Climate Data
Yearly Reports
Interested in what kind of weather occurred in a recent year? Check out the most memorable events below.
 
Record Warmth/Severe Weather Outbreak on November 17, 2013
 
Temperatures at 200 pm CST on 11/17/2013. There was a widespread freeze early on November 12th. Temperatures in parts of northern Arkansas were in the teens. Just five days later, there was record warmth, with readings in the 70s and 80s during the afternoon of the 17th.
In the picture: Temperatures at 200 pm CST on 11/17/2013.

 

It was 85 degrees at Texarkana (Miller County), 84 degrees at Batesville (Independence County), Hot Springs (Garland County), Jacksonville (Pulaski County), Little Rock (Pulaski County), and Russellville (Pope County), 83 degrees at El Dorado (Union County) and North Little Rock (Pulaski County), and 82 degrees at Fort Smith (Sebastian County) and Monticello (Drew County). All of these readings tied or broke existing daily high temperature records.

At Little Rock (Pulaski County), it had never been this warm so late in the year. The last time it was this warm in November was the 11th in 1989.

Quite often, record warmth in the fall or winter precedes a round of severe weather. The usual scenario features a powerful storm system that dredges heat and humidity northward from the Gulf Coast. The system forces this air aloft as fuel to nurture developing storm clouds.

 

This sort of happened early on November 17th. From central into northeast Arkansas, some spots got over an inch of rain. The pattern at 100 pm CST on 11/17/2013.
In the picture: The pattern at 100 pm CST on 11/17/2013. A powerful storm system ("L") in Wisconsin, and an associated cold front triggered widespread severe weather from Illinois to Ohio. In Arkansas, there was only a small chance of storms toward the Mississippi River, and well above normal temperatures.

 

Twenty four hour amounts through 600 am CST on the 17th included 1.88 inches at Mammoth Spring (Fulton County), 1.70 inches at Newport (Jackson County), 1.64 inches at Des Arc (Prairie County), 1.54 inches at Melbourne (Izard County), 1.46 inches at Searcy (White County), 1.44 inches at Little Rock (Pulaski County) and 1.37 inches at Hardy (Sharp County).

While there was rain, where was the severe weather? It was well to the northeast, and it was later in the day.

 

Simulated radar data showed scattered thunderstorms in Illinois congealing into a line of storms and racing into Ohio during the afternoon and evening of 11/17/2013.
200 pm CST   |  500 pm CST   |  800 pm CST
The storm system, in this case, tracked through the upper Midwest and western Great Lakes. Energy surrounding the system was too far away to trigger anything significant locally. Also, storms tend to thrive in the afternoon and evening during maximum heating and when the atmosphere is the most unstable.
In the pictures: Simulated radar data showed scattered thunderstorms in Illinois congealing into a line of storms and racing into Ohio during the afternoon and evening of 11/17/2013. In Arkansas, a few showers were shown in southern and eastern sections of the state, and these were generally weak.

 

Given the track of the system and the timing, the favored area for severe storms was the Ohio Valley. The satellite showed scattered thunderstorms in eastern Illinois, western Indiana and southeast Missouri at 115 pm CST on 11/17/2013.
In the picture: The satellite showed scattered thunderstorms in eastern Illinois, western Indiana and southeast Missouri at 115 pm CST on 11/17/2013. There were a few showers trying to build in northeast Arkansas, with clearing (drier air) from the west.

 

From Illinois to Ohio, there was an outbreak of severe weather. There were dozens of tornadoes reported, extensive damage, hundreds of thousands of people left without power and at least six fatalities. To have such an extreme event this far north so late in the year is rare. Some were calling it unprecedented.

 

Storm reports through 800 pm CST on 11/17/2013.
One of the strongest tornadoes (rated EF4) cut through Washington, IL (just east of Peoria, IL). Neighborhoods were leveled there. A state of emergency was declared in Kokomo, IN after a tornado came and went. And a National Football League game in Chicago, IL was delayed for almost two hours due to the storms.
In the picture: Storm reports through 800 pm CST on 11/17/2013. The graphic is courtesy of the Storm Prediction Center.

 


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