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2:30 PM Saturday Update... Well, I'm off work this weekend, but here I am blogging, tweeting, etc. It's just too dang hot to do much outside. I took the family up to Guy to pick peaches and apples Saturday morning. Just a few minutes out in the fields and we were sweating like crazy.
As I write this, it's 105 in Little Rock and the record is 106. I have little doubt we'll tie then break the record today. More of the same Sunday can be expected with triple digit heat returning. The record high Sunday is 108 set in 1930. Monday's record high temperature is 108 set in 1986. Sadly, these will be challenged.
I'm not a firefighter or will pretend to know much about the fire danger. But as a meteorologist, the conditions over the next few days will be favorable for wildfires to easily start. Despite recent rain, it's still extremely dry across the state. Add the hot temperatures and the potential for some afternoon wind, and in my opinion, the fire danger IS EXTREME. Please be careful.
I talked with meteorologist John Lewis at the National Weather Service office in North Little Rock today. He brought up an interesting point and just posted some information on their website. READ THIS....
"Summer drought conditions can make it very difficult to keep the grass green and flowers blooming. Periodic watering can help, but it is an uphill battle without a good soaking rain. While the intent of watering is keep plants from turning brown, the foundation of your home may also benefit.
As dry weather continues, soil moisture decreases. This depletion of moisture is most dramatic around trees, which consume more moisture than the surrounding lawn. As the soil loses water, it shrinks and pulls away from the foundation. In time, this leaves room for the foundation to settle, and problems could develop in the home (i.e. cracks in bricks/mortar and drywall, doors not opening/closing correctly, etc).
Without using excessive amounts of water, there are ways to help protect foundations. During the Texas Drought of 2011, there were reports of homeowners using soaker hoses to keep the soil wet around foundations. Root barriers are an option to keep large trees near homes from searching under the foundation for moisture."
That's kinda scary and I hope it doesn't come to that.
FOR MORE GREAT INFORMATION ABOUT THE EXTREME HEAT AND DROUGHT, THE NWS HAS MORE INFORMATION. CLICK HERE.
What little rainfall we had Thursday afternoon and evening will do little to hold down temperatures. The ground is so dry that it will soak up whatever water it can efficiently. Also, evaporation rates are quite high. These droughts are usually very slow to come out of with little dents in it along the way. What happened Thursday wasn't even a dent, it was a minor ding in the bumper.
The weekend is looking very hot with triple digit temperatures likely once again. We have had 17 days of 100 degree + temperatures. It will only take 1 more to put us in the top 8 number of 100 degree days in a single summer.
We have had 6, 105 degree+ days so far which ties other years for the 3rd most in a single summer. It's possible to exceed 105 degrees this weekend which could vault us to number 2 on the list and that would tie the year 2000.
As far as daily record high temperatures in Little Rock this weekend.
The record high for Saturday is 106 in 1986
The record high for Sunday is 108 in 1930.
These COULD be challenged.
The wildfire danger will once again be extreme despite the recent rainfall. With temperatures that high, it won't take much to rapidly dry the ground out again.
On Wednesday, a huge wildfire in Yell county caused hundreds to be evacuated. The fire was so big, the smoke could be seen on radar from North Little Rock. Check out the video below from that afternoon.
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