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 (2008)/Pg3
 
Tropical Systems
 
The WSR-88D (Doppler Weather Radar) showed rain spiraling around the remnants of Gustav ("L") in extreme northwest Louisiana at 328 pm CDT on 09/02/2008.
It is not every year that Arkansas is affected by a tropical system. In 2008, there were two. It began with the remnants of Gustav on September 1st through the 4th.
In the picture: The WSR-88D (Doppler Weather Radar) showed rain spiraling around the remnants of Gustav ("L") in extreme northwest Louisiana at 328 pm CDT on 09/02/2008.

 

Hurricane Gustav reached the Louisiana Gulf Coast during the late morning of the 1st. The system came ashore about 65 miles southwest of New Orleans, Louisiana as a Category 2 storm with sustained winds of 110 mph. From there, Gustav moved northwest and slowed down. It weakened to a Tropical Depression by the early morning hours of the 2nd.

 

Given its slow movement, rain was prolonged in Arkansas...and it added up over time. More than 8 inches of rain fell in portions of western, central and southeast Arkansas. Seventy two hour rainfall totals through 7 am CDT on 09/04/2008.
In the picture: Seventy two hour rainfall totals through 7 am CDT on 09/04/2008. "E" is estimated precipitation.

 

Seventy two hour totals through 7 am CDT on the 4th included 11.50 inches at Bismarck (Hot Spring County), 11.26 inches at Leola (Grant County), 10.90 inches at Jacksonville (Pulaski County) and 10.65 inches at Hampton (Calhoun County). Widespread flash flooding was reported, with roads covered by water. 

 

Link of Interest
Rainfall Totals and Highest Gusts (Gustav)

 

It didn't help that Gustav arrived after a very wet August (200 to 300 percent of normal rainfall). The ground was nearly saturated, and the region was primed for high water problems. Water tended to runoff instead of going into the soil.

 

Rainfall in August, 2008
Site Rain (Inches) Departure (Inches) Percent of Normal
Fayetteville (NW AR) 5.87 +2.87 196%
Harrison (NC AR) 6.48 +3.07 190%
Jonesboro (NE AR) 4.57 +1.90 171%
Fort Smith (WC AR) 7.42 +4.86 290%
Little Rock (C AR) 5.80 +2.87 198%
North Little Rock (C AR) 6.18 +3.21 208%
West Memphis (EC AR) 2.31 -0.59 80%
Texarkana (SW AR) 5.48 +3.13 233%
El Dorado (SC AR) 8.96 +5.74 278%
Monticello (SE AR) 7.96 +4.64 240%

 

Ike tracked around high pressure ("H") in the southeast United States. Less than two weeks later, Hurricane Ike made landfall along the Texas Gulf Coast early on September 13th. Ike went inland around 2 am CDT near Galveston, Texas as a Category 2 storm. Maximum sustained winds were around 110 mph. The system moved quickly toward Arkansas.
In the picture: Ike tracked around high pressure ("H") in the southeast United States. A storm system aloft ("L") approaching from the west quickly swept the remnants of Ike from the Texas Gulf Coast through Arkansas and into the Ohio Valley.

 

Because the system did not linger, rainfall amounts were not as heavy. However, winds were an issue...with gusts over 50 mph at times. Numerous trees and power lines were downed.

 

Link of Interest
Rainfall Totals and Highest Gusts (Ike)

 

Also, scattered thunderstorms popped up in rainbands swirling around the system. A few of these storms spawned weak (EF0/EF1) short-lived tornadoes...mostly in central Arkansas. A total of nine tornadoes were counted.

 

Links of Interest
September 1-4, 2008 (Gustav flood pictures)
September 13-14, 2008 (more about Ike)

 

High Wind Event
 
On January 29th, a rare wind event took place. A strong cold front arrived from the Plains during the early afternoon hours, and winds shifted to the northwest. Wind speeds of 30 to 40 mph were common, with gusts over 50 mph. The pattern at 2 pm CST on 01/29/2008.
In the picture: The pattern at 2 pm CST on 01/29/2008...with a strong cold front pushing through Arkansas with a chance of severe weather in the east and a lot of wind to follow.

 

 

Temperatures fell quickly behind the front. As of 3 pm CST, readings were already in the 20s across northwest Arkansas (with northwest winds). Meanwhile, readings were still in the 70s in eastern sections of the state (with south/southwest winds).

 

Conditions as of 3 pm CST on 01/29/2008  
Site Temperature Winds
Fayetteville (NW AR) 29° W22G29 MPH
Harrison (NC AR) 29° W25G37 MPH
Jonesboro (NE AR) 67° SW29G35 MPH
Fort Smith (WC AR) 39° NW29G36 MPH
Little Rock (C AR) 64° NW32G43 MPH
North Little Rock (C AR) 57° W21G44 MPH
West Memphis (EC AR) 66° S20G25 MPH
Texarkana (SW AR) 58° NW39G49 MPH
El Dorado (SC AR) 71° W25G47 MPH
Monticello (SE AR) 71° W29G43 MPH

 

There were two deaths reported. One person was killed near Wooster (Faulkner County) when a tree fell on her car (while she drove on Arkansas Highway 225). At Lonoke (Lonoke County), a woman lost her life when a tree fell on her home.

 

Link of Interest
January 29, 2008 (more on the event)

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