LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- After a year without winter, it appears the above average temperatures will extend through the summer months according to forecasters at the National Weather Service.
Chris Buonanno, science and operations officer at the National Weather Service in Little Rock says here in Arkansas those conditions may even extend beyond that.
"The forecast from the Climate Prediction Center are indicating better than average chances for above average temperatures. Especially, in the southern half of the state and not only that, but it looks like the forecast for these above normal temperatures will go into the fall," says Buonanno.
And to add insult to injury, precipitation deficits look to continue as well. Buonanno says the lack of rainfall will also result in warmer temperatures, with no moisture in the soil to help offset the air temperature.
"Unfortunately, this year we've seen some precipitation deficits across the state. Especially, in the last 2 months where we've seen in the last 60 days it looks like anywhere between 25-50 percent of normal expected rainfall," Buonanno says.
Buonanno says if this trend continues, it could mean trouble for Arkansas farmers and wildfires.
"As things dry out, it definitely increases the wildfire danger. That's one thing here at the Weather Service, we'll be looking at the wildfire conditions," he says.
Shelia Doughty with the Arkansas Forestry Commission says their department saw half the amount of average wildfires during the month of April, but she says conditions have changed.
"So far for May, we're going in the other direction and we've already had 61 fires," says Doughty.
And she has this suggestion as we move towards the holiday weekend.
"We're not telling anybody not to have fun and have cookouts and grill. Just have a source of water, fire extinguisher nearby and tune into your county burn bans," she says.
The Forestry Commission encourages those who plan to use fireworks or burn outdoors this weekend to check with their county judge first on the counties burn ban status.