Arkansas has a humid sub-tropical climate. Although it does not share its boundaries with the Gulf of Mexico, it is near enough to experience weather conditions caused by it. The summers are humid and warm with a maximum temperature of 90°F (32°C) but winters are cold with a minimum temperature of 20°F(-6.6°C) and less humid. Yearly precipitation is about 1000 to 1500 mm. There is snow throughout the state and especially in the northern region and the area near the Ozark and Ouachita mountains. Arkansas is known for extreme weather conditions. Therefore, during the year, this state experiences hail, snow, thunderstorms and tornadoes which cause much damage to life and property each year.
It has been stated that Arkansas is one state where the classic four seasons, spring, summer, autumn and winter can be experienced. Let us examine each season in this state.
Arkansas Weather in Spring: The spring brings in much fun in true spirit of celebrating this season through festivals. The countryside is a splash of color from the beautiful flowers of the season. Arkansas is well connected to the rest of the country due to its central location, so spring brings in several visitors to this state. Listed below are given some of the major activities that happen during springtime:
Canoeing, Kayaking and rafting: Spring is considered to be the best time for these activities as the water level in most of the rivers, canals and lakes are conducive for this activity. Buffalo National River is a haven for these water sports.
Camping: This is a major activity in Arkansas during spring. In and around the mountains and lakes, there are numerous camping grounds. The hunting and fishing available here are unmatched to anywhere else in the country.
Fishing: This is one of the most popular activities, but it is always a good idea to know what to expect in which season. For example during spring in Arkansas, the most likely fish to get are spring bass and spring trout and the best place to go is the Beaver Lake.
Arkansas Weather in Summer: This is the season for all the above activities once again. During this season the temperature tends to rise and so the choice of clothing is light. Otherwise the activities during the summer months remain more or less the same. There are a number of campsites with proper facilities at reasonable rates. For example, camping rates in the Mount Magazine horse camp is as low as $9 per day.
Fishing is also a popular summer activity but the species of fish may differ – during the summer one can expect to find bream, redear and catfish. Summer bass is also a favorite during this period.
Water sports are also a popular activity throughout the summer. Another addition is house boats. Since the nip in the night air of spring is gone, the weather is favorable to staying in a houseboat overnight. Houseboats are available on the numerous lakes of Arkansas.
Autumn: When autumn sets in, there is a wild variety and hues of browns and reds on the foliage as the trees begin to shed their leaves. During this period, tours known as “fall foliage tours” are organized. As the main objective of taking these tours are to see the wide variety of colors in the foliage, it is important to know in which region the peak color is expected. This usually lasts for about a week in each region.
Other activities during autumn may include berry picking. This is usually done on farms where groups of people go picking the berries of the season including strawberries and raspberries. Other activities may include rodeos and fairs. There are several plays running in this period and also very popular are music festivals. There is also a popular air show (admission free!) in Cherokee Village in the Ozark region of the state where people go for airplane rides and watch aerobatics.
Arkansas Weather in Winter: The winters in Arkansas are quite extreme, but along with the cold weather come a variety of winter activities. Fishing and hunting continue as throughout the year. Due to the clear skies, bird watching is another popular winter activity. The birds which can be seen prominently at this time are eagles, brown creepers, yellow-rumped warblers and ruby crowned ringlets.
Of course, with Christmas towards the end of winter, many Christmas-related activities take place. There are several fetes, carnivals and end-of -the-year tournaments in several winter sports like skiing, ice-skating and tobogganing.
But with the winter also comes the ice, sleet and snow storms which are severe to say the least. This year in January 2010, there was a severe ice storm with freezing rain and the whole of Northern Arkansas was paralyzed.
Arkansas Weather Conclusion: We can end here with the observation that the state of Arkansas is indeed a multi-faceted one. It has all four ideal seasons, and each one as beautiful as the other in its own way. Arkansas is one state that is unique and a visit there at any time of the year will be a fascinating and unique journey into the special world of this amazing state.