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/Heavy Rain Then a Freeze (April 13-15, 2014)
 
CAPE (Convective Available Potential Energy) values were highest from southeast Kansas into eastern Oklahoma and eastern Texas at 700 pm CDT on 04/13/2014.
Severe weather was in the forecast on April 13th. A cold front approached from the Plains, and triggered showers and thunderstorms.
In the picture: CAPE (Convective Available Potential Energy) values were highest from southeast Kansas into eastern Oklahoma and eastern Texas at 700 pm CDT on 04/13/2014. This is where the most unstable air existed to promote thunderstorm growth.

 

Initially, precipitation had difficulty developing due to some capping aloft. More specifically, there was a layer of warm air overhead where temperatures rose with height (an inversion). This tends to slow thunderstorm growth.
In the pictures: Simulated radar images indicated at least two rounds of showers and thunderstorms in Arkansas through the late evening of 04/13/2014. The second round (a line of storms racing through the northwest counties between 700 pm and 1000 pm CDT) was the most potent.

 

Capping eroded from the southwest during the afternoon, with showers and thunderstorms becoming more likely. 

 

The satellite showed a lot of clouds in Arkansas at 600 pm CDT on 04/13/2014.
There were a lot of clouds in place, and this limited heating (to energize storms) and kept the atmosphere from becoming overly unstable. Given this, any severe weather was isolated.  
In the picture: The satellite showed a lot of clouds in Arkansas at 600 pm CDT on 04/13/2014. From southeast Kansas into eastern Oklahoma, there were less clouds and more heating, and thunderstorms developed in a hurry.

 

There was quarter size hail reported in southwest Little Rock (Pulaski County). Trees were reported down at the intersection of Archwood and Boyle Park, with one tree on a car.

Meanwhile, thunderstorms popped up readily in southeast Kansas and northeast Oklahoma. This is where severe weather was the most likely during this event.

 

From there, storms spread quickly into Arkansas during the overnight hours of the 13th. Some storms were severe, especially in the northwest half of the state.
Probabilities of wind damage were greatest north and west of Little Rock (Pulaski County) in the twenty four hour period ending at 700 am CDT on 04/14/2014.
In the picture: Probabilities of wind damage were greatest north and west of Little Rock (Pulaski County) in the twenty four hour period ending at 700 am CDT on 04/14/2014. The forecast (made on 04/13/2014) was courtesy of the Storm Prediction Center.

 

Thunderstorm gusts were estimated around 60 mph near Lavaca (Sebastian County) and Cecil (Franklin County). There were measured gusts to 58 mph at Highfill (Benton County) and 54 mph at Russellville (Pope County). Tree debris covered roads at Rudy (Crawford County). Trees were toppled close to Belleville (Yell County), Piney Bay (Johnson County), Bigelow (Perry County), Beebe (White County) and Searcy (White County). At the latter location, some trees fell on houses. At Plainview (Yell County), a barn was leveled and several homes were damaged.

 

Link of Interest
Damage Photos

 

The first tornado (rated EF1) of the year in Arkansas tracked five miles between Vesta and Peter Pender (both in Franklin County). The tornado ripped parts of roofs from a number of homes, and destroyed barns and outbuildings.  
In the pictures: WSR-88D reflectivity images showed bowing (backward C-shaped) structures in western Arkansas at 846 pm CDT and 915 pm CDT on 04/13/2014. Bows are often associated with damaging winds, which is indicated in velocity images. On the north end of one bow (called a "bookend"), rotation resulted in a weak tornado in Franklin County (for more on rotation, click here). A hook was noted in this area (a classic sign of rotation).

 

The Latest Tornado
While the first tornado in 2014 held off until April 13th, there were at least a dozen cases in previous years where the first tornado did not occur until April. In one year (1969), the first tornado was not spawned until August 16th.

 

Twenty four hour rainfall through 700 am CDT on 04/14/2014.
In the picture: Twenty four hour rainfall through 700 am CDT on 04/14/2014.
 

As far as rainfall, twenty four hour amounts through 700 am CDT on the 14th exceeded two inches along and just north of the Interstate 30 corridor from southwest into central Arkansas. This included De Queen (Sevier County), Hot Springs (Garland County), Little Rock (Pulaski County) and Mount Ida (Montgomery County).

At Crystal Valley (Pulaski County), 4.03 inches was received, with 3.63 inches at Hot Springs National Park (Garland County), 3.39 inches at Narrows Dam (Pike County), 3.33 inches at Murfreesboro (Pike County) and 3.24 inches at Nashville (Howard County).

Sherwood (Pulaski County) had 2.75 inches in three hours ending at 800 pm CDT on the 13th. The Little Rock Air Force Base (Pulaski) had 2.25 inches during the same time frame.

Flash flooding was reported in the Little Rock (Pulaski County) area, with several instances of people rescued from vehicles stranded in high water.

 

Leftover showers and a few thunderstorms (some with small hail) continued on the 14th, mainly across the southern/eastern counties. This was following the aforementioned cold front that blew through the region.
Temperatures at 700 am CDT on 04/15/2014.
In the picture: Temperatures at 700 am CDT on 04/15/2014.

 

Much cooler air was on the heels of the front, with clearing taking place after dark. By the morning of the 15th, a freeze occurred in the north/west. Low temperatures were in the 20s to lower 30s. 

By 700 am CDT on the 15th, the mercury at Fayetteville (Washington County) and Mammoth Spring (Fulton County) dipped to 23 degrees, with 25 degrees at Lead Hill (Boone County), 26 degrees at Gilbert (Searcy County) and Highfill (Benton County), and 28 degrees at Calico Rock (Izard County), Harrison (Boone County), Mena (Polk County), Mountain Home (Baxter County) and Waldron (Scott County).

At the Little Rock Air Force Base (Pulaski County), the low of 31 degrees was the latest freeze on record (tied with April 15, 2008). Site records go back to 1956.  

 

Low Temperatures/Average Last Freeze Dates
Site Lows (04/15) Average Last Freeze
Fayetteville (NW AR) 23° Apr 8
Harrison (NC AR) 28° Apr 4
Jonesboro (NE AR) 34° Apr 2
Fort Smith (WC AR) 32° Mar 30
Little Rock (C AR) 34° Mar 20
West Memphis (EC AR) 35° Mar 26
Texarkana (SW AR) 34° Mar 31
El Dorado (SC AR) 33° Mar 28
Pine Bluff (SE AR) 35° Mar 17
Note: The freeze dates shown are based on climatological normals, with a temperature of 32° for a freeze. There is at least a 50 percent probability that a last freeze will occur on these dates. Probabilities go up to 90 percent two weeks prior and down to 10 percent two weeks later. The dates are courtesy of the National Climatic Data Center.

 

For those who are wondering, this freeze was not anywhere close to rivaling the historic freeze of April 8, 2007. On that morning, all-time record low temperatures for April were set, with readings generally in the teens and 20s.

 

 

Storm Reports
Preliminary reports of severe weather and flash flooding in the Little Rock County Warning Area on April 13-14, 2014 (in red).
Submit a storm report.
There were reports of large hail, damaging winds and high water on April 13th/14th (early), 2014. For a look at some reports, click here.
 
Link of Interest
Plot Reports
In the picture: Preliminary reports of severe weather and flash flooding in the Little Rock County Warning Area on April 13-14, 2014 (in red).

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