Climate Data
Yearly Reports
Interested in what kind of weather occurred in a recent year? Check out the most memorable events below.
Arkansas Yearly Climate Summary (2005)
The year 2005 will be remembered for a record number of hurricanes, a lack of rain, and a large tornado outbreak (around Thanksgiving). As you read various weather accounts, you may not be familiar with where events occurred in the Little Rock County Warning Area. To help you along, refer to a map by clicking here. Onward we go...

For those who are into Winter weather, there was a snowstorm to start the year...but it affected a small portion of northwest Arkansas. On February 1st/2nd, snow accumulations of 4 to 6 inches were reported...including 5 inches in the Harrison (Boone County) area. Up to 8 inches piled up at Mount Sherman (Newton County). To check out the event on February 1st/2nd, click here

Ice of a different nature occurred on April 28th/29th. Numerous hailstorms developed north and west of Little Rock (Pulaski County), with several reports of golfball size hail. This included areas such as Danville (Yell County), Atkins (Pope County), near Conway (Faulkner County), Jacksonville (Pulaski County), and just southwest of Heber Springs (Cleburne County). The event was covered by the Cable News Network (CNN). For more on the hailstorms on April 28th/29th, click here...and for CNN coverage, click here.

The hail event in April was one of the few big severe weather episodes in the Spring. It was uncharacteristically slow during Spring, with only 1 tornado spawned in the Little Rock County Warning Area. This weak (F0) tornado occurred a few miles west of Dardanelle (Yell County) on April 11th.

Otherwise, drought conditions began to worsen in May...with dry weather continuing in June. In both months, rainfall was 2 to 4 inches below normal in much of Arkansas...with some spots in northeast Arkansas receiving less than an inch of rain for the two month period. Newport (Jackson County), for example, reported a total of 0.74 inches of precipitation.   

Rainfall departures in May, 2005.
In the picture: Rainfall departures in May, 2005.
Rainfall departures in June, 2005.
In the picture: Rainfall departures in June, 2005.

There was some relief in July, with at least a couple of heavy rain events. During this time of year (early Summer), it is common for large thunderstorm complexes to form in the Plains and head to the east. In many cases, the complexes will weaken as they approach the state (toward morning), with a mesoscale convective vortex (MCV) left behind. This is a pool of cool air aloft that eventually moves over warmer/more unstable conditions near the ground...with thunderstorms redeveloping. That is exactly what happened during the nighttime hours of July 5th/early on July 6th...with more than 4 inches of rain produced in portions of central Arkansas. For more on the MCV of July 5th/6th, click here

And then the hurricane season (June 1st to November 30th) got cranked up. The tropics were very active, with a total of 28 named storms! This broke the previous record of 21 storms in 1933. For a closer look at the 2005 hurricane season, click here.

One such storm, Hurricane Dennis, reached Pensacola, Florida on July 10th...and affected areas mainly east of Arkansas as the system moved inland. Eventually, the remnants of Dennis parked in the Ohio Valley for a few days...with tropical moisture sitting over Arkansas. This led to a heavy rain event on July 16th, with over 3 inches of rain in an hour near Sherwood (Pulaski County)...and flash flooding. To check out flash flooding on July 16th, click here.

The big hurricanes of the year (at least in the western Gulf of Mexico) were Katrina and Rita. Both storms reached Category 5 status (sustained winds over 155 mph) before making landfall as Category 3 (winds of 111-130 mph) systems. Katrina made landfall just southeast of New Orleans, Louisiana on August 29th...with Rita coming ashore on September 24th. The remnants of Rita had a direct impact on the Little Rock County Warning Area, with 3 to 6 inches of rain (which helped the drought situation) and 11 tornadoes produced. Wind gusts of 30 to 50 mph were also common with Rita, with a 52 mph gust at Texarkana (Miller County). For more on Katrina, click here...and for the impacts of Rita, click here.  

The rain from Rita helped in the short-term...given that there was a lack of precipitation in October. In fact, there were 32 days with no measurable precipitation in North Little Rock (Pulaski County) from September 28 through October 30th...a record dry spell.

In November, the big tornado outbreak of the year occurred. On the 27th, there were two dozen tornadoes spawned from southwest through central and north central Arkansas...covering a 20 county area. The strongest tornadoes were rated F3 (158-206 mph winds)...and affected portions of Conway and Perry Counties. While there was lots of destruction in these areas, there was only 1 fatality. This outbreak and a stormy Fall pushed the tornado total for the year to 52. For a look at the tornado outbreak of November 27th, click here. For a list of tornadoes in 2005, click here

The year ended on a dry note. It was the driest December on record, with an average of only 0.75 inches of precipitation statewide. The drought was in full swing, and continued into 2006. For some final 2005 drought figures, click here.

For a detailed look at 2005 in Little Rock/North Little below: is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.