It’s been exceedingly rainy in 2023. Little Rock received over a half a foot of rain each month from January through April. This year has been so wet, we could be rain-free for months, and still land above average in rainfall until late September.

  • January picked up 8.07″ of rain, ending 4.57″ above average
  • February saw 7.62″ of rain, ending 3.64″ above average
  • March received 8.44″ of rain, ending 3.48″ above average
  • April had 9.87″ of rain, ending 4.28″ above average
  • May has seen 1.67″ of rain so far, falling 1.07″ below average as of May 16

Little Rock is the 4th wettest on record for the year as of mid-May. The airport picked up nearly three feet of rain so far at 35.67″. This is of the average yearly rainfall, less than halfway through 2023. This lands behind 1878 at 35.89″. Second place goes to 1950 at 36.25″, and 1882 takes first at 46.50″.

Rain is a good thing, but too much of it isn’t. It is important to pay close attention to river levels before a float trip. Water could be too high some days this Spring & Summer, especially for those who do not have much experience with floating, kayaking or canoeing.

Buffalo River near St Joe May 2021

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) provides info on Arkansas River levels. As of mid-May, overall levels on the Buffalo River are moderate. Boxley measures very low at less than three feet, but other locations have plenty of water for floating.

  • Buffalo at St. Joe: ~4 to 7 feet
  • Buffalo at Pruitt and Harriet: ~4 to 6 feet
  • Buffalo at Ponca: ~3 to 4 feet

Other popular rivers in Arkansas to float include:

Caddo River, which is popular for day-trips. Photo: Casey Crocker

Spring this year or days shortly following widespread thunderstorms through Summer will be when river levels are highest.


Download the Arkansas Storm Team app 

To make sure you are staying up-to-date with the forecast, download the Arkansas Storm Team app to get updates anywhere at any time. 

To watch the latest video updates from the Arkansas Storm Team, you can check them out here.

The Arkansas Storm Team is a collaboration of two stations to bring you the largest weather team in the state when covering Arkansas weather.

Follow the Arkansas Storm Team

Be alerted as soon as severe weather coverage begins by downloading the Arkansas Storm Team app from the App Store or on Google Play.