LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- Another month has finished up for the year 2021! That means it is time to take a look back and see how we fared with the weather. For October, two words could sum it up: Warm & Dry.
Of course, we aren’t just going to leave it there. Let’s take a look at this more in detail. Let’s start with temperatures.
Temperatures: Looking at the image above, you can see there is a lot of red on that calendar. The red color represents a day recording above normal temperatures. Only six of the 31 days recorded below-normal temperatures with one day registering normal.
The average high temperature was 78° which was close to four degrees above normal. The average low temperature was 56.6° which is close to being five degrees above normal.
With multiple warm days and nights, we ended up with an overall average that was close to five degrees above normal. That made October 2021 the 13th warmest October on record for Little Rock. Temperature records date back to the late 1800s.
Why so warm? The persistent ridge of high pressure that was stubborn to break down had a lot to do with the late-season warmth. It is not uncommon to see this type of pattern into October if the months leading up to it were also warm and dry like August & September both reported.
Rainfall: Since August, we have recorded a deficit regarding rainfall here in Little Rock. Both August and September recorded less than 1.5″ of rainfall each month. Keep in mind, August and September are Little Rock’s driest months on average but typically not that dry.
As we navigated October, we did end up recording more rain than the last two months combined but still did not reach average. We stopped about 6/10ths of an inch shy of normal which is 3.89″. If you look at October’s rainfall total even closer, you will notice that most of the total fell on just two days. In total, only 14 of the 31 days measured rainfall.
For the fall season (Sept. 1- Nov. 30) we have only measured through October 31st, 4.99″ of rain. For the entire season, we should see somewhere close to 12.20″ of rain. November’s rainfall average is 4.72″. If we achieved our average rainfall for November, we would still need 2.49″ to meet the fall seasonal normal.
Cloud Cover: While there may not have been a lot of moisture in the form of rainfall, we certainly had it with respect to cloud cover. Little Rock observed 6 cloudy days with 17 partly to mostly cloudy sky conditions as well. Only 8 days reported sunny to mostly sunny conditions.
Looking Ahead: As we continue through the month of November, temperatures should cool from the 60s to the 50s for daytime high temps with overnight low temperatures starting in the 40s to eventually reaching the mid-30s by the end of the month.
As mentioned above, average rainfall does increase some as our jet stream pattern becomes more amplified and increases the number of low-pressure systems we see move through the area.
The Climate Prediction Center does showcase that near-normal values will be possible. We will just have to wait and see if this forecast pans out with what we’ve seen climatologically.