Trash and debris float down 20th Avenue off of Olive Street as rain continues to fall Tuesday. (Special to the Commercial/William Harvey)
Cars attempt to pass Union Avenue as water comes up to over the wheel wells of smaller cars on Tuesday. (Special to the Commercial/William Harvey)
An umbrella gave little protection to this pedestrian on Bay Street during the heavy rain and hail that fell on the area Tuesday. (Special to the Commercial/William Harvey)
Sheets of rain water fall off the Central Maloney building on 6th Avenue as rain continues to fall Tuesday. (Special to the Commercial/William Harvey)
Plenty of wet and stormy weather descended upon the Pine Bluff area Tuesday afternoon causing streets to fill with water and forcing motorists to take extra precautions.
The National Weather Service reporting station at Grider Field measured 1.6 inches of rain Tuesday between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. and recorded a wind gust of 56 mph at 1:13 p.m.
The NWS also reported quarter-inch to half-inch diameter hail near The Pines mall and pea-size hail at Dollarway Road and Jefferson Parkway. A 56-mph wind gust was recorded at 1:13 p.m. at Grider Field. Jefferson County and other counties in Southeast Arkansas were under a flood advisory and other special weather instructions for most of the afternoon.
Melinda Elliott, operations manager with the department of emergency management, said that no real problems were reported due to the weather.
“We just had some localized street flooding,” Elliott said. “There were no reports of people being stranded or anything like that.”
Entergy Arkansas reported only a smattering of power outages in Pine Bluff during the storms with its website estimating power to be restored to the less than ten customers affected by 7 p.m.
NWS meteorologist Brian Smith said that several factors came into play to create the storms.
“We had a very warm and humid air mass out ahead of a frontal boundary,” Smith said. “We had a lot of moisture not only in the low levels of the atmosphere but also the mid and upper levels. We had Gulf moisture in the lower levels and a good stream of Pacific moisture in the mid and upper levels. The surface flow ahead of the front was not that strong, which kept it from moving very fast.”
Smith said the next chance for significant rain will come early next week followed by a cool down to more seasonable levels.
“Late Sunday night into late Monday night, we should see a storm system move in, but it is too early to tell at this time how much precipitation we might get,” Smith said. “After this next event, our temperatures will drop quite a bit with lows Tuesday night into early Wednesday next week falling to near freezing and highs only reaching the 50s.”