LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- Summer is a time when people think of hot days with little in the way of rainfall so you hang out by a pool to stay cool. While we did have those days, we certainly had our fair share of busy weather.
We will start with how August, the last month of meteorological summer shaped up before taking a quick look at summer.
Let’s start with temperatures. Just looking at all of the blue, you can see much of the month was below normal as we had many days where both the high and low temperature stayed just under what we should see. Normally, high temps should be in the lower 90s, maxing out at 93. Low temperatures should bottom out in the middle 70s.
The hottest temperature we reached this month was 97° and that happened both on the 10th and 11th. We dropped down to 64° on two nights, the 6th and the 17th.
When you combine the high and low temperatures, the average for August was 80.3° which was below normal which makes it the fourth August in a row to have below normal monthly average.
Looking at rainfall, August is the month statistically speaking that should observe the least amount of rainfall given a typical weather pattern.
If you look at the calendar, we were on track to see very little rainfall until the tropics stirred up trouble. When you include Laura and the moisture belt that set up after that, we ended up with a little more than six inches of rainfall. That is nearly 3.5 inches more than what is normal and places August 2020 in the top 20 wettest August months on record. Records date back to the late 1800s.
With this August being above average as well, this is the 5th year in a row that August has recorded above-average rainfall.
As of the beginning of September, we are less than four inches away from our yearly normal.
Cloud cover was pretty standard for the month with much of the month see a good bit of sunshine. We only recorded two days that were fully cloudy.
Additional August Notes: When Tropical Storm Laura moved through Arkansas at the end of the month, it produced 8 tornadoes across east-central and northeast Arkansas.
We had more tornadoes confirmed in August 2020 than in the last 30 years of Augusts combined!
1990-2019 August total: 6
All tornadoes that have occurred in the month of August since 1950: 29
While astronomical fall is still a couple of weeks away, we are officially finished with meteorological summer which begins June 1 and ends August 31.
During this time frame, we observed yet another below normal summer with regards to temperatures. This is the fourth summer in a row that we’ve been below average.
There is something more significant to note about this summer as well. For Little Rock, we did not record a single 100° day. This is the first time since 1968 that we’ve had two back to back summers (2019-2020) that recorded no days at or above 100°.
Rainfall for the summer finished at 15.18″. Normal summer rainfall should be at 9.51″. With summer 2020 having above-average rainfall, this makes it the fifth summer recording a surplus.