• Todd Yakoubian

August 3rd, 2011 - The Day No One Beat The Heat

The heat won fair and square that day. Little Rock's all-time hottest temperature of 112° set in 1986 went down in flames that horrible August afternoon.


I logged into the National Weather Service chat room (Communication between media, emergency management, and the NWS) and watched Meteorologist John Robinson update the temperature at the Little Rock airport. Each line on the chat, my jaw dropped bit by bit. First we broke the 110° mark, then 111°, then 112°, then we reached the 114° record at 2:40 that afternoon and the humidity levels tanked. It was a classic lesson about the relationship between heat and humidity. When moisture is removed from the air and it dries out, the actual air temperature increases. When moisture is added to the air, it prevents the temperatures from sky rocketing. However, that moisture makes the "feels like" temperature outrageously high!



At 2:40PM, the temperature reached the all-time high of 114°. At that time, the moisture levels dropped and the heat index was only 116°. Then, the moisture returned after 3PM. The temperature dropped at 4PM to 111° and the heat index soared to 121°.


The entire state baked that day. Look at Fort Smith and Russellville reaching 115°. Meanwhile, West Memphis only reached 98°.


Here are the hottest temperatures that day with Silver Hill, Arkansas reaching an incredible 116°. The hottest temperature ever observed in Arkansas was in the town of Ozark of 120° on August 10th, 1936.

BELOW ARE TEMPERATURES AT LITTLE ROCK FOR AUGUST 2011. AFTER THE 8TH, THE HEAT BROKE.

Little Rock August 2011. After the 8th, the heat broke.



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