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
 
Please Note: Until drought conditions return, this page will be updated once a month. The next update is scheduled for September 4, 2015.

 

Drought Status
 
Other than abnormally dry conditions (D0) in extreme southwest Arkansas, there were no drought conditions across the state on 07/28/2015.

There were no drought conditions across Arkansas in late July, 2015.

 
Drought Conditions (Percent Area)
Category Coverage
None 99.95%
D0-D4 0.05%
D1-D4 0%
D2-D4 0%
D3-D4 0%
D4 0%
In the picture: Other than abnormally dry conditions (D0) in extreme southwest Arkansas, there were no drought conditions across the state on 07/28/2015.
 
 
A large ridge of high pressure ("H") over Arkansas edged to the southwest in the forty eight hour period ending at 07/21/2015.
700 am CDT (07/19)   |  700 am CDT (07/21)
In the picture: A large ridge of high pressure ("H") over Arkansas edged to the southwest in the forty eight hour period ending at 07/21/2015.
 

A ridge of high pressure was dominant from the southern Plains to the central Gulf Coast in July. Under the high, there were periods of very hot and dry conditions, with many places experiencing the first 100 degree readings of the summer. At times, the high strayed a little to the south and west, and this allowed cold fronts to edge into Arkansas from the north. This resulted in scattered to numerous showers and thunderstorms mainly north of Little Rock (Pulaski County). It was a different story farther south, with not so much rain. By the end of the month, much of the south had not received at least a half inch of liquid since the 4th of July weekend.

 

Precipitation in July, 2015
Site Amount Normal +/- % of Normal
Fayetteville (NW AR) 8.05 3.46 +4.59 233%
Harrison (NC AR) 6.62 3.14 +3.48 211%
Jonesboro (NE AR) 6.60 3.54 +3.06 186%
Fort Smith (WC AR) 8.79 3.30 +5.49 266%
Little Rock (C AR) 4.76 3.27 +1.49 146%
West Memphis (EC AR) 3.19 3.41 -0.22 94%
Texarkana (SW AR) 2.50 3.44 -0.94 73%
El Dorado (SC AR) 2.01 3.56 -1.55 56%
Pine Bluff (SE AR) 2.61 3.93 -1.32 66%

 

For the year so far, most of the region had above to much above normal precipitation. Parts of the west had more than a foot of surplus water. Amounts were several inches subpar in far east.

 

Precipitation in 2015 (Through July)
Site Amount Normal +/- % of Normal
Fayetteville (NW AR) 38.28 28.65 +9.63 134%
Harrison (NC AR) 35.09 25.38 +9.71 138%
Jonesboro (NE AR) 34.47 28.57 +5.90 121%
Fort Smith (WC AR) 45.17 26.77 +18.40 169%
Little Rock (C AR) 37.31 28.82 +8.49 129%
West Memphis (EC AR) 25.38 31.75 -6.37 80%
Texarkana (SW AR) 39.75 28.51 +11.24 139%
El Dorado (SC AR) 35.74 31.44 +4.30 114%
Pine Bluff (SE AR) 32.35 30.71 +1.64 105%

 

2014 ended with below normal numbers pretty much statewide, with yearly deficits over ten inches in some cases (especially in the southwest).

 

Precipitation in 2014
Site Amount Normal +/- % of Normal
Fayetteville (NW AR) 39.08 48.51 -9.43 81%
Harrison (NC AR) 41.20 44.14 -2.94 93%
Jonesboro (NE AR) 44.15 48.10 -3.95 92%
Fort Smith (WC AR) 42.14 45.46 -3.32 93%
Little Rock (C AR) 48.13 49.75 -1.62 97%
West Memphis (EC AR) 49.08 52.23 -3.15 94%
Texarkana (SW AR) 35.24 49.65 -14.41 71%
El Dorado (SC AR) 41.03 52.92 -11.89 78%
Pine Bluff (SE AR) 41.41 51.15 -9.74 81%

 

Drought conditions as of 07/28/2015.
In the picture: Drought conditions as of 07/28/2015.
 

The only big drought issues across the country were in the west. Exceptional drought (D4) conditions continued in California and western Nevada. There were signs of dryness in the southeast United States, with moderate/severe drought (D1/D2) from the Carolinas to parts of Florida.

 

Drought outlook through October, 2015.
In the picture: Drought outlook through October, 2015.
 

It appears that the drought in the west will continue in the coming months, with drought possibly persisting in parts of the southeast. The going forecast for Arkansas calls for no drought through October, 2015.

Drought has been a common theme locally since 2010. The southwest has fared the worst, with just short of a five foot (58.70 inches) rainfall deficit at Texarkana (Miller County) in a four year span (through 2013).

 

Precipitation Statistics (2010-2013)
Site 2013 +/- 2012 +/- 2011 +/- 2010 +/-
Fayetteville (NW AR) 46.63 -1.88 34.29 -14.22 56.15 +7.64 42.15 -3.87
Harrison (NC AR) 45.26 +1.12 29.53 -14.61 52.01 +7.87 46.12 +0.92
Jonesboro (NE AR) 52.42 +4.32 33.57 -14.53 58.05 +9.95 32.22 -13.96
Fort Smith (WC AR) 47.05 +1.59 33.94 -11.52 46.56 +1.10 35.27 -8.60
Little Rock (C AR) 52.78 +3.03 42.25 -7.50 60.23 +10.48 36.52 -14.41
West Memphis (EC AR) 54.47 +2.24 39.08 -13.15 55.95 +2.37 51.83 -0.97
Texarkana (SW AR) 45.34 -4.31 32.07 -17.58 30.69 -18.96 29.53 -17.85
El Dorado (SC AR) 47.49 -5.43 44.41 -8.51 37.62 -15.30 34.23 -19.88
Pine Bluff (SE AR) 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.

 

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). Thirty day rainfall through 600 am CST on 12/11/2011.
In the picture: Thirty day rainfall through 600 am CST on 12/11/2011.

 

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

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.

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

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