Summer weather outlook

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- June 1st kicks off for a lot of things. It is the start of a new month, hurricane season, and meteorological summer.

In this article, we are going to focus on meteorological summer for Arkansas.

What is meteorological summer?

Since astronomical season start dates can fluctuate and happen towards the middle of a month, that would cause seasonal record data to be more difficult to look at over the span of several years. To simplify and keep record data cleaner, meteorological seasons start on the first day of the same month a new astronomical season begins. That date never changes so you will always have the same start point for data with any year you look at in history.

Little Rock Summer Stats:

When looking ahead, it is important to have a baseline so we can understand where temperatures and rainfall should range. This can tell us whether or not we are running near, above, or below normal.

As you can see above, the average high temperature should be near 91 degrees. This average would be calculated from adding all of the high temps and dividing it by the number of days during the summer period. The same applies to the average low.

90 & 100 degree days:

This topic is always of interest during this time of the year.

Let’s start with 90° days first. Based on climate records, the average first 90° day should be May 18th. As of the writing of this article on June 2nd, we have failed to officially reach 90°. The latest first 90° day to ever be recorded was June 20th set back in 1910. Based on the latest forecast data, we could get close to that date before we reach it.

Moving through the summer months, we should record 76 days with temperatures being at or above 90°.

100 degree days:

It has been 1053 days since Little Rock recorded its last 100°+ day on July 15th, 2018. That is significant! It is the 11th longest stretch on record for Little Rock. Record keeping started back in the late 1800s. Based on the latest forecast, we will make it into the top 10 list.

One of the main reasons it has been a long time is likely due to a wetter than normal summer period. When we have more moisture to work with, it makes it more difficult to have higher temperatures with high humidity. Now, it may feel like it is 100°+ with all that moisture but that is a different matter.

On average, we should normally record eight 100°+ days a year with the typical first day being July 17th.

If we make it through the end of 2021 without recording a single 100°+ day, it would be three years in a row. The last time we had a stretch that long was 1948-50. The longest stretch on record of recording no 100°+ days was six years, 1888-1893.

Summer Temperature and Rain Outlook:

Looking ahead to summer 2021, the Climate Prediction Center shows Arkansas having a small chance of observing warmer than normal temperatures. If we deal with timely rainfall events, we could see 100°+ days being less likely but it will be very humid.

As far as rainfall is concerned, CPC is giving us equal chances of either being normal, below, or above with rainfall. For the summer months, the average rainfall amount is 10.04″.

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