below average by one to three inches such as at West Memphis (Crittenden County). 

 

Precipitation in May, 2020 (Through the 27th)
Site Amount Normal +/- % of Normal
Fayetteville (NW AR) 7.53 5.32 +2.21 142%
Harrison (NC AR) 7.66 4.12 +3.54 186%
Jonesboro (NE AR) 5.24 4.24 +1.00 124%
Fort Smith (WC AR) 6.23 4.81 +1.42 130%
Little Rock (C AR) 5.99 4.32 +1.67 139%
West Memphis (EC AR) 2.31 4.68 -2.37 49%
Texarkana (SW AR) 5.38 4.52 +0.86 119%
El Dorado (SC AR) 5.39 4.44 +0.95 121%
Pine Bluff (SE AR) 4.69 4.42 +0.27 106%

 

Storm Reports
Preliminary reports of severe weather, heavy rain, and flash flooding in the Little Rock County Warning Area on May 25-27, 2020 (in red).
Submit a storm report.
There were several reports of damaging winds, hail, heavy rain, and flash flooding on May 25th and the 27th. For a look at the reports, click here.
 
Link of Interest
Plot Reports
In the picture: Preliminary reports of severe weather, heavy rain, and flash flooding in the Little Rock County Warning Area on May 25-27, 2020 (in red).