LITTLE ROCK, Ark – For the first two weeks of August Central Arkansas saw a break from temperatures in the triple digits. That all ended Monday when temperatures rose into the low 100s across the central and southern parts of the state.
So far summer 2022 has been one of the hottest on record. We saw 2 triple-digit days in June, 13 days in July, and just 1 day in August. Monday was not only the first day in the triple-digits it was also the hottest temperature since July 2016!
104° was high for four locations in Arkansas Monday but no new records were set. Russellville’s record for August 15th is 107° set in 1943, Fort Smith’s record is 106° in 1956, and De Queen also hit 107° in 1956. Here in Little Rock, the record was actually tied. In the last 142 years of records, Little Rock has hit 104° four separate times. First in 1943, then in 1954 and 2007, and lastly on Monday!
But why did we get so hot Monday? The temperature shot up so fast Monday afternoon because of wind direction and humidity. The days leading up to Monday were not as hot with low humidity. The low humidity allows for large swings in temperatures because water acts like an insulator in the air. That’s why when it’s really muggy out the temperature struggles to get above the mid 90s.
For a few hours Monday afternoon, the wind shifted from the North to the West, allowing drier air from the river valley to move into Little Rock. The dew point dropped from 70° to 66° and that’s when the temperature shot up to 104°!
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