LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Tuesday night’s rain was a sight for sore eyes for many Arkansans. For most of the state, it was the first measurable rain in about a month. The state’s largest population center saw the bulk of the rain, but many didn’t see any. Here’s a look at who hit the jackpot and who missed out.

The showers and thunderstorms began to develop around 4 pm Tuesday afternoon in White County and propagated to the south and west throughout the evening. The heaviest rain impacted Little Rock between 7 and 9 pm. Saline, Garland, Hot Spring, and Montgomery Counties saw the storms between 9 pm and midnight. After midnight the thunderstorms fizzled out.

Heavy rain wasn’t the only thing these thunderstorms brought. There were reports of hail and damaging wind gusts. At one point Tuesday night there were nearly 10,000 power outages, most of those in Pulaski County.

There are two main ways that meteorologists measure rain. The most accurate and most common is with a rain gauge, and this is done at most airports across the state. The issue with this is there are very few rain gauges, so the sample size is very small. The second way is using radar. Radar measured rain totals are a little less accurate, but they are able to measure rain everywhere. Below is the rain totals measured by both rain gauges and radar.

As you can see, the rain gauges located at the airports were missed by the heaviest rain. The airports in Little Rock and Searcy both recorded only 0.12″ while the western parts of town saw much more. The same thing happened in Hot Springs.

Below are the radar-indicated rain totals. The first image focuses on White and Faulkner Counties. Radar indicates up to 3″ of rain in Central White County and about 4″ in the orange-shaded region in far southern Faulkner County. Radar also indicated a large region of 2-3″ In Pulaski and Saline counties in the second image. The rain jackpot fell along the border of Saline and Garland Counties. Lastly, parts of Polk, Montgomery, and western Garland counties picked up 1-3″ in the third image.

Even though radar shows some pretty high rain totals it didn’t cause any changes to the fire danger. All of Arkansas is under at least moderate fire danger and now there are several counties in Northwest Arkansas that are under high fire danger.

Burn bans weren’t affected by the rain either. There are now over 50 counties under burn bans.

So, will we see more rain in the coming days and weeks? Meteorologist Julianna Cullen is talking about the the potential for a multiday rain even here ↓


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The Arkansas Storm Team is a collaboration of two stations to bring you the largest weather team in the state when covering Arkansas weather.