For those of you who were living in Arkansas and remember, the summer of 1980 was historic. I was only a few years old and remember it well. As a matter of fact it was one of my first memories as a kid. My birthday is on July 3rd and I got a my first bike. I wanted so badly to ride it outside, but my parents would not allow me because they thought the heat was too dangerous. So I rode it in the house instead. LOL. Even though we're suffering now, it will be hard to compare any summer to 1980.
Remember, I look for 3 ingredients to produce triple digit heat in Arkansas: A dry ground, strong high pressure, and ample sunshine. All of those came together perfectly for an extended period of time in 1980 to make it historic.
When you look at the first 6 months of 1980, 4 of those 6 months were below average in terms of rainfall with June the driest. In June of 1980, Little Rock received only .53'' of rainfall when the average was 3.50''. This helped to set the stage for a horrible, long, hot summer.
Here are some of the record from 1980...
- We set the record for consecutive 100 degree + days here in Little Rock at 15: July 5th - 19th.
- We had the 2nd most 100 degree days (42). The most occurred in 1954 (43)
- Little Rock had the most days at or above 105 degrees (10 days)
- The average seasonal temperature was 97.29 degrees which ranks 2nd behind 1954's 97.64 degrees. 3rd on that list is 2010 and 4th is 2011.
Below are the high and lows for everyday that summer from June through August. I have also dug up a few of the upper air charts as well. Enjoy this piece of weather history and hope we never repeat it!
|July 7th, 1980. Look at the strong ridge of high pressure centered directly on top of Arkansas. The jet stream was well displaced to the north. The pattern was stuck for weeks.|
|July 10th, 1980. There is little movement 3 days later|
|July 13th, 1980. It only amplifies and the heat rolled on.|