Tropical Depression Cindy Slogs Through Arkansas

June 23, 2017, 12:10 PM EDT

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Above:  At approximately 1 pm CDT Thursday, Cindy spawned an EF2 tornado that left damage in areas southwest of Birmingham, Alabama, and injured at least four people. According to, severe damage was reported to a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant in Fairfield, a town of 10,000 about 10 miles southwest of Birmingham. WTVM-TV said an Express Oil Change shop and an ABC liquor store were destroyed, and three people were hospitalized with minor injuries. AP Photo/Butch Dill.

After dumping up to a foot of rain in Mississippi, Tropical Depression Cindy continued to bring heavy rains along its path on Friday morning as it slogged north-northeast at 14 mph over Arkansas. The 5 am EDT advisory from NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center gave Cindy top winds of 20 mph, and predicted that the storm would slowly weaken and turn more to the northeast on Friday night, entering Western Tennessee and Central Kentucky. The main threat from the storm is heavy rain, particularly over Louisiana and Southeast Arkansas, where 2 – 4” of additional rain may cause flash flooding.

Cindy made landfall near the Texas/Louisiana border at approximately 4 am EDT Thursday, June 22, as a minimal tropical storm with sustained winds of 40 mph. The storm is being blamed for one death, a 10-year-old boy who died of injuries suffered when Cindy's storm surge washed a large log onto the shore and struck him, according to the AP. On Thursday, the storm spawned an EF2 tornado that left damage in areas southwest of Birmingham, Alabama, and injured at least four people.

Tropical Depression Cindy satellite

Figure 1. Tropical Depression Cindy as seen by the Suomi satellite at 2:54 pm EDT June 22, 2017. Image credit: NASA.

As of 4 am CDT Friday, the highest rainfall amounts in each state observed so far from Cindy were:

12.30”: Ocean Springs, MS
8.30”: Navarre, FL
6.80”: Prattville, AL
5.36”: Mahaw Bayou, TX
4.52”: Contraband Bayou, LA
1.20”: Pulaski, TN

June 23 rain forecast
Figure 2. Projected 3-day rainfall totals beginning at 8:00 am EDT Friday, June 23, 2017. Along with torrential rainfall in states along the Gulf and Atlantic Coast, Cindy is expected to bring additional rainfall amounts of 2 – 4 inches along a corridor stretching from Arkansas to western Pennsylvania. Image credit: NOAA/NWS Weather Prediction Center.

Tropical cyclone formation not expected in the Atlantic over the next 5 days

Our three reliable models for predicting tropical cyclone formation--the European, GFS and UKMET models--were not predicting any new Atlantic tropical cyclones over the next five days with their 0Z Friday runs. NHC was also cold to the idea of Atlantic tropical cyclone formation in their 8 am EDT Friday 5-day Tropical Weather Outlook. The 0Z Thursday run of the GFS model had been predicting the potential development of a new tropical depression early next week in the far Eastern Atlantic from a tropical wave expected to move off the coast of Africa on Sunday. However, the 0Z Friday morning run of the model has backed off on that prediction. Nevertheless, the formation of Tropical Storm Bret early this week from an African tropical wave shows that we need to be watching these tropical waves over the coming weeks.

The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.

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Dr. Jeff Masters

Dr. Jeff Masters co-founded Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. in air pollution meteorology at the University of Michigan. He worked for the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990 as a flight meteorologist.

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