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Are you interested in what happened during a recent event? Check out the report below.
 
Severe Storms on November 14-15, 2020
 
The forecast map showed a cold front approaching Arkansas from the Plains, and a chance of severe weather ahead of the front on 11/14/2020.
In the picture: The forecast map showed a cold front approaching Arkansas from the Plains, and a chance of severe weather ahead of the front on 11/14/2020.
 

It had been awhile since Arkansas had any significant severe weather. The last tornadoes (three of them) were on September 1st (in Conway, Faulkner, and Cleburne Counties). Heading into mid-November, there were severe storms in the forecast, and at least the possibility of tornadoes.

 

Temperatures warmed well into the 60s/70s by 300 pm CST on 11/14/2020. Moisture also increased, with dewpoints climbing into the 50s/lower 60s. Dewpoints were 20 to more than 30 degrees higher than the same time the previous day in much of northern and western Arkansas. Springlike warmth/moisture made the atmosphere unstable enough to support the development of severe thunderstorms by evening.
Temperatures at 300 pm CST (11/14)  |  Dewpoints at 300 pm CDT (11/14)
24 Hour Dewpoint Change at 300 pm CST (11/14)
In the pictures: Temperatures warmed well into the 60s/70s by 300 pm CST on 11/14/2020. Moisture also increased, with dewpoints climbing into the 50s/lower 60s. Dewpoints were 20 to more than 30 degrees higher than the same time the previous day in much of northern and western Arkansas. Springlike warmth/moisture made the atmosphere unstable enough to support the development of severe thunderstorms by evening.
 

This time of year, the recipe for severe weather is simple. Make it feel like spring and have a triggering mechanism. Temperatures were certainly above normal on the 14th, with readings by 300 pm CDT in the mid 60s to upper 70s (normal highs are in the upper 50s to mid 60s). Moisture rapidly increased, with 60s dewpoints making it into the state from the Gulf Coast. As it became warm and humid, a storm system and associated cold front were on the doorstep in the Plains. This is what got the event going by evening.

 

There was a slight risk of severe weather across northern and central Arkansas late on 11/14/2020 and early the next morning. The forecast is courtesy of the Storm Prediction Center.
In the picture: There was a slight risk of severe weather across northern and central Arkansas late on 11/14/2020 and early the next morning. The forecast is courtesy of the Storm Prediction Center.
 

It appeared that a line of storms was going to develop in southern Missouri, and then track into northern and central Arkansas during the overnight hours of the 14th/early on the 15th. The line was expected to bring strong to damaging winds. If there were any storms that managed to pop up ahead of the line, these could produce a few tornadoes. That was the script.

 

 

In the video: The WSR-88D (Doppler Weather Radar) showed scattered to numerous strong to severe thunderstorms building across northern and western Arkansas by 1115 pm CDT on 11/14/2020.
 

Shortly before 600 pm CST, storms fired up just to our north, and became severe quickly. By 800 pm CST, severe storms were in far northwest Arkansas, and made headway through much of the region north and west of Little Rock (Pulaski County) by the midnight hour.

Along the way, there was a 61 mph gust at Fort Smith (Sebastian County), and a 60 mph gust near Mountain Home (Baxter County). Numerous trees were downed eight miles northwest of Ozark (Franklin County). Several trees and road signs were knocked down at Mountain View (Stone County). Empty train cars were pushed over at Hoxie (Lawrence County). There was significant roof damage to an auto shop and church at Decatur (Benton County).

 

Storm relative velocity map (SRM) images via the WSR-88D (Doppler Weather Radar) showed rotation in a storm as it tracked through western White County between 111 am and 118 am CST on 11/15/2020. The rotation was generally shallow and broad, but briefly tightened by 113 am CDT along Highway 5 north of El Paso (White County). From there, debris was noted in correlation coefficient (CC) images east of the circulation toward Floyd (White County). A weak tornado (rated EF1) was confirmed near Romance (White County).
SRM/CC at 111 am CST (11/15)  |  SRM/CC at 113 am CST (11/15)
SRM/CC at 116 am CST (11/15)  |  SRM/CC at 118 am CST (11/15)
Loop
In the pictures: Storm relative velocity map (SRM) images via the WSR-88D (Doppler Weather Radar) showed rotation in a storm as it tracked through western White County between 111 am and 118 am CST on 11/15/2020. The rotation was generally shallow and broad, but briefly tightened by 113 am CDT along Highway 5 north of El Paso (White County). From there, debris was noted in correlation coefficient (CC) images east of the circulation toward Floyd (White County). A weak tornado (rated EF1) was confirmed near Romance (White County).
 

Around 115 am CST on the 15th, one storm was just ahead of the aforementioned cold front that was advancing into central sections of the state. The interaction of the front and the storm resulted in a quick tornado just south of Romance (White County).

 

A weak tornado (rated EF1) was confirmed just south of Romance (White County) early on 11/15/2020.
In the picture: A weak tornado (rated EF1) was confirmed just south of Romance (White County) early on 11/15/2020.
 

The tornado was weak (rated EF1) and lasted only a couple of minutes, but it was a nightmare. Several manufactured homes were damaged or destroyed, and there were reports of people trapped in the wreckage. In the end, four people were injured.

 

Link of Interest
Damage Survey Information

 

In the video: Drone footage showed several damaged or destroyed manufactured homes following a weak tornado (rated EF1) just south of Romance (White County) early on 11/15/2020. The video is courtesy Brian Emfinger via Twitter.
 

Video footage showed the destruction, with at least one mobile home rolled and demolished. Residents were busy picking up the pieces. This was the forty fifth tornado of the year in Arkansas (more than the usual thirty three tornadoes). Less than a half hour later, the front and storms along it reached Little Rock National Airport (Pulaski County), and a 52 mph gust was measured.

 

Twenty four hour rainfall through 600 am CST on 11/15/2020.
In the picture: Twenty four hour rainfall through 600 am CST on 11/15/2020.
 

As far as rainfall, there was not much. Quite a few locations in the northern half of the state got quarter to half inch amounts, but just any many spots had less than a tenth of an inch. An inch of rain was rare, but Marshall (Searcy County) reported 1.10 inches. Through the 15th, it was dry in most of the region, with precipitation one to more than two inches below normal.

 

Precipitation in November, 2020 (Through the 15th)
Site Amount Normal +/- % of Normal
Fayetteville (NW AR) 0.57 2.17 -1.60 26%
Harrison (NC AR) 0.31 2.19 -1.88 14%
Jonesboro (NE AR) 0.57 2.16 -1.59 26%
Fort Smith (WC AR) 0.01 2.27 -2.26 0%
Little Rock (C AR) 0.50 2.52 -2.02 20%
West Memphis (EC AR) 0.45 2.37 -1.92 19%
Texarkana (SW AR) 0.13 2.30 -2.17 6%
El Dorado (SC AR) 0.24 2.26 -2.02 11%
Pine Bluff (SE AR) 0.34 2.31 -1.97 15%

 

With two weeks left to go in the tropical season, an unprecedented thirtieth named storm in the Atlantic basin was churning its way toward Central America. Hurricane Iota went from a Category 2 storm/105 mph winds on the evening of the 15th to a Category 5 behemoth/160 mph sustained winds twelve hours later. Like powerful Hurricane Eta on the 3rd, Iota was headed for Nicaragua.

 

Storm Reports
Preliminary reports of severe weather in the Little Rock County Warning Area on November 14-15, 2020 (in red).
Submit a storm report.
There were reports of wind damage and an isolated tornado late on November 14th/early on the 15th. 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 November 14-15, 2020 (in red).