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 (2009)/Pg2
 
Winter Storms
The pattern at 1200 pm CST on 12/24/2009. The aforementioned Winter storm (in late December) not only produced excessive rain, it brought portions of northwest Arkansas a rare white Christmas.
In the picture: The pattern at 1200 pm CST on 12/24/2009. A storm system ("L") brought heavy rain and thunderstorms to Arkansas, with colder air and a chance of snow to follow.

 

In much of the state, there is less than a 5 percent chance of an inch of snow on the ground Christmas Day. Snow accumulations through 600 am CST on 12/25/2009.
In the picture: Snow accumulations through 600 am CST on 12/25/2009.

 

The satellite showed no clouds and a lot of snow over northeast Arkansas at 1002 am CST on 03/01/2009. Earlier in the year, snow was much heavier in northeast sections of the state. A foot of snow was measured around Blytheville and Wilson (both in Mississippi County) on February 28th.
In the picture: The satellite showed no clouds and a lot of snow over northeast Arkansas at 1002 am CST on 03/01/2009.

 

By far the largest Winter event unfolded on January 26th through the 28th. A paralyzing ice storm across the northern counties left behind 1 to 2 inches of freezing rain and sleet...and locally more. At least 350,000 customers were left without power, and 30,000 utility poles were downed or snapped. As many as 18 fatalities were reported across the state. A convoy of utility trucks was headed into northern Arkansas along U.S. Highway 167 between Velvet Ridge (White County) and Pleasant Plains (Independence County) on 01/28/2009.
In the picture: A convoy of utility trucks was headed into northern Arkansas along U.S. Highway 167 between Velvet Ridge (White County) and Pleasant Plains (Independence County) on 01/28/2009. Click to enlarge.

 

The dire situation was summed up by Mel Coleman, CEO of North Arkansas Electric Cooperative, to those working to restore power (on the night of the 27th):

"In all of my years I have never seen anything that compares to the damage this storm has caused. From the beginning forecasts yesterday morning it seemed the worst could happen, but we tried to believe it wouldn't happen. It did happen. I am sure your service areas look a lot like ours...I have yet to see a mature tree standing that was not severely damaged. Just opening the door to the outside sounds like a war zone, with the continuous sounds of trees and limbs breaking...like gunshots over the next hill. At this point we have no idea as to the extent the distribution system has been damaged, but it has to be bad...bad. My closing thoughts for the night: I sincerely hope that each of you make it through this disaster stronger than when you went in. This event will take everything we have...from our spirit to our never ending dedication to our members...to get us through this. It will take days and possibly weeks...but it will come together. Good luck, stay safe & hang in there."

 

Links of Interest
January 26-28, 2009 (more on the event)
February 28, 2009 (more on the event)

 

Tornadoes
 
In 2009, forty five (45) tornadoes were counted across Arkansas. In a normal year, there are 26 tornadoes.

 

Largest Tornado Events Across Arkansas in 2009
Date Number of Tornadoes Fatalities/Injuries
October 29 15 0/5
April 9 7 3*/38*
July 21 4 0/0
July 30 4 0/0
* - The fatalities and 30 of the injuries were associated with a tornado (rated EF3) that tracked through the Mena (Polk County) area.

 

A tornado (rated EF3) ripped through this residential area, and wrapped metal around an oak tree in Mena (Polk County) on 04/09/2009. The most memorable event occurred on April 9th. There were seven tornadoes counted in southern and western Arkansas, including a killer tornado (rated EF3) at Mena (Polk County). Three people lost their lives, and hundreds of homes and businesses were destroyed.
In the picture: A tornado (rated EF3) ripped through this residential area, and wrapped metal around an oak tree in Mena (Polk County) on 04/09/2009. Click to enlarge.

 

 

These were the first tornadoes of 2009. In previous years, there were at least a dozen cases where the first tornado did not occur until April. In one year (1969), the first tornado was not spawned until August 16th. By this time in 2008, there were 37 tornadoes across the state.

 

As Summer approached, tornadoes became infrequent...or at least they were supposed to. In July, there is usually less than one tornado occurring statewide each year. This time around, there were an unprecedented eight tornadoes spawned (four on the 21st and again on the 30th). The previous high for the month was five in 1964. A waterspout was witnessed over Lake Conway (Faulkner County) on 07/21/2009.
In the picture: A waterspout was witnessed over Lake Conway (Faulkner County) on 07/21/2009. The photo is courtesy of April Payne. Click to enlarge.

 

A scar was evident a couple of years after a tornado (rated EF2) ripped through a forested area just east of Tichnor (Arkansas County) on 07/30/2009.
In the picture: A scar was evident a couple of years after a tornado (rated EF2) ripped through a forested area just east of Tichnor (Arkansas County) on 07/30/2009.
 

One of these tornadoes (on the 30th) tracked roughly 32 miles through Arkansas and Phillips Counties (southeast Arkansas), and was rated as EF2 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale. No other July tornado tracked this far, and few were this strong.

 

Link of Interest
Tornado Records in July

 

The WSR-88D (Doppler Weather Radar) showed strong rotation and a possible tornado approaching areas between Camden (Ouachita County) and Locust Bayou (Calhoun County) at 328 pm CDT on 10/29/2009. The largest outbreak occurred October 29th, with fifteen (15) tornadoes spawned across mainly the southern half of the state. Structural damage was most extensive in the East Camden (Ouachita and Calhoun County line) area, especially around Southern Arkansas University Tech and Highland Industrial Park.
The WSR-88D (Doppler Weather Radar) showed strong rotation and a possible tornado approaching areas between Camden (Ouachita County) and Locust Bayou (Calhoun County) at 328 pm CDT on 10/29/2009.

 

 

Typically, the vast majority of tornadoes are weak in any given year. That was the case this year, with 37 tornadoes rated EF0 or EF1. There were five (5) tornadoes rated EF2, and three (3) tornadoes given an EF3 rating.

 

Links of Interest
April 9, 2009 (more on the event)
October 29, 2009 (more on the event)

 

More Information
 
There is more concerning 2009, including a damaging wind and a hail event. To check out the rest of the story, click here.

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