Climate Data
Yearly Reports
Interested in what kind of weather occurred in a recent year? Check out the most memorable events below.
 
Summer of 2011
 
Summer average temperature records were set at nine locations in 2010, mainly in the southeast half of Arkansas.

It was extremely hot in the summer (June through August) of 2010. Numerous records were set, including a top sizzling average temperature of 85.8 degrees at Little Rock (Pulaski County). This eclipsed other notable averages in 1954 (85.4 ºF) and 1980 (84.8 ºF).

In the picture: Summer average temperature records were set at nine locations in 2010, mainly in the southeast half of Arkansas.

 

Much like 2010, this summer started off abnormally warm. High pressure built over Arkansas in early June, and was a frequent visitor through July and August.
A ridge of high pressure ("HIGH") was over Arkansas on 06/03/2011.
In the picture: A ridge of high pressure ("HIGH") was over Arkansas on 06/03/2011. Clockwise flow around the high drove storm systems and fronts well to the north of the state...leaving the region hot and mostly dry.

 

In the end, readings this summer were comparable to 2010 (which was brutal). It was a record hot summer in portions of the south and west in areas like Fort Smith (Sebastian County) and Texarkana (Miller County). It was generally drier than a year ago, with record dry conditions in the southwest.

In brief, the region experienced one of the top 5 hottest summers on record...and one of the top 5 driest in some spots.

 

  2011 2010
Site Avg Temp/Rank (Hottest) Rain/Rank (Driest) Avg Temp/Rank (Hottest) Rain/Rank (Driest)
Fayetteville (NW AR) 81.9°(1) 5.55"(3) 79.9°(4) 11.87"(NA)
Harrison (NC AR) 81.4°(2) 5.24"(2) 80.2°(4) 13.69"(NA)
Jonesboro (NE AR) 83.6°(5) 5.96"(18) 83.9°(2) 4.32"(5)
Fort Smith (WC AR) 88.2°(1) 4.79"(11) 85.1°(3) 10.10"(NA)
Little Rock (C AR) 85.3°(3) 7.01"(NA) 85.8°(1) 5.08"(8)
West Memphis (EC AR) 83.0°(3) 5.24"(5) 83.6°(1) 10.23"(NA)
Texarkana (SW AR) 87.3°(1) 1.83"(1) 84.3°(3) 7.37"(NA)
El Dorado (SC AR) 85.3°(2) 4.87"(7) 84.1°(8) 9.50"(NA)
Pine Bluff (SE AR) 84.4°(1) 5.93"(7) 84.4°(1) 7.27"(16)
Note: Temperature, rainfall and ranks are from June 1st through August 31st. "NA" means not in the Top 20.

 

The heat was especially intense over the western counties. Temperatures reached the century mark 50 times at Texarkana (Miller County) and DeQueen (Sevier County), and 48 times at Fort Smith (Sebastian County).

 

Hundred degree days in 2011 (through August).

While the situation was bad in Arkansas, it was even worse in Oklahoma and Texas. For the year (through August), there were 93 days of triple digit temperatures at San Angelo, TX. This shattered the previous record (60 days). At Midland, TX...there was a grand total of 0.61 inch of rain.

In the picture: Hundred degree days in 2011 (through August).

 

In early August, the heat got dangerous. On the 3rd, high temperatures across the region were mostly between 105 and 115 degrees. There was an all-time record high of 114 degrees at Little Rock (Pulaski County) and 115 degrees at Fort Smith (Sebastian County). Afternoon heat index values topped 120 degrees in eastern sections of the state.

 

Record Heat on August 3, 2011
Site High Temp Lowest Dewpoint/RH Highest Heat Index
Fayetteville (NW AR) 110°! 59°/20% 110°
Harrison (NC AR) 112°! 56°/17% 109°
Mountain Home (NC AR) 114° 57°/17% 112°
Jonesboro (NE AR) 107° 72°/33% 119°
Fort Smith (WC AR) 115°! 50°/11% 113°
Little Rock (C AR) 114°! 61°/18% 120°
West Memphis (EC AR) 105° 75°/40% 120°
Mount Ida (WC AR) 112° 62°/21% 112°
Hot Springs (C AR) 108° 64°/25% 112°
Pine Bluff (SE AR) 110° 67°/26% 117°
Texarkana (SW AR) 111° 63°/21% 113°
El Dorado (SC AR) 108° 66°/27% 113°
Monticello (SE AR) 107° 69°/31% 115°
Note: "!" is all-time record high temperature. Temperatures were hottest in western Arkansas as the atmosphere dried out (relative humidity dropped). Heat index values were highest in the east where humidity levels stayed up.

 

Link of Interest
More Heat Records

 

Given hot and dry conditions, the ground water supply decreased and drought conditions expanded northward. Fortunately, the weather pattern changed.

A ridge of high pressure ("H") built from Arkansas into the southwest United States heading into the second week of August, 2011.
In the picture: A ridge of high pressure ("H") built from Arkansas into the southwest United States heading into the second week of August, 2011.

 

There was at least some temporary relief heading into mid-August as high pressure relocated to the southwest United States. This allowed storm systems to arrive from the northwest.

 

One hundred forty four hour (six day) rainfall through 700 am CDT on 08/13/2011.

There were better chances for rain and below normal temperatures, especially in northern/eastern Arkansas away from the high. The high temperature at Little Rock (Pulaski County) was only 78 degrees on the 11th! 

In the picture: One hundred forty four hour (six day) rainfall through 700 am CDT on 08/13/2011. There was a swath of two to more than five inches from Fayetteville (Washington County) and Harrison (Boone County) to Russellville (Pope County), Little Rock (Pulaski County) and Monticello (Drew County).

 

A Cooler and Wetter Trend in August, 2011
Site Avg Temp
(Aug 1-8)
Rain
(Aug 1-8)
Avg Temp
(Aug 9-15)
Rain
(Aug 9-15)
Fayetteville (NW AR) 90.9° 0.34" 76.0° 3.41"
Harrison (NC AR) 88.8° 1.24" 75.1° 1.69"
Jonesboro (NE AR) 88.0° 0.07" 80.1° 0.60"
Fort Smith (WC AR) 95.2° 0.54" 82.8° 2.77"
Little Rock (C AR) 92.7° 1.02" 79.6° 3.10"
West Memphis (EC AR) 87.4° 0.53" 79.4° 0.27"
Texarkana (SW AR) 94.7° 0.00" 87.4° TRACE
El Dorado (SC AR) 91.4° 0.19" 85.4° 0.40"
Pine Bluff (SE AR) 91.6° 0.08" 79.6° 2.65"

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