Breaking News
More () »

A look back at some Arkansas’s most notable weather events in 2021

While COVID-19 news dominated the headlines in 2021, Arkansas also had its share of big weather events.

ARKANSAS, USA — As 2021 comes to a close, Meteorologist Skot Covert takes a look back at some of the year’s most notable weather events.

First up happened in January when a snow storm moved through parts of southern Arkansas bringing with it 2-3 inches of snow to places like Monticello, Dermott and Arkansas City. 

Why is this notable? Generally, northern Arkansas and higher elevations are more likely to see early-winter snow events.

Winter weather would yet again make headlines in the month of February when multiple winter weather systems took aim at the Natural State within the span of a few days. In the end, snowfall accumulations between 18 and 24 inches were common around the state.

But it wasn’t just once-in-a-generation snowfall totals that made headlines. The same system responsible for burying the state is snow would bring record breaking cold temperatures. This frigid airmass placed a heavy load on the electrical grid, ultimately resulting in necessary rolling power outages.

June will also be remembered as a tragically historic month in Arkansas weather. Multiple days of heavy rainfall in southeast Arkansas would result in historic flooding. In fact, parts of Desha County saw as much as 19 inches of rain. Estimates suggest over $200 million in damages were caused as a result.

A streak spanning 1,142 days went by without Little Rock reaching 100 degrees. That ended Wednesday, Sept. 1 when the official weather station at the Clinton National Airport measured temperatures at the century mark.

The month of December was anything but typical. Unusually warm temperatures set the stage for a classic battle of the airmasses on Friday, Dec. 10, resulting in twelve tornadoes ripping through parts of eastern Arkansas. One of these tornadoes in Mississippi County was rated an EF4. Two lives were lost as a result.

According to statistics provided by the National Weather Service in North Little Rock:

  • 35 tornadoes occurred in 2021 (yearly average is 33)
    • 2 fatalities, 4+ injuries
  • Flash flooding took the life of one person in Little River County