Climate Data
Yearly Reports
Interested in what kind of weather occurred in a recent year? Check out the most memorable events below.
 
Arkansas Yearly Climate Summary (2007)
 
The year 2007 will be remembered for a destructive tornado at Dumas (Desha County) in February, a widespread freeze in April (at the beginning of the growing season), and very hot temperatures/an expanding drought in August. As you read various weather accounts, you may not be familiar with where events occurred in the Little Rock County Warning Area. To help you along, refer to a map by clicking here. Onward we go...

 

 

Tornado at Dumas (February 24, 2007)
A supermarket was destroyed by a tornado in Dumas (Desha County) on 02/24/2007. A tornado caused extensive damage in Dumas on February 24th. Dozens of homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed in the community and surrounding area, with 27 people injured. Fortunately, there were no deaths.
In the picture: A supermarket was destroyed by a tornado in Dumas (Desha County) on 02/24/2007. Click to enlarge.

 

Severe weather reports on 02/24/2007.
In the picture: Severe weather reports on 02/24/2007. The graphic is courtesy of the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, OK.
 
This was one of at least five tornadoes spawned in southeast Arkansas (in the Little Rock County Warning Area). The storm system responsible for the tornadoes was surrounded by a lot of wind energy...with strong shear (i.e. south wind at ground level and a west to southwest wind aloft) noted. This tended to make developing storms rotate, with the potential for tornadoes.

Tornadoes in Southeast Arkansas on February 24, 2007

 

Widespread Freeze (April 8, 2007)
Just as the growing season began, it got cold. There was a widespread freeze on April 8th, with temperatures in the 10s and 20s in most areas. In some spots, it was the coldest air ever felt in April. In Little Rock (Pulaski County), the temperature reached 28 degrees. This tied the all-time record low for the month last set on April 7, 1971.

Widespread Freeze (April 8, 2007)

Low temperatures on 04/08/2007 (in deg F).
In the picture: Low temperatures on 04/08/2007 (in deg F).

 

All-Time April Records Set on the 8th
Site Record Low (Previous Record)
Batesville 23T (23 on 04/11/1973*)
Calico Rock 17 (19 on 04/11/1989*)
Fayetteville 17 (18 on 04/05/1920)
Gilbert 16 (18 on 04/11/1989*)
Hot Springs 24 (26 on 04/11/1989*)
Little Rock 28T (28 on 04/07/1971*)
 North Little Rock 30T (30 on 04/07/2007*)
Note: "T" means record was tied. "*" means record occurred in previous years.  

 

Hot Weather/Drought (August, 2007)
High pressure ("H") built over Arkansas in late July/early August, 2007. A big dome of high pressure settled over the middle of the country to begin August. Under the high, hot and dry weather occurred. 
In the picture: High pressure ("H") built over Arkansas in late July/early August, 2007...with hot and dry weather and worsening drought conditions.

 

In northern and eastern Arkansas, average temperatures were more than five degrees above normal...with temperatures over 95 degrees nearly every day. Also in the north and east, less than an inch of rain fell...with some spots receiving no precipitation at all.

 

Statistics for August, 2007
Site Rain Dep (+/-) Rank Avg Temp Dep (+/-) Rank Days >= 95F Days >= 100F
Fayetteville (NW AR) 2.54 -0.46 16 80.8 +2.9 4 9 2
Harrison (NC AR) 0.85 -2.56 4 82.7 +5.1 3 16 5
Jonesboro (NE AR) 1.00 -1.67 16 86.0 +6.2 1 27 7
Fort Smith (WC AR) 0.98 -1.58 9 84.9 +3.4 8 22 7
Little Rock (C AR) 0.14 -2.79 3 87.2 +5.9 T1 29 12
W Memphis (EC AR) 0.20 -2.70 2 85.6 +6.0 1 29 9
Texarkana (SW AR) 0.68 -1.67 T10 84.4 +2.1 24 17 6
El Dorado (SC AR) 2.89 -0.33 56 84.1 +2.9 15 24 7
Monticello (SE AR) 0.96 -2.36 NA 85.3 +5.8 NA 26 6
T (in Rank Columns): Tied
Rank: Warmest or Driest  on Record
Dep (+/-): Departure from Normal (Above/Below)
NA: Not Available

 

In the end...areas such as Harrison (Boone County), Little Rock (Pulaski County) and West Memphis (Crittenden County) had a Top 5 warmest and driest August. Drought conditions worsened quickly in these areas (and in much of the northeast half of the state).

Fortunately, there was some relief in September. An increase in tropical moisture led to heavy to excessive rain early in the month.

Hot and Dry in Little Rock (August, 2007)

 

Heavy Rain/Flooding (January 12-15, 2007)
Other headlines in 2007 included heavy rain on January 12th through the 15th. A front stalled across the state, with precipitation focused along the front. The pattern on 01/14/07.
In the picture: The pattern on 01/14/07...with a front stalled from the Ohio Valley into southern Arkansas and a storm system ("L") approaching from the Rockies. A deep southerly wind flow was present ahead of the system, with a lot of moisture pulled northward from the Gulf of Mexico. Heavy rain developed...and was focused near the front.

 

Rainfall at major reporting stations for the seventy two hour period ending at 7 am CST on 01/15/2007. Three to five inch rainfall amounts were common across much of the state through 7 am CST on the 15th. Many areas picked up more than five inches of rain.
In the picture: Rainfall at major reporting stations for the seventy two hour period ending at 7 am CST on 01/15/2007. "E" is estimated precipitation.

 

While it was raining in Arkansas, it was cold enough to support wintry precipitation north and west of the state. From Oklahoma into southeast Kansas and into Missouri, shallow cold air yielded icing...with rain falling into below freezing air near the ground. A major ice storm occurred in these areas.

Heavy Rain (January 12-15, 2007)

 

High Flow Rates on the Arkansas River (June/July, 2007)
 
In early July, flow rates along the Arkansas River ran over 200,000 CFS (cubic feet per second) at times. By the end of the month, flow rates were still between 100,000 and 150,000 CFS. Rates are normally from 20,000 to 50,000 CFS.

 

Statewide precipitation ranks for the Spring (March through May) of 2007.
In the picture: Statewide precipitation ranks for the Spring (March through May) of 2007. The graphic is courtesy of the National Climatic Data Center.
 
Rates were so high due to a very wet Spring across the Plains, with well above normal rainfall and widespread flooding. As an aside, it was very dry in the southeast United States...which set the stage for an exceptional drought that lasted for the remainder of the year (and built into Arkansas in August).

 

Tornadoes in 2007
 
There were only 16 tornadoes in 2007, with 8 of these occurring on February 24th. This was the smallest number of tornadoes since 1994, when there were also 16.

List of Tornadoes

 

Lightning in 2007
 
Overall, there was not a lot of severe weather in 2007. However, several structure fires were triggered by lightning...with two people killed in one fire at Diaz (Jackson County) on December 20th.

Structure Fires Due to Lightning

 

Unusual Storms (April 3, 2007)
 
When there is severe weather, it usually does not last long. Storms are often gone within an hour, but not on April 3rd. Very large hail and flooding rain continued for at least a couple of hours in west Little Rock (Pulaski County), and gave local residents a scare.

Storms in western Pulaski County (April 3, 2007)

 


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