The latest U.S. Drought Monitor shows much of Western Arkansas in a deepening drought. The River Valley has seen an increase to D1 drought condition, an increase from D0 last month. The map to the right shows observed rainfall for the past 90 days; near average for parts of the River Valley and below normal for much of Northwest Arkansas.
Heavy rain in Northeast Oklahoma and Northwest Arkansas at the beginning of June has temporarily relieved drought conditions Washington and Benton County. But there are warning signs that the drought could roar back in Northwest Arkansas. Even though heavy rains brought temporary relief from low-end drought conditions
The recent heavy rain in Northwest Arkansas has done little to alleviate the long-term lack of rain. Fayetteville is running around 6 inches of rain below average year-to-date. If more steady rains do not come, which is more likely as we get deeper into summer, the drought will worsen for Benton and Washington county.
The bottom line with the current drought is this: if we don’t receive more steady rain soon the drought will likely worsen soon as we head toward the peak summer months.