Monthly Storm Reports and Storm Data
Storm Reports
Are you interested in what happened during a recent event? Check out the report below.
 
Severe Storms on April 2-4, 2014
 
A strong storm system ("L")  moved from the Rockies into the Plains on 04/03/2014.
In the picture: A strong storm system ("L") moved from the Rockies into the Plains on 04/03/2014. Severe weather often materializes between the warmest temperatures and highest dewpoints, and also where winds become diffluent aloft. This is what happened  in areas from eastern Oklahoma and northeast Texas into Arkansas.
 

Through March, there were no tornadoes in Arkansas in 2014. That was expected to change in early April. The flow aloft continued from the southwest, and that provided warm days and mild nights in recent days. This is also where most storm systems originate that result in severe weather locally.

On the 2nd, weak systems from the southwest interacted with a stalled front extending from Kentucky to Kansas. The interaction triggered scattered thunderstorms, which were generally north of the region. There was only one severe storm in northeast Arkansas.

 

The satellite showed scattered thunderstorms developing along a stalled front north of Arkansas at 800 pm CDT on 04/02/2014. Otherwise, it was a quiet across the state. A layer of warm/dry air aloft capped the atmosphere, and kept much of the region cloudy and dry.
In the picture: The satellite showed scattered thunderstorms developing along a stalled front north of Arkansas at 800 pm CDT on 04/02/2014. Meanwhile, there were a lot of clouds with a lack of storms (a capped atmosphere) locally.

 

During the overnight hours and early on the 3rd, the cap weakened somewhat. This allowed scattered showers and storms to grow north and west of Little Rock (Pulaski County).

Between 900 am and 1000 am CDT on the 3rd, Severe Thunderstorm Warnings were posted for areas around Mena (Polk County) and Waldron (Scott County), and also just north of Fort Smith (Sebastian County). There was also a Tornado Warning for western Scott County, but it appears no tornado was spawned.

 

By 1000 am CDT, there was more capping (convective inhibition). Storms in the north/west fell apart.
In the pictures: Convective Inhibition (CIN), or capping, was weak (blue colors) in northern Arkansas early on 04/03/2014, but strengthened (yellow/red colors) to help restrict storm development. CIN weakened again toward evening (especially in the south/west), with storms growing more readily.

 

A sounding (temperature and dewpoint profile with height) at North Little Rock (Pulaski County) revealed a 1.8 degree C (3.2 degree F) cap (rising temperatures overhead/inversion) between 1200 and 1500 meters (4000 to 5000 feet).

 

Sounding at North Little Rock (Pulaski County) at 1000 am CDT on 04/03/2014
Height (m) Temp (°C) +/- (°C)
173 22.8° N/A
386 20.8° -2.0°
610 18.9° -1.9°
750 17.8° -1.1°
881 16.6° -1.2°
914 16.4° -0.2°
1219 14.6° -1.8°
1470 16.2° +1.6°
1500 16.4° +0.2°
1601 15.6° -0.8°
1829 14.2° -1.4°

 

Severe weather potential on April 3, 2014.
By the late afternoon of the 3rd, a strong system approached the region. The system promised better chances for severe storms.
In the picture: Severe weather potential on April 3, 2014. The forecast (made on 04/03/2014) was courtesy of the Storm Prediction Center.

 

Capping still had to be overcome. Until then, the cap delayed the onset of the big event, and limited the number of severe storms. By 400 pm CDT, the cap strength had decreased to 0.6 degree C (1.1 degree F).

While Arkansas was in a lull, gusty southerly winds pushed temperatures into the upper 70s to mid 80s. The mercury hit 85 degrees at Monticello (Drew County) and Pine Bluff (Jefferson County), with 84 degrees at El Dorado (Union County) and Little Rock (Pulaski County). It was the first 80 degree day at Little Rock (Pulaski County) in 2014. Wind speeds averaged 15 to 30 mph, with gusts over 40 mph toward the Mississippi River.

 

Storms finally erupted toward the Missouri border during the evening. Hail bigger than baseballs (three inches in diameter) pelted Marshall (Searcy County) around 800 pm CDT.
In the pictures: The WSR-88D (Doppler Weather Radar) showed storms becoming more numerous in Arkansas as the evening progressed on 04/03/2014. There were hailers in the north, with bowing segments (wind) across the south.

 

The WSR-88D (Doppler Weather Radar) showed a large hail core (white and pink colors) near Marshall (Searcy County) at 753 pm CDT on 04/03/2014.
In the picture: The WSR-88D (Doppler Weather Radar) showed a large hail core (white and pink colors) near Marshall (Searcy County) at 753 pm CDT on 04/03/2014.
Tennis ball to baseball size hail was collected at Marshall (Searcy County).
In the picture: Tennis ball to baseball size hail was collected at Marshall (Searcy County). The photo is courtesy of Courtney Ragland via Twitter. Click to enlarge.
 

Tennis ball size hail was reported at Big Flat (Baxter County) and north of Wideman (Izard County). Golfball size hail fell at Calico Rock (Izard County) and Glencoe (Fulton County). The storms showed signs of rotation at times, but no tornadoes were confirmed.

After the hail was over in the north, bowing storms (with damaging straight-line winds) swept out of Texas into southern Arkansas after 1100 pm CDT. The storms produced gusts from 60 to greater than 80 mph from Camden (Ouachita County) and Fordyce (Dallas County) eastward through Pine Bluff (Jefferson County), Warren (Bradley County), Star City (Lincoln County) and Monticello (Drew County). Numerous trees and power lines were downed. There may have been a brief tornado or two, which is common with this type of storms. Officially, nary a tornado was found. Power was knocked out to at least 50,000 customers.

 

Severe weather reports on April 3-4, 2014.
There was some structural damage noted. At Camden (Ouachita County), a high school was hit by 85 mph gusts (confirmed by a National Weather Service damage survey), with roofs peeled back from buildings. The stadium was also affected. Classes were called off on the 4th. East of Banks (Bradley County), chicken houses were destroyed.
In the picture: Severe weather reports on April 3-4, 2014. The graphic is courtesy of the Storm Prediction Center.

 

Link of Interest
Damage Photos

 

According to a media report, the Camden (Ouachita County) mayor said the last time his town suffered this much damage was in the late 1970s after a tornado went through.

 

Lead Time
A Severe Thunderstorm Warning was issued for Ouachita County at 1144 pm CDT on April 3rd as a bow echo (backward C-shaped line of storms) raced toward the area from the west at 50 to 60 mph. This gave the people of Camden (Ouachita County) 31 minutes advance notice, with the bow ripping through town at 1215 am CDT on the 4th. The average warning lead time is 12 to 15 minutes.

 

A separate storm damaged two homes (likely by fallen trees) at Murfreesboro (Pike County), and knocked a tree onto a car at Hot Springs (Garland County). In addition, a greenhouse was destroyed west of Malvern (Hot Spring County).

At Sparkman (Dallas County), a tragedy happened after the power went out. Candles were blamed for a house fire that killed two children.

 

Event rainfall averaged a half inch to an inch, with locally more in places. In the central third of the state, quite a few locales got under a quarter of an inch. Twenty four hour rainfall through 700 am CDT on 04/04/2014.
In the picture: Twenty four hour rainfall through 700 am CDT on 04/04/2014.

 

Twenty four hour totals through 700 am CDT on the 4th included 1.56 inches at Stuttgart (Arkansas County), 1.52 inches at Jonesboro (Craighead County), 1.50 inches at Mammoth Spring (Fulton County), 1.45 inches at Felsenthal (Union County) and Kingston (Madison County), 1.40 inches at Calico Rock (Izard County), 1.37 inches at Natural Dam (Crawford County), 1.34 inches at Evening Shade (Sharp County) and 1.30 inches at Crossett (Ashley County). Meanwhile, there was only 0.06 inch at North Little Rock (Pulaski County), 0.07 inch at Cabot (Lonoke County), 0.08 inch at Morrilton (Conway County) and 0.10 inch at Conway (Faulkner County).

While this episode featured plenty of hail and high winds (after a long wait), it did not quite live up to its billing (which is a good thing). The tornado count for the year remained at zero when it was all over.

 

Storm Reports
Preliminary reports of severe weather in the Little Rock County Warning Area on April 3-4, 2014 (in red).
Submit a storm report.
There were numerous reports of hail across northern Arkansas, and wind in southern sections of the state on April 3rd/early on the 4th, 2014. For a look at some reports, click here.
 
Link of Interest
Plot Reports
In the picture: Preliminary reports of severe weather in the Little Rock County Warning Area on April 3-4, 2014 (in red).

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