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Fort Smith/Fayetteville News | 5newsonline KFSM 5NEWS | Get the local news and weather where you live from 5NEWS. Covering Fort Smith, Fayetteville, Bentonville, and all of Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley.

Drought returning to western Arkansas

Even though lake levels are above-normal, soil conditions are drying out. Drought conditions are likely to worse the rest of July.
Credit: KFSM
as of July 7th (released July 9th)

With isolated downpours throughout June and early July, some locations across Arkansas have received quite a bit of rain, especially in areas where showers repeatedly formed. However, overall the NW corner of Arkansas has trended drier. Drought conditions have been expanding over Oklahoma and have offically arrived in Arkansas.

YELLOW:  Abnormally Dry

LIGHT ORANGE:  Moderate Drought

DARK ORANGE:  Severe Drought

RED:  Extreme Drought

DARK RED:  Exceptional Drought

Credit: KFSM
as of July 7th (released July 9th)

Portions of NWA and the River Valley have "abnormally" dry conditions. Western Crawford County (near Rudy and Natural Dam) is under a "moderate drought."


Even with dry conditions, lake levels are above normal. For example, (as of July 9, 2020) Beaver Lake is roughly ~6 feet above average. Downpours quickly stream water into our water sources.


Drought conditions are increasing across the Rockies and southern Plains. 

Credit: KFSM


Drought conditions will likely expand across Arkansas and Oklahoma for the rest of July as a ridge of high pressure reduces rain chances.

-5NEWS Weather