Monthly Storm Reports and Storm Data
Storm Reports
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January, 2014 Storm Report
 
Short Weather Summary
 
It sure felt like winter in January across Arkansas, with temperatures spending much of the month below normal. While there was some wintry precipitation during the first two weeks, the latter half of the month was very dry with an increasing fire danger.

 

Record Temperatures
 
There were several record  low temperatures in January, especially on the 6th/7th, 24th, and 28th/29th. There was one record high on the 26th. Check out the record below.

 

Site Record Low (Date of Occurrence)
Batesville 5 (01/24), 9 (01/29)
El Dorado 10T (01/07), 11T (01/29)
Fayetteville -3T (01/06)
Hot Springs 10 (01/06), 10 (01/07)
Jacksonville 10 (01/06), 5 (01/07), 70 (01/20)
North Little Rock 10 (01/06), 9 (01/07), 10T (01/24)
Stuttgart 12 (01/06), 12 (01/07), 14T (01/24), 18 (01/28), 14 (01/29)
Note: "T" means record was tied.

 

Site Record High (Date of Occurrence)
Batesville 66 (01/26)

 

Very Cold and Very Dry
 

It was very cold at times in January. Readings finished 2 to 5 degrees in the minus category. Arkansas was sandwiched between a ridge of high pressure to the west and a trough of low pressure to the east. Between these features, the flow from Canada drove cold fronts and surges of arctic air southward.

 

Average Temperatures in January, 2014
Site Avg Temp +/-
Fayetteville (NW AR) 31.5° -4.1°
Harrison (NC AR) 32.7° -3.7°
Jonesboro (NE AR) 33.0° -4.5°
Fort Smith (WC AR) 37.2° -2.2°
Little Rock (C AR) 37.9° -2.9°
West Memphis (EC AR) 34.2° -4.4°
Texarkana (SW AR) 41.0° -2.9°
El Dorado (SC AR) 39.2° -4.7°
Pine Bluff (SE AR) 38.0° -4.3°

 

A northwest wind flow aloft existed between a ridge of high pressure ("H") over the southwest United States and a trough of low pressure ("L") to the northeast at 600 pm CST on 01/18/2014.
In the picture: A northwest wind flow aloft existed between a ridge of high pressure ("H") over the southwest United States and a trough of low pressure ("L") to the northeast at 600 pm CST on 01/18/2014.
 
The first surge of cold air arrived on the 5th. At 700 am CST, temperatures were well below freezing and it was snowing in parts of the Ozark Mountains (in the northwest). One to as much as four inches of powder accumulated.

 

The WSR-88D (Doppler Weather Radar) showed areas of rain across much of Arkansas, with snow in the northwest at 718 am CST on 01/05/2014.
It was mild elsewhere (readings in the 40s/50s) with areas of rain. it turned colder as the day progressed.
In the picture: The WSR-88D (Doppler Weather Radar) showed areas of rain across much of Arkansas, with snow in the northwest at 718 am CST on 01/05/2014.

 

Low temperatures by the morning of the 6th were in the single digits and teens, with readings below zero in the northwest. It was breezy, with wind chill index values from 10 to 20 below zero in about the northern two rows of counties. Indices were even lower than 20 below zero at a few spots.
In the pictures: Temperatures were below zero in northwest Arkansas, and wind chill indices were below zero in the northern half of the state at 700 am CST on 01/06/2014.

 

Highs on the 6th were only in the single digits toward the Missouri border. At Hardy (Sharp County), a maximum of 9 degrees was the coldest January high locally since 1918, and the second coldest on record.

By dawn on the 7th, the low at Little Rock (Pulaski County was 9 degrees. This was the first time in the single digits since February, 1996.

When it gets this cold, utilities often get overloaded as people try to heat their homes. More than 10,000 customers lost power, with one of the larger outages (close to 5,000) at Hot Springs Village (Garland County). Water distributing pumps froze at West Memphis (Crittenden County), with no water available for a time.

 

Projected freezing rain/ice accruals in the twenty four hour period ending at 1200 pm CST on 01/09/2014.
In the picture: Projected freezing rain/ice accruals in the twenty four hour period ending at 1200 pm CST on 01/09/2014.
 

Arctic air began shifting to the east on the 8th. A southerly wind flow started a warming trend, with afternoon temperatures in the 30s to lower 40s. In the transition from cold to warmer, the atmosphere became unsettled. Clouds and moisture increased, with areas of light precipitation developing.

Temperatures struggled to make it above freezing from Little Rock (Pulaski County) northward. This was not a good situation, with pockets of light freezing rain creating a thin layer of ice on roadways. There were numerous traffic accidents reported.

Near Dover (Pope County), a school bus overturned while taking kids home early from school due to the ice. Elsewhere, there were at least three weather related accidents that resulted in fatalities according to Arkansas State Police. These accidents were in Leola (Grant County), just north of Bald Knob (White County) and near Jerusalem (Conway County).

 

One arctic air mass arrived in Arkansas on 01/21/2014, with another arctic surge by 01/23/2014.
01/21/14   |  01/22/14   |   01/23/14   |   01/24/14
Canada visited again on the 21st, 23rd and 27th. These big cold air masses made it way too dry for much to fall from the sky. A low wildfire danger reached moderate/high status, and county burn bans increased at an alarming rate (up to 55 of 75 counties).
In the pictures: One arctic air mass arrived in Arkansas on 01/21/2014, with another arctic surge by 01/23/2014. This data was generated on 01/19/2014.

 

As the month closed, there were two to more than three inch precipitation deficits in parts of the south/west. This included El Dorado (Union County), Fort Smith (Sebastian County), Pine Bluff (Jefferson County) and Texarkana (Miller County).

 

Precipitation in January, 2014
Site Amount Normal +/- % of Normal
Fayetteville (NW AR) 1.64 2.84 -1.20 58%
Harrison (NC AR) 1.03 2.56 -1.53 40%
Jonesboro (NE AR) 2.12 3.43 -1.31 62%
Fort Smith (WC AR) 0.79 2.81 -2.02 28%
Little Rock (C AR) 2.34 3.55 -1.21 66%
West Memphis (EC AR) 2.29 4.18 -1.89 55%
Texarkana (SW AR) 0.73 3.40 -2.67 21%
El Dorado (SC AR) 1.16 4.30 -3.14 27%
Pine Bluff (SE AR) 1.69 3.76 -2.07 45%

 

Between these surges, there were short-lived warmups. For example, it felt like spring on January 20th. Those with outdoor plans were treated to highs in the 60s to around 70 degrees. Similar conditions were experienced on the 26th, with 73 degrees at Fort Smith (Sebastian County), and 70 degrees at Mountain Home (Baxter County) and Russellville (Pope County). Batesville (Independence County) had a record high of 66 degrees.

 

Links of Interest
January 5-9, 2014 (very cold/winter weather)
January 21-29, 2014 (cold and dry)

 

Additional January Details
 
For more details about January, 2014...go to the "Temperatures and Precipitation" section below.

 

Temperatures and Precipitation
While temperatures were above normal at times in January, readings were below normal more often. Readings at North Little Rock (Pulaski County) are shown to right. January, 2014 Temperatures in North Little Rock

 

January, 2014 Precipitation in North Little Rock Precipitation was below to much below normal across Arkansas. Amounts at North Little Rock (Pulaski County) are shown to left.

 

To right, a look at precipitation across the state. January, 2014 Precipitation in Arkansas

 

For a look at actual temperatures and precipitation in Arkansas as measured by the cooperative observer network, click here.

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