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July, 2013 Storm Report
 
Short Weather Summary
 
Record cool temperatures were on the menu in July. It appeared rain was not going to visit much, with drought conditions expanding heading into the middle of the month. Fortunately, the last two weeks were wet, with record wet measurements in the southwest. Only the southeast was bypassed by heavy downpours.

 

Record Temperatures
 
There were several record lows, mainly on the first few days of July. There was one record high tied. Check out the records below.

 

Site Record Low (Date of Occurrence)
Batesville 55 (07/03), 61T (07/13)
Calico Rock 50 (07/03)
Fayetteville 55T (07/01), 51 (07/02), 51 (07/03)
Gilbert 52 (07/03)
Hardy 54 (07/03)
Hot Springs 62 (07/02), 61 (07/03)
Jacksonville 59 (07/02), 57 (07/03), 57 (07/04), 60T (07/13)
North Little Rock 62 (07/03), 64T (07/04), 65 (07/26)
Russellville 57T (07/03)
Stuttgart 63 (07/02), 61 (07/03), 61 (07/04), 64 (07/13)
Note: "T" means record was tied.

 

Site Record High (Date of Occurrence)
Hot Springs 100T (07/23)
Note: "T" means record was tied.

 

A Dry and Cool Start/A Wet Ending
 

It did not feel much like July to start the month. The first three days featured low temperatures in the 50s and 60s, and there were several records set. With cool and dry air in place, there was not much rain.

 

The satellite showed scattered thunderstorms developing across northern and western Arkansas at 425 pm CDT on 07/10/2013. Fast forward to the 10th, and heat had arrived. Temperatures soared into the triple digits across parts of Arkansas. The mercury reached 104 degrees at Fort Smith (Sebastian County) and Russellville (Pope County), and 100 degrees at Hot Springs (Garland County), Little Rock (Pulaski County) and Texarkana (Miller County).
In the picture: The satellite showed scattered thunderstorms developing across northern and western Arkansas at 425 pm CDT on 07/10/2013.

 

A cold front approached from the north as the atmosphere baked, and triggered scattered severe thunderstorms. The storms were most concentrated in the western half of the state. Toward evening, a severe storm toppled numerous trees at Arkadelphia (Clark County), with some trees on houses. Widespread power outages were reported in and around town. Up to three inches of rain was measured locally.

As far as rainfall, there were spotty amounts over an inch in the western counties. At Hattieville (Conway County), 1.35 inches was measured, with 1.30 inches at Parks (Scott County), 1.25 inches at DeGray Dam (Clark County), 1.19 inches at Center Ridge (Conway County), 1.18 inches at Malvern (Hot Spring County) and 1.15 inches at Subiaco (Logan County).

 

A few days later, there was an oddity. While weather typically moves from west to east, that did not happen on the 14th. A storm system moved from southern Missouri into the southern Plains.

The pattern featured a storm system ("L") aloft heading westward toward the southern Plains in mid-July, 2013.
In the picture: The pattern featured a storm system ("L") aloft heading westward toward the southern Plains in mid-July, 2013.

 

The system brought widespread rain from Oklahoma City, OK to Dallas, TX. Clouds and precipitation in these areas kept temperatures in the 60s/70s. The storm system eventually produced widespread two to five inch rainfall amounts across northern Texas.

Locally, storms (a few severe) were much more isolated, and temperatures were generally in the 80s (a little below normal). Drought conditions slowly worsened at this point.

 

One hundred forty four hour (six day) rainfall ending at 700 am CDT on 07/24/2013.
In the picture: One hundred forty four hour (six day) rainfall ending at 700 am CDT on 07/24/2013.
 

On the 18th through the 23rd, rain chances increased for the first time in awhile as a new cold front approached from the north, and a storm system formed in east Texas. While not everyone got rain, there were some impressive amounts over five inches.

Many of the larger amounts happened in the twenty four hour period ending at 700 am CDT on the 24th. Delight (Pike County) racked up 5.71 inches, with 5.21 inches at Murfreesboro (Pike County), 4.71 inches at Langley (Pike County), 4.00 inches at Calico Rock (Izard County), 3.74 inches near Gamaliel (Baxter County), 3.61 inches at Waldron (Scott County), 3.30 inches at Bonnerdale (Hot Spring County), 3.04 inches at Big Fork (Polk County) and southeast of Camden (Ouachita County), and 3.00 inches at Clinton (Van Buren County). All of these locations are in northern and western sections of the state.

There were instances when big downpours netted at least two inches twice at the same location. For example, the deluge at Waldron (Scott County) on the 24th was preceded by 2.42 inches of rain on the 20th. The Calico Rock (Izard County) total of 4.00 inches on the 24th was on top of the 3.00 inches received on the 21st.

 

Heaviest 24 Hour Amounts For Days Ending at 700 am CDT (July 19-24, 2013)
Site Amount Day
Delight 2.2 WNW (Pike Co.) 5.71 24th
Murfreesboro (Pike Co.) 5.21 24th
Langley (Pike Co.) 4.71 24th
Calico Rock 2.0 WSW (Izard Co.) 4.00 24th
Gamaliel 2.2 SSW (Baxter Co.) 3.74 24th
Waldron (Scott Co.) 3.61 24th
Bonnerdale (Hot Spring Co.) 3.30 24th
Big Fork (Polk Co.) 3.04 24th
Camden 5.4 SSE (Ouachita Co.) 3.04 24th
Clinton (Van Buren Co.) 3.00 24th
Fort Smith (Sebastian Co.) 2.94 24th
Mena (Polk Co.) 2.91 20th
Ratcliff (Logan Co.) 2.79 24th
Vandervoort (Polk Co.) 2.78 24th
Amity (Clark Co.) 2.77 24th
Jasper 2.7 WNW (Newton Co.) 2.62 20th
Ozark (Franklin Co.) 2.60 24th
Subiaco (Logan Co.) 2.56 24th
Mountain View 2.3 N (Stone Co.) 2.55 24th
Cove (Polk Co.) 2.50 24th
Keiser (Mississippi Co.) 2.50 22nd
Jacksonville 4.5 NW (Pulaski Co.) 2.36 20th
El Dorado (Union Co.) 2.26 24th
Danville 2.5 NNE (Yell Co.) 2.20 24th
Bryant 2.6 ENE (Saline Co.) 2.19 20th
Corning (Clay Co.) 2.11 22nd
Pine Ridge (Montgomery Co.) 2.10 24th
Bruno 3.1 SSE (Marion Co.) 2.09 20th
Hampton 6.8 SE (Calhoun Co.) 2.04 19th
Melbourne 5.0 W (Izard Co.) 2.00 24th
North Little Rock (Pulaski Co.) 1.98 23rd
Prescott (Nevada Co.) 1.97 24th
Mount Ida (Montgomery Co.) 1.95 24th
Steprock 3.0 SE (White Co.) 1.90 19th
Georgetown (White Co.) 1.89 19th

 

Lightning was a big deal in the Little Rock (Pulaski County) area on the 23rd. More than 600 lightning strikes in an hour led to roughly 15,000 power outages locally. On the same day, a thunderstorm downburst (microburst) damaged a strip mall on the west side of Hot Springs (Garland County). At a dollar store in the mall, wind blew into the structure and rearranged merchandise. Part of the ceiling collapsed.

 

Twenty four hour rainfall through 700 am CDT on 07/27/2013.

On the 26th, rain hit again. Between 500 pm and 700 pm CDT, Mena (Polk County) and Mount Ida (Montgomery County) picked up 1.80 inches and 1.90 inches respectively. A Flash Flood Warning was issued for portions of Scott, Polk, Montgomery and Garland Counties through 900 pm CDT. Water covered several roads in and around Mena (Polk County). A few county roads were impassible due to high water.

In the picture: Twenty four hour rainfall through 700 am CDT on 07/27/2013.

 

Temperatures failed to get out of the 70s across much of the region. Record cool high readings were established at many spots, including Batesville (Independence County), Fort Smith (Sebastian County), Harrison (Boone County), Hot Springs (Garland County), Mount Ida (Montgomery County), North Little Rock (Pulaski County), Russellville (Pope County) and Texarkana (Miller County).

Heading into the overnight hours, amounts topped three inches in the southwest. Twenty four hour totals through 700 am CDT on the 27th included 3.71 inches at Mena (Polk County), 3.36 inches at De Queen (Sevier County), 3.35 inches near Hope (Hempstead County), 3.18 inches at Langley (Pike County), 3.05 inches at Ashdown (Little River County) and 3.00 inches at Dierks (Howard County).

By the time this event was over, rainfall from the 18th through the 26th was locally over ten inches in the southwest. There was less than an inch of rain at several locales in the southeast, which was barely enough to settle the dust.  

 

Some Large/Small Rainfall Amounts (July 18-26, 2013)
Site Large Amount Site Small Amount
Langley (Pike Co.) 11.63 Stuttgart 9 ESE (Arkansas Co.) 0.47
Mena (Polk Co.) 9.51 Star City (Lincoln Co.) 0.85
Waldron (Scott Co.) 8.64 Rohwer (Desha Co.) 0.85
Murfreesboro 1 W (Pike Co.) 8.62 Pine Bluff (Jefferson Co.) 0.87

 

Given a lot of rain in the southwest, and days that felt more like spring than summer, the numbers added up to a Top 5 cool and near record wet July in places.

 

 

Thunderstorms near Searcy (White County) looked impressive (40 miles away) from the North Little Rock Airport (Pulaski County) toward evening on 07/31/2013.
In the picture: Thunderstorms near Searcy (White County) looked impressive (40 miles away) from the North Little Rock Airport (Pulaski County) toward evening on 07/31/2013. Click to enlarge.
At Searcy (White County), a camera caught the leading edge of strong to damaging winds (a shelf cloud) sweeping into town from the northeast.
In the picture: At Searcy (White County), a camera caught the leading edge of strong to damaging winds (a shelf cloud) sweeping into town from the northeast. The photo is courtesy of Makayla Simon via Twitter. Click to enlarge.
 

A ridge of high pressure stayed to the west to end the month, and that kept extreme heat away from Arkansas. Rain was also a possibility, with a persistent northwest wind flow around the high driving yet another cold front toward the region from the Plains. Ahead of the front, there was more rain over the northern half of the state, with one to two inch amounts measured at several locations.

On the 31st, the front arrived, and so did a few severe storms. One storm produced a 54 mph gust at Searcy (White County) at 618 pm CDT, and pushed over trees along Highway 16 in town. A deluge resulted in 1.32 inches of rain in a little less than an hour.

Looking at final precipitation tallies, there was enough rain to put a dent in an ongoing drought. For the most part, the drought that existed was not all that bad (classified as "abnormally dry" or "moderate").

 

Precipitation in July, 2013
Site Amount Normal +/- % of Normal
Fayetteville (NW AR) 2.78 3.46 -0.68 80%
Harrison (NC AR) 6.29 3.14 +3.15 200%
Jonesboro (NE AR) 3.39 3.54 -0.16 96%
Fort Smith (WC AR) 3.95 3.30 +0.65 120%
Little Rock (C AR) 2.19 3.27 -1.08 67%
West Memphis (EC AR) 3.90 3.41 +0.49 114%
Texarkana (SW AR) 2.90 3.44 -0.54 84%
El Dorado (SC AR) 4.56 3.56 +1.00 128%
Pine Bluff (SE AR) 1.25 3.93 -2.68 32%

 

Drought conditions were the worst in the southeast (classified as "severe"). The ground water supply was dwindling, mainly due to a lack of rain (less than two inches) at sites like Pine Bluff (Jefferson County).

 

Links of Interest
July 10-11, 2013 (severe storms/heavy rain)
July 14, 2013 (severe storms)
July 18-26, 2013 (areas of heavy rain/severe storms)
July 30-31, 2013 (severe storms/heavy rain)

 

In the Tropics
 

There were two named storms in July. Tropical Storm Chantal formed in the Atlantic Ocean on the 7th, not far from the Lesser Antilles. The system raced to the west (over 25 mph at times), and reached the Caribbean Sea by the 9th. Chantal moved across the Dominican Republic, Haiti and parts of Cuba before falling apart on the 10th.

Tropical Storm Dorian formed well out in the open Atlantic on the 24th. Like Chantal, this system also moved quickly west, with a slightly more northerly track. Dorian was not around long, with weakening by the 27th east of the Bahamas.

 

Additional July Details
 
For more details about July, 2013...go to the "Temperatures and Precipitation" section below.

 

Temperatures and Precipitation
Temperatures were generally at or below normal in July. Readings at North Little Rock are shown to right. July, 2013 Temperatures in North Little Rock

 

July, 2013 Precipitation in North Little Rock Rainfall was above normal in parts of the north and southwest. At or below normal totals were noted elsewhere, with much below normal amounts in the southeast.

 

To right, a look at precipitation across the state. July, 2013 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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