National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce
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
 
There was no drought in Arkansas on 08/01/2017.

There were no drought conditions in Arkansas to begin August. Next Page Update: September 8

 
Drought Conditions (Percent Area)
Category Coverage
None 99.69%
D0-D4 0.31%
D1-D4 0%
D2-D4 0%
D3-D4 0%
D4 0%
In the picture: There was no drought in Arkansas on 08/01/2017.
 
As of August 5th, there was a low fire danger statewide and no burn bans posted. 
 
 
Drought conditions as of 08/01/2017.
In the picture: Drought conditions as of 08/01/2017.
 

Across the country, a severe to exceptional drought (D2 to D4) existed from eastern Montana into the Dakotas. There was a moderate drought (D1) in small portions of the central and western United States.

 

National precipitation percentiles from January through July, 2017.
In the pictures: National precipitation percentiles from January through July, 2017.
 

The drought to the north was the result of record or near record dry conditions through the first seven months of the year. Elsewhere, it was wetter than usual across much of the nation.

In Arkansas, it was a wet July at most locations. Precipitation totals were highest in the southwest. At Texarkana (Miller County), for example, amounts were more than four inches above average. It was dry by an inch or more in the far northwest and parts of the east. This included El Dorado (Union County), Fayetteville (Washington County), and Jonesboro (Craighead County).

 

Precipitation in July, 2017
Site Amount Normal +/- % of Normal
Fayetteville (NW AR) 2.19 3.46 -1.27 63%
Harrison (NC AR) 3.63 3.14 +0.49 116%
Jonesboro (NE AR) 1.53 3.54 -2.01 43%
Fort Smith (WC AR) 4.53 3.30 +1.23 137%
Little Rock (C AR) 4.76 3.27 +1.49 146%
West Memphis (EC AR) 2.48 3.41 -0.93 73%
Texarkana (SW AR) 7.65 3.44 +4.21 222%
El Dorado (SC AR) 2.36 3.56 -1.20 66%
Pine Bluff (SE AR) 3.16 3.93 -0.77 80%

 

Yearly (2017) amounts through July were above average in much of the region, especially the northwest (by at least a half foot). Parts of western Arkansas (mainly the Ouachita Mountains) and the far southeast were short on water (by at least four inches in some cases), including West Memphis (Crittenden County).

 

Precipitation in 2017 (Through July)
Site Amount Normal +/- % of Normal
Fayetteville (NW AR) 37.18 28.65 +8.53 130%
Harrison (NC AR) 33.08 25.38 +7.70 130%
Jonesboro (NE AR) 31.47 28.57 +2.90 110%
Fort Smith (WC AR) 35.11 26.77 +8.34 131%
Little Rock (C AR) 33.82 28.82 +5.00 117%
West Memphis (EC AR) 28.36 31.75 -3.39 89%
Texarkana (SW AR) 30.75 28.51 +2.24 108%
El Dorado (SC AR) 31.84 31.44 +0.40 101%
Pine Bluff (SE AR) 33.91 30.71 +3.20 110%

 

Departure from average precipitation in 2016.
In the picture: Departure from average precipitation in 2016.
 

For all of 2016, umbrellas did not come out much in the northwest. Precipitation totals at Fayetteville (Washington County) and Fort Smith (Sebastian County) were over fourteen inches below average.

 

Precipitation in 2016
Site Amount Normal +/- % of Normal
Fayetteville (NW AR) 33.37 48.51 -15.14 69%
Harrison (NC AR) 35.41 44.14 -8.73 80%
Jonesboro (NE AR) 52.56 48.10 +4.46 109%
Fort Smith (WC AR) 31.18 45.46 -14.28 69%
Little Rock (C AR) 56.12 49.75 +6.37 113%
West Memphis (EC AR) 53.02 52.23 +0.79 102%
Texarkana (SW AR) 49.33 49.65 -0.32 99%
El Dorado (SC AR) 61.64 52.92 +8.72 116%
Pine Bluff (SE AR) 54.38 51.15 +3.23 106%

 

Drought outlook through October, 2017.
In the picture: Drought outlook through October, 2017.
 

Through October, 2017, the drought in the northern Rockies/northern Plains may stick around and possibly worsen. The same is true in the southwest. For the remainder of the country, no significant drought problems are expected.

Drought has been a common theme locally since 2011. The southwest has fared the worst, with a three to four foot (41.37 inches) rainfall deficit at Texarkana (Miller County) in a five year span (through 2015).

 

Precipitation Statistics (2011-2015)
Site 2015 +/- 2014 +/- 2013 +/- 2012 +/- 2011 +/-
Fayetteville (NW AR) 65.71 +17.20 39.08 -9.43 46.63 -1.88 34.29 -14.22 56.15 +7.64
Harrison (NC AR) 62.64 +18.50 41.20 -2.94 45.26 +1.12 29.53 -14.61 52.01 +7.87
Jonesboro (NE AR) 64.53 +16.43 44.15 -3.95 52.42 +4.32 33.57 -14.53 58.05 +9.95
Fort Smith (WC AR) 73.93 +28.47 42.14 -3.32 47.05 +1.59 33.94 -11.52 46.56 +1.10
Little Rock (C AR) 61.23 +11.48 48.13 -1.62 52.78 +3.03 42.25 -7.50 60.23 +10.48
West Memphis (EC AR) 49.04 -3.19 49.08 -3.15 54.47 +2.24 39.08 -13.15 55.95 +2.37
Texarkana (SW AR) 63.54 +13.89 35.24 -14.41 45.34 -4.31 32.07 -17.58 30.69 -18.96
El Dorado (SC AR) 59.94 +7.02 41.03 -11.89 47.49 -5.43 44.41 -8.51 37.62 -15.30
Pine Bluff (SE AR) 51.31 +0.16 41.41 -9.74 52.66 +1.51 45.69 -5.46 48.70 -2.45

 

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