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 return, this page will be updated once a month. The next update is scheduled for July 1, 2016.
 
There was no drought in Arkansas on 05/31/2016.

There were no drought conditions in Arkansas to end May, 2016. It was abnormally dry (D0) in the northwest and far southeast.

 
Drought Conditions (Percent Area)
Category Coverage
None 94.01%
D0-D4 5.99%
D1-D4 0%
D2-D4 0%
D3-D4 0%
D4 0%
In the picture: There was no drought in Arkansas on 05/31/2016.
 
 
Drought conditions as of 05/31/2016.
In the picture: Drought conditions as of 05/31/2016.
 

Across the United States, the most significant drought issues were in the west. Extreme to exceptional drought (D3/D4) conditions continued in California and western Nevada.

Here at home, it was wet in May across northern sections of the state (especially the northeast). Jonesboro (Craighead County) got more than double the average rain. Otherwise, it was the driest month of the spring, with more minuses than pluses as far as departure from average. Amounts in El Dorado (Union County) were almost three inches subpar.

 

Precipitation in May, 2016
Site Amount Normal +/- % of Normal
Fayetteville (NW AR) 5.53 6.04 -0.51 92%
Harrison (NC AR) 3.49 4.69 -1.20 74%
Jonesboro (NE AR) 10.82 4.61 +6.21 235%
Fort Smith (WC AR) 3.70 5.47 -1.77 68%
Little Rock (C AR) 3.44 4.87 -1.43 71%
West Memphis (EC AR) 6.33 5.24 +1.09 121%
Texarkana (SW AR) 4.82 5.09 -0.27 95%
El Dorado (SC AR) 2.08 5.05 -2.97 41%
Pine Bluff (SE AR) 4.44 5.05 -0.61 88%

 

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

 

Precipitation in 2016 (Through May)
Site Amount Normal +/- % of Normal
Fayetteville (NW AR) 14.26 20.21 -5.95 71%
Harrison (NC AR) 12.83 18.00 -5.17 71%
Jonesboro (NE AR) 32.43 21.28 +11.15 152%
Fort Smith (WC AR) 17.21 19.19 -1.98 90%
Little Rock (C AR) 29.19 21.90 +7.29 133%
West Memphis (EC AR) 31.04 24.19 +6.85 128%
Texarkana (SW AR) 27.22 20.62 +6.60 132%
El Dorado (SC AR) 29.56 22.98 +6.58 129%
Pine Bluff (SE AR) 31.00 23.20 +7.80 134%

 

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

It appears that the drought in the western U.S. will persist in the coming months, and may actually expand. Drought development is also expected in the upper Midwest and northeast. No drought conditions are expected locally through August, 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

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