Weather Blog: October 2021 monthly review

Weather Blog

A look back at the weather in NW Arkansas & the River Valley in October 2021!


We may need to change the name of the month from October to “Oct-toaster” for 2021.

Drake Field in Fayetteville, Arkansas recorded a mean daily average temperature of 62.0°F last month, which is 4.2°F above the monthly average. The highest temperature reached at Drake Field last month was 91°F on Monday, October 8. This was the only time Fayetteville reached the 90s in October. The coldest temperature reached was 35°F on Halloween (Sunday, October 31). Our average daily high temperature in October 2021 for Drake Field was 74.2°F and our average daily low temperature was 49.8°F. All of these values place October 2021 in the record books as the 8th warmest October on record for Drake Field (out of 73 years).

Fort Smith Regional Airport also recorded a warm October this year with the average daily mean temperature coming in at 66.6°F. This is above the monthly average of 63.5°F by 3.1°F. The highest temperature recorded last month was 95°F on Tuesday, October 9. In total, Fort Smith reached the 90s twice last month (October 8 – 94°F and October 9 – 95°F). The coldest occurred on Halloween when temperatures dropped to 41°F. The average daily high in October for Fort Smith was 78.0°F and the average daily low was 55.2°F. Overall, October 2021 was the 21st warmest out of 140 years of records in Fort Smith.


Not only was October 2021 warm, but rainy as well for both Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley.

Drake Field received 6.10″ of rain last month, which is 1.62″ more than average. The rainiest 24-hour period in Fayetteville was Wednesday, October 27 – Thursday, October 28 when 2.52″ fell. Drake Field recorded two days when 1.00″ of rain fell in October 2021. Overall, last month was the 14th wettest on record for Drake Field.

Fort Smith recorded nearly 9.00″ of rain last month! The final total of 8.90″ of rain is 4.48″ above the monthly average of 4.42″. The rainiest 24-hour period last month was Wednesday, October 13 – Thursday, October 14 when 5.40″ of rain was recorded at the airport. This is nearly an inch more than the entire monthly average for October 2021. In total, Fort Smith recorded 3 days when at least 1.00″ of rain fell last month. October 2021 is the 8th wettest on record out of 140 years of record-keeping in Fort Smith.

Sunset, Arkansas EF-1 Tornado

We saw our fair share of severe weather last month too. On the morning of Friday, October 15, an EF-1 tornado touched down in southeast Washington County and caused damage in Sunset, Arkansas.

Our own Chief Meteorologist Dan Skoff visited the site and surveyed the damage. You can check out his damage photos and see the official NWS report here:

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