Monthly Storm Reports and Storm Data
Storm Reports
Are you interested in what happened during a recent event? Check out the report below.
 
Historic Cold Spell on May 3-4, 2013
 
A cold front was nearing Arkansas from the Plains at 100 pm CDT on 05/01/2013. Heading into early May, cold fronts continued barreling into Arkansas from the north. The latest front pushed into the state on the 2nd, and brought much cooler air from Canada.
In the picture: A cold front was nearing Arkansas from the Plains at 100 pm CDT on 05/01/2013.

 

By dawn on the 3rd, temperatures in the northwest counties dropped into the lower/mid 30s. Rain changed to snow, and several inches accumulated in spots. A cold front was close to the Mississippi River by 700 am CDT on 05/03/2013.
In the picture: A cold front was close to the Mississippi River by 700 am CDT on 05/03/2013. Much cooler air behind the front resulted in snow across northwest Arkansas.

 

Twenty four hour rain and snow amounts through 100 pm CDT on 05/03/2013.
In the picture: Twenty four hour precipitation amounts through 100 pm CDT on 05/03/2013. While it was snowing in the northwest, more than three inches of rain dumped in the east along the Mississippi River. At Jonesboro (Craighead County), for example, 3.17 inches of rain closed Highway 226 west of town due to high water.
 

One to three inches of snow was common in portions of Benton, Boone, Carroll, Madison, Newton and Washington Counties. Locally up to 5 inches piled up near Decatur, with 3 to 4 inches at Gentry, Gravette and Siloam Springs (all in Benton County). Farther east toward Beaver and Eureka Springs (both in Carroll County), 1 to 2 inches was measured, with a half inch to an inch from Omaha (Boone County) to Compton (Newton County).

 

Roughly four inches of snow piled up around Gravette (Benton County) on 05/03/13.

According to official records, there had not been any snow across Arkansas this late in the spring until this event. The previous latest snow was on April 30, 1903. On that day, only trace amounts occurred at Fayetteville (Washington County), Gravette (Benton County) and Harrison (Boone County).

In the picture: Roughly four inches of snow piled up around Gravette (Benton County) on 05/03/13. The photo is courtesy of Drew Michaels. Click to enlarge.

 

In central sections, it was chilly with lots of clouds and scattered showers. A glimpse of the sun was welcome toward evening.

Decreasing clouds and a nearby shower resulted in a double rainbow at Jacksonville (Pulaski County) toward evening on 05/03/2013.
In the picture: Decreasing clouds and a nearby shower resulted in a double rainbow at Jacksonville (Pulaski County) toward evening on 05/03/2013. The photo is courtesy of Donny Cook. Click to enlarge.

 

A large area of low pressure ("L") was over northwest Arkansas at 700 am CDT on 05/04/2013.

There was a little more snow in the northwest early on the 4th as a big storm system aloft wobbled into the area from the Plains. Moisture was limited by this time, but cold air overhead surrounding the system helped support snow (rather than rain). A few spots got over an inch of powder, with most reports under a half inch.

In the picture: A large area of low pressure ("L") was over northwest Arkansas at 700 am CDT on 05/04/2013. Very cold air was associated with the low. Temperatures at 500 mb (18,000 feet) were around -24 degrees C (-10 degrees F). Without the presence of the low, readings would have been closer to -15 degrees C (5 degrees F).

 

As it warmed slowly during the afternoon, hit and miss showers popped up ahead of the low as it drifted to the southeast. Small hail formed in some of the showers. Pea to penny size hail was reported at Judsonia (White County). The satellite showed lots of clouds surrounding low pressure aloft ("L") at 1245 pm CDT on 05/04/2013.
In the picture: The satellite showed lots of clouds surrounding low pressure aloft ("L") at 1245 pm CDT on 05/04/2013. Clouds and a northwest flow around the system resulted in well below normal temperatures (dashed yellow lines) in the 40s and 50s, with some 60s toward the Louisiana border where clearing occurred.

 

All-time May temperature records fell during this event. At Harrison (Boone County), the high temperature on the 3rd was only 38 degrees. This was the coldest May maximum since records began in 1891. Similar records were snapped at Pine Bluff (Jefferson County) and Russellville (Pope County), with a high of only 52 degrees at both sites (records go back to 1883 and 1882 respectively). On the 4th, the cold high record at Hardy (Sharp) which was set in 1899 was shattered by more than ten degrees.

 

Record Coldest High Temperatures (May 3-5, 2013)
Site Temp/Date Prev. Record Date of Prev. Record Records Since
Booneville (Logan Co.)* 46° (05/05) 50° 05/03/2011 1906
Conway (Faulkner Co.)* 39° (05/04) 49° 05/02/2011 1884
Hardy (Sharp Co.)* 40° (05/04) 50° 05/24/1899 1897
Harrison (Boone Co.) 38° (05/03) 45° 05/02/2011 1891
Mountain Home 1NNW (Baxter Co.)* 38° (05/04) 49° 05/03/2011 1902
Pine Bluff (Jefferson Co.) 52° (05/03) 56° 05/02/2011 1883
Russellville (Pope Co.) 52° (05/03) 53° 05/02/2011 1882
* - These stations report at the end of the 24-hour period ending at 7 or 8 am. The high temperatures shown occurred on the previous day. The remaining stations report midnight to midnight, with the highs occurring on the dates indicated.

 

At Little Rock (Pulaski County), 39 degrees was the standing record low temperature for the month set on the 1st in 1903. That was broken on the 3rd and 4th with a low of 38 degrees (records began in 1879). Leola (Grant County) had a freeze (32 degrees) on the 4th, and the minimum at Searcy (White County) was 34 degrees. Both were record lows for May, with the latter site in existence since 1882.

The daily average temperature on the 3rd was a stunning 35 degrees at Harrison (Boone County), easily beating the record for the month of 41 degrees on the 1st in 1909.

 

 

Storm Reports
Preliminary reports of light snow in the Little Rock County Warning Area on May 3, 2013 (in red).
Submit a storm report.
Light snow was reported in portions of northern and western Arkansas during the morning of May 3, 2013. For a look at some reports, click here.
 
Link of Interest
Plot Reports
In the picture: Preliminary reports of light snow in the Little Rock County Warning Area on May 3, 2013 (in red).

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