Climate and monthly weather forecast
Arkansas, USA

Flag of Arkansas, USA
Flag of Arkansas, USA

The climate of Arkansas

Arkansas climate is mainly humid subtropical (Köppen climate classification Cfa) with hot and humid summers and mild to cool winters. Arkansas lies in the southeastern corner of the United States. Tennessee and Mississippi to the east, Louisiana to the south, Texas to the southwest, Oklahoma to the west, and Missouri to the north share borders with the state. The warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the southern latitudes, and the Ozark Mountains chiefly influence the climate of Arkansas.

Arkansas, the Natural State, has an average elevation of 200 meters above sea level. Mount Magazine is the highest peak at 839 meters, while the lowest elevation in the state is 17 meters at the Ouachita River on the Louisiana border. A dividing line that runs from the northeast to the southwest cuts the state into two geographical regions. The region to the north and west of the line is mainly hilly or mountainous with relatively colder but greater temperature extremes. The Ozarks and the Ouachita Mountains are part of the Southern Interior Highlands in the northwest. The region to the south and east of the line consists of lowlands, including the Arkansas Delta and the Gulf Coastal Plain. The Arkansas River is the chief river in the state.

Summers are warm and humid in Arkansas, with average high temperatures 93°F (33.9°C) at the peak of July. Temperatures often exceed 100°F (37.8°C) during the summer and occasionally reach 110°F (43.3°C) in the south. Winters are mild but occasionally register temperatures below freezing. The average high temperatures in January are 51°F (10.6°C) and lows drop up to 32°F (0°C) in many places. Spring has comfortable temperatures, but frost and freezes are not ruled out till the latter part of the season. Autumn has mild and sunny weather in the east and southern parts, which is ideal for the harvest of rice and cotton. Autumn is generally the driest part of the year.

The average annual rainfall in Arkansas ranges from 40" (1016mm) to 60" (1524mm), with the southeast portion and the Ozark and Ouachita Mountains wetter than the rest. Winter is the wettest period of the year in the south, while spring brings the most rainfall in the north. Snowfall infrequently occurs in the northern half of the state, while occasional ice storms occur in the south. The average relative humidity is high and ranges from 85% in the morning to 55% during summer afternoons. The average annual sunshine lasts for 2800 hours in Arkansas. The growing season lasts from 180 days in the northwest to 230 days in the southeast.

Ozark recorded the highest temperature in Arkansas of 120°F (48.9°C) on August 10, 1936, while the coldest temperature on record is -29°F (-33.9°C) in Gravette on February 13, 1905.

The best time to visit Arkansas

The best time to visit Arkansas is during the fall season when the weather is mild and the days are sunny. Autumn is the driest season of the year, with beautiful outdoor conditions. The land is colorful, and it is one of the best times of the year to hike the mountain trails. The storm season is on the wane, the atmosphere is refreshing and, and the evenings tend to be breezy. The northern hilly regions tend to be colder than the southern portions of the state. Fishing and hunting attract considerable interest, and the harvest season is the time of food festivals.

The worst time to visit Arkansas

The worst time to visit Arkansas is during the peak of summer when the heat is oppressive. July and August also bring heavy rainfall and frequent thunderstorms. The monsoon sees a rise in humidity that makes the conditions uncomfortable. Temperatures often reach north of 100°F (37.8°C), and afternoons are worst for outdoor movement. The remnants of tropical storms from the Gulf of Mexico frequently reach the interior of the state even though the results are not devastating. It is a good idea to wait out the hot summer in Arkansas for the pleasant conditions of the autumn.

Weather hazards

Arkansas is prone to thunderstorms, floods, droughts, and tornadoes. June and July report the highest frequency of thunderstorms, which average 60 in a year. Arkansas has a history of a few of the most destructive storms in the United States due to its location in the Tornado Alley. Hail, snow, and ice storms occur in a typical year, while the melting of snow and abundant rainfall results in floods. Floods frequently occur along the White, Black, and Ouachita rivers during spring but are rarely disastrous. Severe droughts of long duration occasionally occur in the drier portions of the state. Winter storms rarely occur, but dump several " of snow and make the roads icy.

Weather in January

January is usually the coldest month of the year in Arkansas, with the average low temperatures between 24°F (-4.4°C) to 34°F (1.1°C). The days are mild, with little difference in the different regions of the state, while the nights regularly drop below freezing. Weather in January »

Weather in February

February is wet and mildly cold in Arkansas, with partly cloudy skies that fetch 4" (102mm) to 5" (127mm) of rainfall. The average low temperatures are between 29°F (-1.7°C) to 38°F (3.3°C), while the average low temperatures are in the comfortable 51°F (10.6°C) to 60°F (15.6°C) range. Weather in February »

Weather in March

March is warm at the beginning of the spring season in Arkansas that also brings 4" (102mm) to 5" (127mm) of precipitation statewide. Snowfall is rare except for the northern mountains where it lasts till mid-spring. Northern Arkansas experiences freezing nights occasionally, but the rest of the state rarely sees them. The average high temperatures are in the lovely range of 59°F (15°C) to 68°F (20°C), with refreshing mornings and mild evenings. Weather in March »

Weather in April

April sees the advance of the beautiful spring season in Arkansas, with plenty of sunshine and long daylight hours. Day temperatures are in the warm 71°F (21.7°C) to 79°F (26.1°C) zone, while nights are mild between 44°F (6.7°C) to 51°F (10.6°C). Weather in April »

Weather in May

May is sunny at the end of the spring season in Arkansas but also brings heavy rainfall in the northern hilly regions. The temperatures and humidity see a significant increase in late spring, and nights are mild. The average high temperatures are in the warm zone of 76°F (24.4°C) to 82°F (27.8°C), with the end of the snow season in the mountains. Weather in May »

Weather in June

June is the start of the hot and humid summer season in Arkansas, with long days amid soaring heat. Day temperatures are in the hot zone of 83°F (28.3°C) to 92°F (33.3°C), while nights are mild between 62°F (16.7°C) to 70°F (21.1°C). Weather in June »

Weather in July

July is peak summer in Arkansas, with average temperatures soaring to a high of 92°F (33.3°C) amid high humidity levels. The northern regions are slightly colder than the rest of the state, which regularly sees temperatures above the 100°F (37.8°C) mark at the height of summer. The growing season is long, and the shower type of rain in the summer renders useful aid to the growth of crops. Weather in July »

Weather in August

August is hot and humid in Arkansas, with ample sunshine and mostly clear skies. The average high temperatures are in the hot zone of 89°F (31.7°C) to 95°F (35°C) range, while the average low temperatures are in the warm 65°F (18.3°C) to 72°F (22.2°C) range. August receives 3" (76mm) to 4" (102mm) of moderate but lies in the tornado season. Weather in August »

Weather in September

September is the beginning of the beautiful autumn season of Arkansas, which brings color to the landscape. The average high temperatures are in the warm range of 80°F (26.7°C) to 89°F (31.7°C), while the average low temperatures are in the comfortable range of 57°F (13.9°C) to 64°F (17.8°C). Weather in September »

Weather in October

October is slam-bang in the middle of the autumn season in Arkansas when the fall foliage is at its peak. The average temperatures are in the pleasant 51°F (10.6°C) to 80°F (26.7°C) range, with breezy evenings. The valleys and mountains show hues of gold, crimson, and orange. Fall vacations are popular in Arkansas as visitors compete to capture nature in its colorful glory. Weather in October »

Weather in November

November is mild in Arkansas, with the fall season on the verge of retreat. The daylight lasts for 11 hours, and the daily sunshine is a reasonable 6 to 7 hours. Jonesboro in eastern Arkansas registers cold to mild temperatures between 38°F (3.3°C) to 60°F (15.6°C), while Little Rock in the central region is between 42°F (5.6°C) to 63°F (17.2°C). Weather in November »

Weather in December

December is the start of the mild to the cold winter season in Arkansas, with daily sunshine of 6 hours. The precipitation is in the range of 4" (102mm) to 5" (127mm), and it is prudent to carry a rain jacket when outdoors. Snowfall is usually light in the northern region and rare in the rest of the state. The average high temperatures are in the mild 47°F (8.3°C) to 58°F (14.4°C) range, while the average low temperatures are in the cold 26°F (-3.3°C) to 36°F (2.2°C) zone. Weather in December »


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