How Dry Is It?
Abnormally Dry Conditions
At times, below normal precipitation will lead to a lack of ground water and worsening drought conditions in Arkansas. Check out the latest conditions below.
 
Monitoring Drought in Arkansas
 
Drought Status
 
Please Note: Until drought conditions worsen significantly, this page will be updated once a month. The next update is scheduled for September 2, 2016.
 
There was a moderate drought (D1) in a tiny portion of western Arkansas (Polk County) on 08/02/2016.

There were moderate drought (D1) conditions in a tiny portion of Polk County to begin August, 2016. It was abnormally dry (D0) in northeast, central, and southwest Arkansas.

 
Drought Conditions (Percent Area)
Category Coverage
None 62.71%
D0-D4 37.29%
D1-D4 0.08%
D2-D4 0%
D3-D4 0%
D4 0%
In the picture: There was a moderate drought (D1) in a tiny portion of western Arkansas (Polk County) on 08/02/2016.
 
 
Drought conditions as of 08/02/2016.
In the picture: Drought conditions as of 08/02/2016.
 

Across the United States, the most significant drought issues were in the west. Extreme to exceptional drought (D3/D4) conditions continued in California. Closer to home, drought conditions (D2/D3) were worsening in the southeast states (mainly Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi).

There were pockets of heavy rain locally in July. It was the wettest month of the year in Fayetteville (Washington County), and the 11th wettest July on record at Little Rock (Pulaski County). It was drier than average in parts of the southwest and also the northeast. In these areas, monthly rainfall was subpar by as much as one to two inches.

 

Precipitation in July, 2016
Site Amount Normal +/- % of Normal
Fayetteville (NW AR) 6.88 3.46 +3.42 199%
Harrison (NC AR) 5.24 3.14 +2.10 167%
Jonesboro (NE AR) 2.85 3.54 -0.69 81%
Fort Smith (WC AR) 3.65 3.30 +0.35 111%
Little Rock (C AR) 7.37 3.27 +4.10 225%
West Memphis (EC AR) 5.25 3.41 +1.84 154%
Texarkana (SW AR) 2.54 3.44 -0.90 74%
El Dorado (SC AR) 3.30 3.56 -0.26 93%
Pine Bluff (SE AR) 2.85 3.93 -1.08 73%

 

Three month departure from normal precipitation (May through July, 2016).
In the picture: Three month departure from normal precipitation (May through July, 2016).
 

From May through July, two to four inch rainfall deficits were common in the southwest. Amounts were in the minus category by 5.21 inches at El Dorado (Union County), 3.64 inches at Hot Springs (Garland County), 3.34 inches at Mena (Polk County), 2.55 inches at Texarkana (Miller County) and 2.23 inches at Pine Bluff (Jefferson County).

Through the seven months of the year, the northwest needed rain the most. Totals at Fayetteville (Washington County), Fort Smith (Sebastian County), and Harrison (Boone County) were four to six inches below average.

 

Precipitation in 2016 (Through July)
Site Amount Normal +/- % of Normal
Fayetteville (NW AR) 24.01 28.65 -4.64 84%
Harrison (NC AR) 21.35 25.38 -4.03 84%
Jonesboro (NE AR) 35.82 28.57 +7.25 125%
Fort Smith (WC AR) 22.77 26.77 -4.00 85%
Little Rock (C AR) 38.39 28.82 +9.57 133%
West Memphis (EC AR) 38.22 31.75 +6.47 120%
Texarkana (SW AR) 32.83 28.51 +4.32 115%
El Dorado (SC AR) 35.93 31.44 +4.49 114%
Pine Bluff (SE AR) 36.89 30.71 +6.18 120%

 

This followed the fifth wettest year (2015) on record. Many locations in the north/west had more than a foot of surplus water.

 

Precipitation in 2015
Site Amount Normal +/- % of Normal
Fayetteville (NW AR) 65.71 48.51 +17.20 135%
Harrison (NC AR) 62.64 44.14 +18.50 142%
Jonesboro (NE AR) 64.53 48.10 +16.43 134%
Fort Smith (WC AR) 73.93 45.46 +28.47 163%
Little Rock (C AR) 61.23 49.75 +11.48 123%
West Memphis (EC AR) 49.04 52.23 -3.19 94%
Texarkana (SW AR) 63.54 49.65 +13.89 128%
El Dorado (SC AR) 59.94 52.92 +7.02 113%
Pine Bluff (SE AR) 51.31 51.15 +0.16 100%

 

Drought outlook through October, 2016.
In the picture: Drought outlook through October, 2016.
 

It appears that the drought in the western U.S. and parts of the southeast will persist in the coming months, and may actually expand. Drought conditions are possible in parts of Arkansas through October, 2016.

Drought has been a common theme locally since 2010. The southwest has fared the worst, with slightly more than a six foot (73.11 inches) rainfall deficit at Texarkana (Miller County) in a five year span (through 2014).

 

Precipitation Statistics (2010-2014)
Site 2014 +/- 2013 +/- 2012 +/- 2011 +/- 2010 +/-
Fayetteville (NW AR) 39.08 -9.43 46.63 -1.88 34.29 -14.22 56.15 +7.64 42.15 -3.87
Harrison (NC AR) 41.20 -2.94 45.26 +1.12 29.53 -14.61 52.01 +7.87 46.12 +0.92
Jonesboro (NE AR) 44.15 -3.95 52.42 +4.32 33.57 -14.53 58.05 +9.95 32.22 -13.96
Fort Smith (WC AR) 42.14 -3.32 47.05 +1.59 33.94 -11.52 46.56 +1.10 35.27 -8.60
Little Rock (C AR) 48.13 -1.62 52.78 +3.03 42.25 -7.50 60.23 +10.48 36.52 -14.41
West Memphis (EC AR) 49.08 -3.15 54.47 +2.24 39.08 -13.15 55.95 +2.37 51.83 -0.97
Texarkana (SW AR) 35.24 -14.41 45.34 -4.31 32.07 -17.58 30.69 -18.96 29.53 -17.85
El Dorado (SC AR) 41.03 -11.89 47.49 -5.43 44.41 -8.51 37.62 -15.30 34.23 -19.88
Pine Bluff (SE AR) 41.41 -9.74 52.66 +1.51 45.69 -5.46 48.70 -2.45 31.97 -20.51

 

There were some drought breakers along the way, such as a deluge from mid-November to mid-December, 2011.

 

Thirty day rainfall through 600 am CST on 12/11/2011. Twelve to more than eighteen inches of rain was measured from Mena (Polk County) to Mount Ida (Montgomery County), Russellville (Pope County), Little Rock (Pulaski County), Jonesboro (Craighead County) and West Memphis (Crittenden County).
In the picture: Thirty day rainfall through 600 am CST on 12/11/2011.

 

Hurricane Isaac brought much needed rain to southern and eastern Arkansas in late August, 2012. Pine Bluff (Jefferson County) had 8.39 inches in the forty eight hour period ending at 700 am CDT on September 1st.

Hurricane Isaac was just off the coast of Louisiana at 425 pm CDT on 08/28/2012.
In the picture: Hurricane Isaac was just off the coast of Louisiana at 425 pm CDT on 08/28/2012.

 

In September, 2013, areas from Little Rock (Pulaski County) southward got two to four inches of rain, with locally over six inches on the 19th/20th. Some of these amounts exceeded what would normally be expected during the entire month. This busted a short term extreme (D3) drought that peaked just a few days prior to the rain.

 

Precipitation Trends

 

Streamflow and Soil Moisture
 
Most recent streamflow (values in the 25th to 75th percentile are normal)
Most recent soil moisture (values between 30 and 70 percent are normal)

 

Fire Danger

 

The Forecast

USA.gov is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.