Record high temperatures spread across Arkansas Friday. This is the result of several factors including a large ridge of high pressure in the upper levels of the atmosphere over the Plains, West winds at the surface bringing in the super-heated air from Oklahoma as well as the ongoing drought. Temperatures exceeded 105 in many spots across Central Arkansas with readings as high as 110. Below are the high temperatures recorded across the State Friday afternoon.
Little Rock hit 108 degrees, breaking the record high of 105 set in 1974. This ties for the third hottest temperature recorded in Little Rock during the month of July. North Little Rock tied its record high of 104 set in 2006. Russellville and Hot Springs hit 109 with 110 recorded in Arkadelphia.
Humidity was also a factor making the heat excruciating for most of the day. Heat Index values reached 113 in Little Rock with some spots recording heat index values over 115. A heat index over 105 is considered dangerous heat. Below is a graph of the heat index throughout the day in Little Rock
The heat index in Little Rock reached the danger category shortly after 11 AM and remained well over 105 throughout the rest of the day into the evening hours.
Some relief is in sight for the weekend as our wind direction switches from West to Northeast and East. This will push the hottest of the air back West, but high temperatures will remain near triple digits through the weekend. Heat index values will top out around 100-105 Saturday and Sunday, just below the danger threshold and heat advisory criteria.