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Are you interested in what happened during a recent event? Check out the report below.
 
July, 2014 Storm Report
 
Short Weather Summary
 
July is climatologically the hottest month of the year in Arkansas, but heat seldom materialized in 2014. Below normal temperatures dominated thanks to a barrage of cold fronts from the north. Crunching the numbers, the state experienced the coolest July on record. The fronts provided more than the typical summer isolated storms, especially in the Ouachita Mountains of the west.

 

Record Temperatures
 
There were a lot of record low temperatures tied or broken in July. Check out the record below.

 

Site Record Low (Date of Occurrence)
El Dorado 62 (07/18)
Fayetteville 51T (07/03), 50 (07/16), 53 (07/19), 55T (07/20)
Fort Smith 61T (07/18), 62T (07/19)
Hot Springs 60 (07/17), 60 (07/18), 62 (07/19)
Jacksonville 58T (07/16), 63T (07/17), 61T (07/18), 60 (07/20), 61T (07/21)
Jonesboro 57 (07/17)
Little Rock 62T (06/17), 62T (07/18)
Mountain Home 57 (07/19)
North Little Rock 64T (07/04), 62 (07/16), 62 (07/17), 61T (07/18), 63 (07/19), 64 (07/25)
Stuttgart 66T (07/31)
Texarkana 61 (07/18), 62T (07/19)
Note: "T" means record was tied.

 

A Near Record Cool July/A Barrage of Fronts From the North
 
A cold front pushed into very moist air (dewpoints in the 70s) across Arkansas and triggered scattered thunderstorms on 07/01/2014.
In the picture: A cold front pushed into very moist air (dewpoints in the 70s) across Arkansas and triggered scattered thunderstorms on 07/01/2014. Meanwhile, a second front was on the horizon to the northwest, and was ushering in cooler and much drier air (dewpoints in the 40s/50s).
 

The usual pattern in July features a ridge of high pressure close to Arkansas, with the high bringing heat to the region and keeping rain out. In 2014, there was a high, but it stayed mostly over the western United States. Clockwise flow around the high drove several cold fronts through the area, and this kept temperatures down.

On Independence Day, for example, the mercury maxed out at 83 degrees in Little Rock (Pulaski County). It was the coolest July 4th since 1976 (76 degrees), and only the 5th time since 1950 readings failed to reach at least 85 degrees. Typically, highs on the 4th are at/above 90 degrees 62 percent of the time, and lows are at/above 70 degrees 74 percent of the time (dating back to the 1870s).

 

Temperature and Precipitation Probabilities on July 4th
Site High Temp >= 90° Low Temp >= 70° Rain >= 0.01"
Little Rock (Pulaski County) 62% 74% 29%

 

Twenty four hour rainfall through 700 am CDT on 07/09/2014. At times, the fronts triggered a lot of rain. A front on the 8th produced amounts over three inches across the western counties. Twenty four hour amounts through 700 am CDT on the 9th included 6.72 inches at Bogg Springs (Polk County), 6.48 inches at Mena (Polk County), 4.54 inches at Oden (Montgomery County), 4.15 inches at Big Fork (Polk County), 3.95 inches at Waldron (Scott County), 3.80 inches at Pine Ridge (Montgomery County) and 3.13 inches at Gillham Dam (Howard County).
In the picture: Twenty four hour rainfall through 700 am CDT on 07/09/2014.

 

A front stalled to the south of Arkansas on 07/17/2014, with a storm system ("L") in Texas spreading clouds and rain into the area north of the front.
In the picture: A front stalled to the south of Arkansas on 07/17/2014, with a storm system ("L") in Texas spreading clouds and rain into the area north of the front. A cool east wind around high pressure ("H") in Illinois kept temperatures well below normal.
 

During the middle of the month, it was ridiculously cool. A cold front eventually stalled along the Gulf Coast, with clouds and rain north of the front on the 17th/18th. The rain was mainly across central and southern sections of the state.

On the 17th, many record cool high temperatures in the 60s/70s were set. Some of these cool highs were historic; that is, daytime readings had never been this low in July. At Hot Springs National Park (Garland County), Malvern (Hot Spring County) and Mena (Polk County), highs on the 17th (assigned to the 18th) were 64, 67 and 63 degrees respectively. Records for these sites go back into the late 1800s! At Little Rock (Pulaski County), the high of 71 degrees tied the all-time record cool July high set on the 21st in 1880.

On the 18th, the thermometer peaked at 69 degrees in Texarkana (Miller County) and 68 degrees at El Dorado (Union County). Both were record cool July highs.

 

 

These well below normal mercury levels drove monthly average temperatures in the minus category by three to more than degrees. It was the coolest July on record in Arkansas dating back to the late 1800s.

 

 

Average Temperatures in July, 2014
Site Avg Temp +/-
Fayetteville (NW AR) 72.7° -4.9°
Harrison (NC AR) 73.6° -4.8°
Jonesboro (NE AR) 75.3° -5.5°
Fort Smith (WC AR) 78.3° -4.0°
Little Rock (C AR) 77.5° -5.3°
West Memphis (EC AR) 76.1° -4.9°
Texarkana (SW AR) 78.3° -3.9°
El Dorado (SC AR) 77.3° -4.4°
Pine Bluff (SE AR) 76.4° -5.6°

 

Coolest Julys on Record in Arkansas
Year Avg. Temp +/-
2014 75.7° -4.6°
1967 76.3° -4.0°
1905 76.5° -3.8°
1906 76.5° -3.8°
1950 76.9° -3.4°
1904 77.5° -2.8°
1989 77.6° -2.7°
2007 77.6° -2.7°
1961 77.8° -2.5°
2009 77.8° -2.5°

 

The big severe weather event unfolded on the 23rd. Storms were scattered at first north of Little Rock (Pulaski County), but eventually formed into lines and swept quickly toward the Louisiana border. Along the way, gusts exceeded 60 mph at some locations. At Central City, which is east of Fort Smith (both in Sebastian County), a 78 mph gust was measured. Not far away, at least twenty buildings were damaged at Fort Chaffee (Sebastian County).
Severe weather reports on 07/23/2014.
In the picture: Severe weather reports on 07/23/2014. The graphic is courtesy of the Storm Prediction Center.

 

There were numerous reports of wind damage across the region. Downed trees and power lines were common, with trees on houses and vehicles and blocking roads. Fortunately, no injuries were noted. At least 40,000 customers lost power.

 

Measured Thunderstorm Gusts Over 50 mph (July 23, 2014)
Site Gust Time
Highfill (Benton Co) 63 mph 155 pm CDT
Fayetteville (Washington Co) 61 mph 202 pm CDT
Fort Smith (Sebastian Co) 66 mph 249 pm CDT
Jonesboro (Craighead Co) 58 mph 256 pm CDT
Newport (Jackson Co) 67 mph 330 pm CDT
Searcy (White Co) 51 mph 425 pm CDT
De Queen (Sevier Co) 59 mph 440 pm CDT
Texarkana (Miller Co) 52 mph 546 pm CDT
Pine Bluff (Jefferson Co) 52 mph 613 pm CDT

 

This episode mostly bypassed areas near the Mississippi River, which was a theme in July. Rainfall totals were generally below normal in the east, with totals more than an inch and a half below normal at Jonesboro (Craighead County), Pine Bluff (Jefferson County) and West Memphis (Crittenden County). Amounts were inflated in portions of the west. At Mena (Polk County), 12.69 inches of rain was measured, with 12.44 inches at Dierks (Howard County), 10.42 inches at Nashville (Howard County) at 9.34 inches at Pine Ridge (Montgomery County).

 

Precipitation in July, 2014
Site Amount Normal +/- % of Normal
Fayetteville (NW AR) 2.43 3.46 -1.03 70%
Harrison (NC AR) 5.34 3.14 +2.20 170%
Jonesboro (NE AR) 1.99 3.54 -1.55 56%
Fort Smith (WC AR) 2.68 3.30 -0.62 81%
Little Rock (C AR) 7.24 3.27 +3.97 221%
West Memphis (EC AR) 1.47 3.41 -1.94 43%
Texarkana (SW AR) 3.10 3.44 -0.34 90%
El Dorado (SC AR) 2.86 3.56 -0.70 80%
Pine Bluff (SE AR) 2.03 3.93 -1.90 52%

 

Heat index values at 300 pm CDT on 07/27/2014.
There were very hot days in July, but they were few. It was one of the hottest days of the summer on July 27th. Temperatures were in the 90s, but it was the heat index that was oppressive. Heat index values topped 100 degrees in much of Arkansas except the Ozark Mountains of the northwest. At a few locations, heat indices exceeded 110 degrees. A front barreled through the region from the north late in the day and early on the 28th, and the heat was over.
In the picture: Heat index values at 300 pm CDT on 07/27/2014.

 

Links of Interest
July 1-4, 2014 (isolated severe storms/turning cooler)
July 8-11, 2014 (stormy/fluctuating temperatures)
July 13-18, 2014 (hot to record cool)
July 23, 2014 (severe storms/heavy rain)
July 27-31, 2014 (turning cooler again and rainy)

 

In the Tropics
 

There were two named storms in July. Tropical Storm Arthur formed off the east coast of Florida on the 1st. The system tracked along the eastern seaboard, but mostly remained away from land. Arthur became a minimal hurricane on the 3rd, but strengthened during the day. During the late evening, the storm made landfall briefly along the outer banks of North Carolina as a Category 2 hurricane (100 mph sustained winds). Arthur continued moving to the northeast on the 4th, slowly weakened and picked up speed before reaching Nova Scotia and losing tropical characteristics early on the 5th. Late on the 31st, Tropical Storm Bertha came to life just east of the Lesser Antilles.    

 

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

 

Temperatures and Precipitation
Temperatures were well below normal in July. Readings at North Little Rock (Pulaski County) are shown to right. July, 2014 Temperatures in North Little Rock

 

July, 2014 Precipitation in North Little Rock Precipitation was below normal in parts of northern and eastern Arkansas, and at or above normal elsewhere. Rain was well above normal in west central sections of the state. Amounts at North Little Rock (Pulaski County) are shown to left.

 

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