LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – You may have noticed very little talk about tropical storms and hurricanes in the news lately and that’s because the tropics have been very quiet compared to the last few years.
So far during the 2022 hurricane season, there have been three named storms that reached tropical storm status (sustained winds 39 – 73 mph) and no hurricanes. The last named storm was Tropical Storm Colin which impacted the Carolinas the first few days of July.
The tropics have been quiet for the past few weeks, and according to the National Hurricane Center, there isn’t expected to be a storm formation for the next week.
Three named storms by the middle of July is average. The reason it feels so quiet is because of how busy the 2020 and 2021 seasons were. 2020 was the most active season ever with 30 named storms and by the middle of July, we already had 8. 2021 was a little less active with 21 named storms, but we already had named 5 by the beginning of July.
Since June 10th much of Arkansas has been extremely dry. Over the past few weeks, the drought conditions across the state have worsened significantly. In order to make a dent in this dry weather, we would need many days of rain or a tropical system to move over the state. Interestingly, since 2017 Arkansas has been impacted by a tropical storm or tropical depression every June or July.
In 2017 Tropical Storm Cindy made a direct path through Central Arkansas. In 2018 Tropical Storm Alberto brought rain to parts of Eastern Arkansas. In 2019 Hurricane Barry weakened into a tropical depression and made direct impact with all of the state. In 2020 we saw Cristobal in June and Laura at the beginning of August. Lastly, in 2021 Southeast Arkansas saw rain from Tropical Storm Claudette in June.
Much of the state saw rain and thunderstorms Sunday night, and many locations saw more than an inch, but we are still seeing abnormally dry and drought conditions across all of Arkansas.
The extended forecast outlooks continue to look very hot and dry through the rest of July, and that’s why a tropical system would be extremely helpful for the drought.
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The Arkansas Storm Team is a collaboration of two stations to bring you the largest weather team in the state when covering Arkansas weather.