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May Rainfall Threatens Monthly Records, Leading to Record River Flooding in Parts of Oklahoma, Arkansas



 Record-Topping Crest For Arkansas River
  • Parts of the plains picked up over a foot of rain in May.
  • Some locations are threatening not only May monthly rain records, but also for any single month. 1
    9659003] These rounds of heavy rain have sent many rivers into flood.
  • Heavy rainfall over the past few weeks is threatening all-time May records and swelling rivers to. Arkansas and Oklahoma.

The Arkansas River already recorded at Ponca City, Oklahoma reached its highest level since the 1986 flood in Tulsa, Oklahoma putting unprecedented stress and crested at its highest level since 1943 in Muskogee, Oklahoma due to heavy rain upstream in northern Oklahoma and southern Kansas.

(LATEST NEWS: Flooding Forces Evacuations [19659009]) [19659011] On Sunday, Arkansas River topped its previous record from 1945 in Van Buren / Fort Smith, Arkansas and is still expected to rise more than a midweek crest. Ozark Dardanelle and Morrilton Arkansas, later this week. This was the best in Dardanelle and could be used in the previous record in Morrilton, which has stood since 1927.

Next week, the highest crests since 1945 in Little Rock and 1957 in Pine Bluff, Arkansas

Last week, another record river crest was set along Bird Creek in Avant, Oklahoma about 25 miles north of Tulsa.

Almost 400 river gauges in the United States are reporting levels above flood stage, primarily in the nation's midsection.

(MORE: Latest NWS River Forecasts )

Elsewhere, the Missouri River is at its highest level since 1995 in Jefferson City, Missouri where an EF3 tornado tore through last week.

Later this week, St. Louis will see its second major crest of the Mississippi River in just over three weeks, crest to the Great Flood of 1993 and the Mississippi River flood of 1973.

That volume of water will then drain downstream, reaching the lower Mississippi Valley in early June .

(MORE: Longest-Lasting Mississippi River Flood Since 1927 )

Current River Flood Status

(The dots correspond to river gauges currently reporting flood levels above flood stage, color-coded by severity Data: NOAA / NWS / USGS)

How Much More Rain?

Strong to severe thunderstorms are expected Tuesday and Tuesday night from Iowa to Oklahoma

Then, another round of thunderstorms with heavy rain is expected Wednesday and Wednesday night from North Texas to Oklahoma, Arkansas and southern Missouri that could only trigger more flash flooding and aging

Forecast Rain the Next Five Days

(This should be interpreted as a broad outlook of where the heaviest rain may fall. Higher amounts may occur where bands or clusters of thunderstorms occur for over a period of a few hours.

The bullish, stubborn jet-stream pattern responsible for this severe weather and heavy rain saga appears ready to relent by late this week

This should at least allow drier weather in by Friday, and less severe thunderstorms after Wednesday.

Whether this less-amplified pattern ahead can pull the thunderstorm clusters away from

( MAPS: 7-Day US Rain Forecast )

Flirting With Monthly Rain Records

Rainfall amounts have been staggering over parts of the plains

A number of locations from Oklahoma to western Missouri have picked up over 10 inches of rain this month.

( MORE: The Wettest 12 Months in US History [19659039])

Estimated May Rainfall [1 9659027] (Most heavy rainfall is shown by the pink contours of parts of Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri.) Almost 15 inches of rain soaked Bartlesville, Oklahoma, nearly tripling its average May rain, crushing its previous May record of more 10.31 inches in 2000 and threatening the city's single wettest month record of 16 inches in June 1957.

All-time monthly records are also within reach in Chanute, Kansas (18.35 inches in May 1990), Wichita, Kansas (14.43 inches in June 1923, and Enid, Oklahoma (15.85 inches in May 1982).

Kansas City, Missouri, is also flirting with its record-lawest May (12.75 inches in 1995), though its all-time legal month (16.17). inches in September, 1914) Put another way, Chanute, Kansas, has picked up more rain in May than it averages from May through July, combined (16.20 inches).


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