LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – As of Thursday, it has been 13 days since Little Rock has seen rain. The last rainfall measured was on June 10th with just over half an inch collected.
While there have been a few pop-up shower across the natural state in the last two weeks, most areas have remained completely dry while temperatures have sweltered.
You have probably heard terms such as “heat dome” or “heat wave” used over the last two weeks. That’s because Arkansas and much of the south have been dealing with these heat dome conditions for much of the middle of June.
To start off June, temperatures were fairly seasonal with highs for the most part in the mid to upper 80s. Temperatures really started to take off on the 12th. Almost every single day since then, temperatures have topped out in the 90s.
Little Rock even had its hottest temperatures of the week this year. On Wednesday, Little Rock hit the century mark, making it the first time they have hit 100° since September 1, 2021.
So how does this heat dome affect our rain chances? To answer this, we must look at the reason behind our heat dome.
A heat dome is essentially like a convective oven over an area. Scientifically, a heat dome is when a strong area of high pressure combines with the influence of La Niña. This creates an area of extreme heat trapped under the area of high pressure, making it a dome of heat.
Breaking that down, high pressure generally means calm and quiet weather. When high pressure dominates over Arkansas, we usually see clear and sunny skies. However, when an area of low pressure moves across the area, generally we see more active weather.
Therefore, since we are trapped under a “heat dome” that is an area of high pressure, we are experiencing quiet yet extremely warm conditions.
The good news is the current drought monitor shows that most of the state is currently not under any drought conditions. There is one small area that is abnormally dry in north central Arkansas.
It also looks like our rain chances across the state will increase headed into the weekend. While there continues to be the chance for a few isolated showers throughout the end of the week like we have seen the last few days, the best chance for widespread rain arrives on Sunday. With the rain chances on Sunday, a cold front is expected to move through the state. This front looks to finally put an end to our extremely hot temperatures.