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 (2011)/Pg2
 
This tornado was captured near Gravel Ridge (Pulaski County) just off of Highway 107 on 04/25/2011. Roughly four dozen tornadoes were spawned, including a long track tornado through Vilonia (Faulkner County) on April 25th. More than twenty people lost their lives.
In the picture: This tornado was captured near Gravel Ridge (Pulaski County) just off of Highway 107 on 04/25/2011. A short time later, the tornado tracked through the Little Rock Air Force Base (Pulaski County). The photo is courtesy of Jerry Johnson. Click to enlarge.

 

 

During this time frame, an historic severe weather outbreak unfolded in the southeast United States on April 27th. Large wedge tornadoes swept across Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia.
Severe weather reports on 04/27/2011.
In the picture: Severe weather reports on 04/27/2011. The graphic is courtesy of the Storm Prediction Center (SPC).

 

Neighborhoods were leveled, and the death toll climbed to around 300 people (by the evening of the 28th). The Governor of Alabama called this tragic event the worst natural disaster in his state.

 

Link of Interest
Radar From Birmingham, AL (515 pm CDT on 04/27/2011)

 

On May 20th, a front stalled in the Plains for a few days. Severe storms tended to focus near the front (north and west of Arkansas). Between 500 pm and 600 pm CDT on the 22nd, a monster tornado (rated EF5) leveled homes and businesses in Joplin, MO. More than 150 people were killed, placing this tornado as one of the top ten deadliest in U.S. history.

 

Top 10 Deadliest Tornadoes in the U.S.
Place Date Fatalities
Tri-State Tornado (MO/IL/IN) Mar 18, 1925 695
Natchez, MS May 6, 1840 317
St. Louis, MO May 27, 1896 255
Tupelo, MS April 5, 1936 216
Gainesville, GA April 6, 1936 203
Woodward, OK April 9, 1947 181
Joplin, MO May 22, 2011 159
Amite, LA/Purvis, MS April 24, 1908 143
New Richmond, WI June 12, 1899 117
Flint, MI June 3, 1953 116
Note: Some of these events (such as the "Tri-State Tornado") may have been a family of tornadoes instead of single tornadoes. However, there are not enough details (a lack of evidence) to change the findings. Most of these events (prior to the 1950s) occurred before the availability of radar and warnings.

 

A tornado (rated EF3) ripped houses apart in a Clarksville (Johnson County) subdivision during the early morning hours of 05/25/2011. The front gained some momentum to the southeast a few days later. During the early morning hours of the 25th, two tornadoes ripped through a four county area of western Arkansas, including Clarksville (Johnson County). These were the strongest tornadoes of the year (rated EF3/EF4).
In the picture: A tornado (rated EF3) ripped houses apart in a Clarksville (Johnson County) subdivision during the early morning hours of 05/25/2011. Click to enlarge.

 

 

High pressure was a frequent visitor from June through August. Under the high, temperatures heated up and there was not much rain. The region experienced one of the top 5 hottest summers on record...and one of the top 5 driest in some spots. All-time record high temperatures were set on August 3rd, including a 114 degree reading at Little Rock National Airport (Pulaski County).
A ridge of high pressure ("HIGH") was over Arkansas on 06/03/2011.
In the picture: A ridge of high pressure ("HIGH") was over Arkansas on 06/03/2011. Clockwise flow around the high drove storm systems and fronts well to the north of the state...leaving the region hot and mostly dry.

 

Link of Interest
Summer of 2011

 

There was a 140 acre wildfire just south of Alpine (Clark County) on 09/05/2011. While the fire was out a week later, there was still some smoldering noted.

A brutal summer was followed by a dry early fall. Drought conditions expanded, with wildfires becoming common.

In the picture: There was a 140 acre wildfire just south of Alpine (Clark County) on 09/05/2011. While the fire was out a week later, there was still some smoldering noted. Click to enlarge.

 

Link of Interest
Drought in 2011

 

The drought shrunk considerably following the wettest period of the year from mid-November to mid-December. Moisture pooled around several stationary fronts, and led to one deluge after another. Thirty day rainfall through 600 am CST on 12/11/2011.
In the picture: Thirty day rainfall through 600 am CST on 12/11/2011.

 

Twelve to more than eighteen inches of rain was measured in a thirty day period from Mena (Polk County) to Mount Ida (Montgomery County), Russellville (Pope County), Little Rock (Pulaski County), Jonesboro (Craighead County) and West Memphis (Crittenden County).

 


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