Monday, December 30, 2013

Top Weather Stories of 2013


It was another crazy year in Arkansas Weather.  It would be unusual if it wasn't.  There are several events that stand out as the biggest of 2013.  First, there were many who were either killed or injured because our violent weather.  Our goal each year is to reduce this as much as possible with the best advance warning.  The top 7 weather events of 2013 follows.


2013




7. DECEMBER 20TH-21ST SEVERE WEATHER AND FLOODING

Severe weather and flooding during the winter months isn't unusual in Arkansas.  Around 5-8 inches of rain fell throughout much of central Arkansas and 3 tornadoes were reported: Redfield, northern Chicot/southern Desha counties, and Hughes.  One woman was killed in Hughes and 3 were injured.

Tornado damage in Haley, AR located in southern Desha county.  Picture courtesy of the National Weather Service office
Flood waters in southeast Arkansas.  Picture courtesy of the National Weather Service office
6. DECEMBER 5TH AND 6TH SNOW/ICE STORM

We got off to a quick start with winter weather in December as almost a foot of snow fell across far northern Arkansas.  Freezing rain fell across portions of the Arkansas River Valley and west central Arkansas.  Pope county was the hardest hit with several thousand without electricity.  A few inches of sleet piled up across central and northeast Arkansas.  The kids were able to get 2 days off from school in many locations.

A thick glaze of ice atop Mount Nebo.
More incredible ice formations on Mount Nebo
Sleet piled up in many locations with 1-2 inches common.
5.   SPRING BREAK SNOW IN MARCH

Some escaped and headed for the beach. If you didn't, you got to play in an early spring season snowstorm across northern Arkansas.  As much as 8 inches fell in Salem.  We thought surely this would be the last snow of the season.  Boy, was that idea wrong.

8'' of heavy, wet snow in Salem.
Accumulating snow made it as far south as Guy, Arkansas
Snow on the spring daffodils
Total snowfall
4. BOTKINBURG TORNADO ON APRIL 10TH

The Botkinburg community in northern Arkansas was devastated by an EF-2 tornado.  with the Foursquare Church taking a direct hit.  4 other tornadoes were reported that day along with several injuries.


Still shot of the EF-2 tornado
 3.   MAY 31ST FLOODING (SCOTT COUNTY)

From the National Weather Service office in North Little Rock,

"Perhaps the biggest headliner was the rain. Two to more than five inches of rain fell from Mena (Polk County) to Hot Springs (Garland County), Little Rock (Pulaski County) and Newport (Jackson County) in the twenty four hour period ending at 700 am CDT on the 31st. Amounts included 7.78 inches at Parks (Scott County), 7.55 inches at Big Fork (Polk County), 6.33 inches at Blakely Mountain Dam (Garland County), 6.25 inches at Lake Poinsett State Park (Poinsett County) and 6.13 inches at Oden (Montgomery County).
Little Rock (Pulaski County) Adams Field received 3.09 inches between 817 pm CDT and 917 pm CDT on the 30th. This broke the all-time one hour rainfall record at the site."

" Unfortunately, raging water claimed five lives close to Y City (Scott County). This included the county sheriff and a wildlife officer who were performing a rescue on the Fourche LaFave River. Closeby, an apparent drowning victim was found in her car. At Little Rock (Pulaski County), a body was discovered in Coleman Creek after water levels dropped."

Brushy Creek.  Photo courtesy of the National Weather Service office in North Little Rock.
2.  MAY 30TH TORNADO OUTBREAK.

14 tornadoes were reported this day across southwestern and central Arkansas.  There were 11 injuries that day caused by the storms and 1 man died in Tull located in Grant county.  A tree fell on his truck while driving northbound on his way to work.

This amazing home video captured a tornado going over Lake Ouachita.








This tornado hit Oden in Montgomery county.
1.  MAY 3RD SNOW AND RECORD COLD SPRING

The latest snow ever recorded in Arkansas weather history fell on May 3rd across Washington, Carroll, Madison, and Benton counties.  As many had their sights set on summer vacation just a few weeks away, 1-4 inches of heavy, wet snow fell.  The spring of 2013 set all kinds of cold weather records across the state.  While it didn't snow in central Arkansas, our high temperature on May 3rd only made it to 53 degrees with a low of 38 degrees.  That was more than 20 degrees below the average.  With more than 100 years of recorded weather history, this surely was a remarkable event and it's very unlikely we'll ever see May snow fall again in Arkansas in our lifetime.

This pretty much sums up what everyone was thinking on the morning of May 3rd in northwest Arkansas.
This is what you would expect in January or February, NOT MAY!
Siloam Springs on May 3rd.
Springdale on May 3rd.

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