Drought

Area shown in yellow are rated as abnormally dry. The area shown in brown is in moderate drought.

Columbia County, with several other Southwest Arkansas counties, is back in drought status.

The December 12 map issued by the 12 by the United States Drought Monitor shows the majority of Columbia County in "abnormally dry" status with a small area in "moderate drought" status.

The majority of Miller and Lafayette counties are shown to be in "moderate drought" status with a small area in "abnormally dry" status. Approximately half of Union County is shown to be in "abnormally dry" status. Both Hempstead and Ouachita counties, and virtually all of Nevada County, are shown to be mostly in "abnormally dry" status.

magnoliareporter.com has recorded 44.84 inches of rain this year.

As of December 13, the Arkansas Forestry Commission website shows no burn bans in any of Arkansas' 75 counties, and the entire state is classified as low wildfire danger.

According to the USDM, a "drought" is an event of prolonged shortages in the water supply -- whether atmospheric, surface water or ground water. A drought can last for months or years, or may be declared after as few as 15 days. It can have a substantial impact on the ecosystem and agriculture of the affected region and harm to the local economy. Annual dry seasons in the tropics significantly increase the chances of a drought developing and subsequent bush fires. Periods of heat can significantly worsen drought conditions by hastening evaporation of water vapor.

According to the website Drought.gov, 38,000 Arkansas residents (one percent of the state's population) are now in drought status. In addition, 141,000 more residents (five percent of the state's population) are in abnormally dry areas.

The National Weather Service in Shreveport has forecast Saturday as mostly sunny, with a high near 62, with west winds wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the afternoon.

Saturday night is predicted to be mostly clear, with a low around 40. Calm wind becoming east around 5 mph after midnight.

Sunday's forecast calls for a slight chance of showers between 12 noon and 3 p.m., then a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms after 3 p.m. Partly sunny, with a high near 62. South wind 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20 percent.

For Sunday night, showers and thunderstorms are likely, mainly after midnight. Skies will be mostly cloudy, with a low around 51. Chance of precipitation is 70 percent.

On Monday, showers and thunderstorms are predicted before noon, then a chance of showers. High near 62. Chance of precipitation is 80 percent.

Monday night is predicted to be partly cloudy, with a low around 32.

For Tuesday, the forecast is for sunny skies with a high near 50. Tuesday night is predicted to be clear, with a low around 26.

On Wednesday, the forecast is for sunny skies, with a high near 50. Wednesday night is predicted to be mostly clear, with a low around 28.

Thursday's forecast calls for mostly sunny skies, with a high near 55.

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Area shown in yellow are rated as abnormally dry. The area shown in brown is in moderate drought.

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