Weather Blog: October 2020 Monthly Review

Weather Blog

Review of statistics for Fayetteville, AR and Fort Smith, AR for October 2020.

Hard to believe it is already November and the holidays are right around the corner! As we return to the time of year when the sun sets before 6PM, let’s take a look back at our weather for the month of October!


Fall had finally arrived in Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley! Fayetteville’s average high for the month was right around the average at 69.9°F (average is 70.0°F).

For daily lows, October 2020 was a bit cooler than normal. The 2020 average was 43.1°F, which is -2.4°F from the historical average of 45.5°F).

Fayetteville’s warmest day of the month was October 11 (87°F) and the coldest night was October 30 (30°F).

In Fort Smith, the average high temperature was 72.5°F for the month (average = 74.8°F), which is below average by 2.3°F.

The daily low average was right around average at 50.5°F (average = 50.7°F).

The warmest day of the month was October 11 when the high reached 88°F. The coolest night occurred on October 30 at 36°F.


October 2020 started on off on a dry note! Even having extreme and severe drought develop in parts of McDonald and Barry counties in southwest Missouri.

This was before the drought dipped into parts of Northwest Arkansas, including the cities of Bentonville, Rogers, Springdale, Fayetteville, and Eureka Springs.

The Climate Prediction Center’s Drought Monitor on October 26 showing extreme drought in parts of SW Missouri.
Northwest Arkansas saw severe drought before rain moved into the region at the end of the month.

In fact, Drake Field in Fayetteville (where the official observation site is located) did not see any precipitation over a trace until October 18. Fort Smith’s first precipitation measurement over a trace was on October 20.

A nice 4-day period of rain towards the end of the month ended the drought in Fayetteville and Northwest Arkansas. The city’s average monthly rainfall is 4.33 inches and October 2020 finished at 6.80 inches (+2.47″). The wettest 24-hour period was October 26-27 when 2.92″ fell.

Flooding near Stricker, AR (southwest Washington County) on October 28, 2020. Image by Mandy Eiland

Fort Smith was in a similar boat. The rainfall towards the end of the month brought Forth Smith’s October total to 6.81 inches, which is 2.49″ over the 4.32″ monthly average.

The wettest 24-hour period was October 28-29 when 4.46″ fell at the airport. Unfortunately, this excessive rainfall brought flooding to parts of the area, especially in Alma, AR.

Flooding in Kibler, Arkansas (Crawford County) on October 28, 2020. Image sent in by Desiree Lantz

What’s Ahead For November?

Cold weather lovers will enjoy this month! Our average low temperature for Fayetteville drops below freezing and sweater weather is a daily thing by the end of the month. However, we lose 47 minutes of sunlight during the month.

Fort Smith and the River Valley also return to sweater weather but the low temperatures are still above freezing towards the end of the month. We also see a little bit more rain compared to Fayetteville but not by much. You are lucky though, saving that extra minute of daylight throughout the month.

For the latest updates on the forecast and all things weather-related in Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley, be sure to follow us on social media and download our FREE NWA Weather Authority app!

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