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Wintry Conditions Over The Rockies, Heavy Rainfall And Flash Flooding Threat Over The Desert Southwest

Remnant moisture from what was once Tropical Storm Raymond will continue to produce heavy rainfall and the threat for flash flooding over the Desert Southwest into Thursday. Heavy snow will also be possible over parts of the Rockies, and will likely cause hazardous travel. Meanwhile, critical fire weather conditions continue across northern California into Thursday morning. Read More >

 

 Information on this webpage is considered preliminary.

 

Event Summary - April 21-27, 2011 Heavy Rain, Record Flooding, and Severe Weather - updated 10:10 am 5/10/11

Severe weather and extreme flooding affected eastern Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas from April 21-27, 2011 along a frontal boundary, which had stalled across the region. The front pushed further eastward by April 27 and was associated with the historic tornadic outbreak across the Deep South Region. A series of upper-level disturbances interacted with the frontal boundary while it was draped across the area, leading to multiple rounds of strong to severe thunderstorms and associated heavy rainfall. By April 24, the once drought-stricken area had become saturated and widespread flash flooding occurred. Storms that continued on April 25 only exacerbated the flash flooding. In addition, rapid rises along area creeks and rivers caused extensive river flooding, especially in the Illinois River Basin, where record flooding occurred.

Several locations across northwest Arkansas and east central Oklahoma measured over 5" of rain in one day, including: Haskell, OK 6.77" (4/24 OK mesonet), Okmulgee, OK 6.76" (4/24 OK mesonet), Prairie Grove, AR 6.07" (4/25, COOP),  Hectorville, OK 5.74" (4/24, OK mesonet), Porter, OK 5.51" (4/24, OK mesonet), Muskogee Davis Field, OK 5.19" (4/24, ASOS), and Hindsville, AR 10E 5.10" (4/24, COOP).  In addition, many locations in this area received 3+ inches of rainfall for 3 days in a row (rain that fell on April 23-25). 

Widespread rainfall totals of 6" to 12" affected east central Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas during the 7-day period ending at 7 am CDT April 28, 2011. Portions of Adair County in Oklahoma and Washington and Benton Counties in Arkansas received 12" to 16" of rainfall during this same time. Rainfall estimate images are shown below. A citizen in Beaver, AR reported 17.7" rainfall total through the evening of April 25 to a local TV station.  For reference, the 30-year normal (1971-2000) April rainfall for Fayetteville, AR is 4.33" and the normal annual rainfall is 46.02".  The widespread flash flooding unfortunately led to 5 fatalities in northwest Arkansas when cars were swept away or stalled in high water.

 

New Record Floods:

River Location Preliminary Crest Height Crest Time Previous Record
Illinois River near Watts, OK 28.60 feet 3:00 am CDT 4/26/2011 25.96 feet 7/25/1960
Baron Fork at Eldon, OK 28.51 feet 10:30 pm CDT 4/25/2011 26.77 feet 6/21/2000

 

 Major Flooding:

River Location Preliminary Crest Height Crest Time Current Record
Kings River near Berryville, AR 35.47 feet 7:45 am CDT 4/26/2011 38.91 feet 11/19/1985
Illinois River near Tahlequah, OK 25.97 feet 9:00 pm CDT 4/26/2011 27.94 feet 5/10/1950

 

Moderate and Minor flooding also occurred at the following locations: Arkansas River at Van Buren, AR; Lee Creek near Van Buren; Poteau River near Poteau, OK; Poteau River Panama, OK; Flint Creek near Kansas, OK; Deep Fork River near Beggs, OK; Neosho River near Commerce, OK; Spring River near Quapaw, OK, and Polecat Creek near Sapulpa.

 

Location

5-Day Rainfall Total thru 7am 4/26

7-Day Rainfall Total thru 7am 4/28

Source   Location

5-Day Rainfall Total thru 7am 4/26

7-Day Rainfall Total thru 7am 4/28

Source
Prairie Grove, AR 14.48" 15.15" NWS COOP Observer   Dutch Mills, AR 10.02" 10.42" USGS
Hindsville, AR 10E 14.47" 15.78" NWS COOP Observer   Webbers Falls, OK 9.12" 10.42" OK Mesonet
Eureka Springs, AR 3WNW 13.26" 14.31" NWS COOP Observer   Tenkiller Lake 9.07" 9.76" USACE
Fayetteville, AR 13.14" 13.55" USACE/USGS   Oktaha, OK 2NE 8.97" missing NWS COOP Observer
Hindsville, AR 10NNE 13.13" 14.14" NWS COOP Observer   Muskogee, OK 8.58" 8.74" USACE/USGS
Westville, OK 12.48" 13.82" OK Mesonet   Winfrey, AR 8.56" 9.32" USGS
Wesley, AR 3N 12.33" 13.26" NWS COOP Observer   Tahlequah, OK 8.49" 9.71" OK Mesonet
Fayetteville Drake Field 12.32" 12.77" NWS ASOS   Okmulgee, OK 8.40" 8.46" OK Mesonet
Berryville, AR 5NW 12.16" 13.11" NWS COOP Observer   Haskell, OK 8.31" 8.45" OK Mesonet
Eldon, OK 11.70" 12.01" USACE/USGS   Short, OK 1W 8.24" 8.90" USGS
Beaver Lake, AR 11.05" 12.06" USACE   Fort Gibson Lake, OK 7.90" 7.95" USACE
Northwest AR Regional Arpt 10.98" 11.88" NWS ASOS   Porter, OK 7.49" 7.70" OK Mesonet
Gravette, AR 10.53" 11.46" NWS COOP Observer   Spavinaw, OK 7.44" 7.68" NWS COOP Observer
Berryville, AR 10.52" 11.22" USACE/USGS   Kansas, OK 7.43" 7.63" USACE/USGS
Strickler, AR 10.40" 11.21" RAWS   Short, OK 4S  7.43" 8.37" USGS
Watts, OK 10.32" 10.89" USACE/USGS   Muskogee Davis Field  7.33" 7.34" NWS ASOS
Cookson, OK 10.24" 12.59" OK Mesonet   Hectorville, OK 7.30" 7.34" OK Mesonet
Gore, OK 10.16" 10.56" USGS   Whitefield, OK 7.05" 7.56" USGS
Odell, AR 2N 10.08" 10.66" NWS COOP Observer   Lake Eucha, OK 7.01" 7.46" USACE

 

 Image captions below the image.  Click on image to open a larger version in a new window.

7 day rainfall rainfall April 24 rainfall April 23
7-day rainfall total ending at 7am CDT 4/26/11 24-hr rainfall estimate ending 7am CDT 4/22/11 24-hr rainfall estimate ending 7am CDT 4/23/11
rainfall April 24 rainfall April 25 rainfall April 26
24-hr rainfall estimate ending 7am CDT 4/24/11 24-hr rainfall estimate ending 7am CDT 4/25/11 24-hr rainfall estimate ending 7am CDT 4/26/11
 4 day rainfall rainfall April 27 rainfall April 28
4-day rainfall total ending at 11 am CDT 4/26/11 24-hr rainfall estimate ending 7am CDT 4/27/11 24-hr rainfall estimate ending 7am CDT 4/28/11
Eldon hydrograph Illinois River near Watts hydrograph hydrograph of Illinois River near Tahlequah
Hydrograph for the Baron Fork River at Eldon (preliminary values) Hydrograph for the Illinois River near Watts (preliminary values) Hydrograph for the Illinois River near Tahlequah (preliminary values)
Fiddlers Bend home Fiddlers Bend home Fiddlers Bend home
Fiddlers Bend along the Illinois River.  Water reached approximately the yellow dashed line. Fiddlers Bend along the Illinois River.  Water reached the blue dashed line. Fiddlers Bend along the Illinois River. Green home was washed from its foundation. Red home was also moved off its foundation.
Fiddlers Bend home Flooded business near Watts  White River Highway 187 
 Fiddlers Bend along the Illinois River.  Water reached approximately the yellow dashed line.  Flooded business along the Illinois River near Watts. Water reached approximately the blue dashed line. Suspension bridge on Hwy 187 over the White River.
Tenkiller Dam release Tenkiller Dam release Beaver Dam releases
Releases out of Tenkiller Dam. (photo courtesy of USACE Tulsa District) Releases out of Tenkiller Dam. (photo courtesy of USACE Tulsa District) Releases out of Beaver Dam.