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 (2006)
 
The year 2006 will be remembered for a continuing drought and a lack of hurricanes. 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...

 

The Drought
Rainfall percentages of normal in 2006. The drought which began in May, 2005 lasted throughout 2006. A lack of ground water was most noticed across southwest sections of the state, with rainfall deficits over a foot in some areas as the year closed.
In the picture: Rainfall percentages of normal in 2006. Values were highest across the north (125% to 150% of normal in spots) and lowest in the southwest (50% to 75% of normal in spots).

 

Toward the end of the year, there was vast improvement across northern sections of the state...with above to well above normal rainfall totals from September through November (which wiped out the drought). While southern Arkansas enjoyed surplus rain in December, minor to moderate drought conditions persisted into the new year.

There is some good news to report. In 2005, the average precipitation across the state was only around 35 inches (normal is 49 inches)...which ranked as the 2nd driest year. Precipitation averaged close to 46 inches in 2006, which did not even rank in the top 50 driest years.

 

Rainfall Totals in 2006 
Site Rain Norm +/-
Fayetteville (NW AR) 45.01 43.54 +1.47
Harrison (NC AR) 42.27 43.23 -0.96
Jonesboro (NE AR) 51.28 46.18 +5.10
Fort Smith (WC AR) 50.26 43.87 +6.39
Little Rock (C AR) 48.75 50.93 -2.18
W Memphis (EC AR) 46.67 52.90 -6.23
Texarkana (SW AR) 36.48 47.38 -10.90
El Dorado (SC AR) 40.70 54.11 -13.41
Monticello (SE AR) 50.40 55.66 -5.26

 

Lack of Hurricanes
 
The tropical Atlantic Ocean featured 28 named storms in 2005. This broke the record of 21 storms set in 1933. In 2006, there were only 10 named storms...with nothing after early October (the season finished on November 30th). There were only 2 major hurricanes (Category 3 or higher with sustained winds of 111-130 mph), and these did not affect the United States. There were 7 major hurricanes in 2005. Why the slowdown?  It appears that El Nino was at least partly responsible. An emerging El Nino usually features increasing winds aloft which disrupt hurricane development. Tropical activity often declines.

 

Severe Weather/Flooding
 
Of all of the big severe weather events during the year, none stands out more than the huge hail produced on April 2nd. There were at least seven reports of 4 inch diameter hail or larger in eastern Arkansas. The largest hail report came from just north of Searcy (White County), where 5 inch hail was noted. There were four tornadoes spawned as well, with major damage at Marmaduke (Greene County) and near Wynne (Cross County).

Severe Weather (April 1-3, 2006)

Where 4 to 5 inch diameter hail was reported on 04/02/2006.
In the picture: Where 4 to 5 inch diameter hail was reported on 04/02/2006.

 

Twenty four hour rainfall as of 7 am CDT on 09/23/2006.
In the pictures: Twenty four hour rainfall as of 7 am CDT on 09/23/2006.  Three day totals (09/22-09/24)
 
Another big event occurred on September 21st through the 23rd. Northern and western sections of the state were impacted this time, with half a dozen tornadoes developing. But the big story was the flooding. Storms developed over the same areas near the Arkansas and Missouri border. Twenty four hour rainfall totals were over 7 inches in places...and over 11 inches for the event. The high water that resulted killed two people in Sharp County.

Severe Weather/Flooding (September 21-23, 2006)

 

Have you ever witnessed flash flooding that occurred within minutes? On April 29th, that is exactly what happened. In west Little Rock (Pulaski County), excessive rain led to $1.8 million in damage at a car dealership.

Flash Flooding (April 29, 2006)

 

Tornadoes
 
There were 25 tornadoes in 2006, which is about normal for Arkansas. There were no tornado deaths, but there were 70 injuries. Many of the injuries (47 of them) were associated with a strong tornado on April 2nd that tracked from near Pocahontas (Randolph County) to Caruthersville, MO. The majority of tornadoes (16 of them) during the year were spawned in March and April.

Tornadoes in 2006

 

Hot Weather/Cold Weather
High temperatures on 07/21/2006. The hottest period of the year occurred during the hottest month...July. On the 19th through the 21st, high temperatures were in the upper 90s to around 105 degrees in most areas. Several records were tied or broken.
In the picture: High temperatures on 07/21/2006.

 

Site Record High (Date of Occurrence)
El Dorado 104T (07/19)
Fort Smith 104T (07/21)
Harrison 104T (07/20)
Hot Springs 103 (07/01), 108T (07/19), 108 (07/20)  
Little Rock 104 (07/19), 104 (07/21)
North Little Rock 104T (07/19), 104 (07/20), 101 (07/21)
Pine Bluff 103T (07/21)
Note: "T" means record was tied.

 

On the flip side, the coldest air of the year settled across Arkansas during the morning of December 8th. Temperatures were in the single digits and teens, with a few more records. Low temperatures on 12/08/2006.
In the picture: Low temperatures on 12/08/2006.

 

Site Record Low (Date of Occurrence)
Camden 14 (12/08)
Conway 14T (12/08)
El Dorado 16T (12/08)
Gilbert 6 (12/08)
Hot Springs 12 (12/08)
North Little Rock 15 (12/08)
Note: "T" means record was tied.

 

Winter Storm
Snowfall in northern Arkansas as of 2 pm CST on 02/18/2006.  Quite a Winter storm affected Arkansas on February 17th through the 20th. A front pushed through the region from the northwest, with temperatures dropping more than 50 degrees in some areas in less than 24 hours! Snow fell across the northern counties, with 2 to 6 inch accumulations common.

Winter Storm (February 17-20, 2006)

In the picture: Snowfall in northern Arkansas as of 2 pm CST on 02/18/2006.

 


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