Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

23

counties with USDA Drought Disaster Designations (primary)

~39,500

Arkansas residents in areas of drought, according to the Drought Monitor

51st

wettest April on record (since 1895)

31st

wettest January—April on record (since 1895)

Current Arkansas Drought Maps

Drought & Dryness Categories
% of AR
10.4
2.5
0.0
0.0
0.0
2.5
Drought Change Since Last Week
Dry Conditions
Wet Conditions
Dry Conditions
Wet Conditions

Experimental
Experimental

Drought in Arkansas

Arkansas’ climate is primarily humid sub-tropical, with humid continental conditions occurring in some of the northern highland areas. In general, there is ample water for agriculture, industry, transportation, municipal systems, and recreation. However, during mid to late summer, decreased precipitation and rising temperatures can lead to periods of water scarcity. Drought is not limited to the summer months and can occur at any time during the year, including “flash” (rapid onset) droughts.

Irrigation and abundant surface and groundwater sources can provide resilience to most mild drought in Arkansas. However, severe and persistent drought greatly impacts agriculture, including row crop and pasture; poultry and cattle; and transportation and recreation. Seasonal timing in the spring can influence the productivity of crops in fall and, in turn, the financial security of the agricultural sector. This influences the ability for ranchers to provide feed to cattle, resulting in the sale of herds. In addition, severe drought impacts the ability to transport goods through the state along the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers McClellan-Kerr System on the Arkansas River. This also impacts industry and states upstream who utilize the Arkansas River for transporting goods to the Mississippi River.

NIDIS supports eight regional Drought Early Warning Systems (DEWS) throughout the United States. In addition, NIDIS supports states outside these regions, like Arkansas, by delivering drought early warning information through Drought.gov; investing in drought research to address key scientific and societal needs; and supporting the development of new tools and products that serve the entire nation. 

Arkansas State Drought Resources

Arkansas Current Conditions

A number of physical indicators are important for monitoring drought, such as precipitation & temperature, water supply (e.g., streamflow, reservoirs), and soil moisture. Learn more about monitoring drought.

Arkansas Precipitation Conditions

Inches of Precipitation
Percent of Normal Precipitation (%)
100%
Percent of Normal Precipitation (%)
100%

Arkansas Temperature Conditions

Maximum Temperature (°F)
60
Departure from Normal Max Temperature (°F)
0
Departure from Normal Max Temperature (°F)
0

Arkansas Streamflow Conditions

Streamflow Conditions
Streamflow Conditions
Streamflow Conditions

Arkansas Soil Moisture Conditions

20 cm Soil Moisture Percentile
70
100
0–100 cm Soil Moisture Percentile
70
100

Outlooks & Forecasts for Arkansas

Predicting drought in Arkansas depends on the ability to forecast precipitation and temperature within the context of complex climate interactions. View more outlooks & forecasts.

Future Precipitation & Temperature Conditions

Predicted Inches of Precipitation
1.75
Probability of Below-Normal Precipitation
100%
Probability of Above-Normal Precipitation
100%
Probability of Below-Normal Temperatures
100%
Probability of Above-Normal Temperatures
100%

Drought Outlooks for Arkansas

Drought Is Predicted To...
Drought Is Predicted To...

Historical Drought Conditions in Arkansas

Drought is a normal climate pattern that has occurred in varying degrees of length, severity, and size throughout history. Below, you can look back at past drought conditions for Arkansas according to 3 historical drought indices. The U.S. Drought Monitor is a weekly map that shows the location and intensity of drought across the country since 2000. The Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) is a monthly depiction of drought based on precipitation. And the paleoclimate data uses tree-ring reconstructions to estimate drought conditions before we had widespread instrumental records. View more historical conditions.

U.S. Drought Monitor

The U.S. Drought Monitor (2000–present) depicts the location and intensity of drought across the country. Every Thursday, authors from NOAA, USDA, and the National Drought Mitigation Center produce a new map based on their assessments of the best available data and input from local observers. The map uses five categories: Abnormally Dry (D0), showing areas that may be going into or are coming out of drought, and four levels of drought (D1–D4). Learn more.

Drought Resources for Arkansas

Stay Informed: Local Drought Updates

Drought Alert Emails
Get email updates when U.S. Drought Monitor conditions change for your location or a new drought outlook is released.

Dry Times Bi-Weekly Drought Newsletter
Issued every other Thursday, Dry Times is an email newsletter with the latest drought news, events, and data & maps.

Get Involved: Submit Local Drought Impacts

Drought in your area? Tell us how drought is impacting your community by submitting a condition monitoring report. Your submissions help us better understand how drought is affecting local conditions.