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Rain, cooler temperatures coming to much of Arkansas

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National Weather Service
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radar.weather.gov
A radar image shows a severe thunderstorm warning issued for parts of Little Rock and Saline County early Thursday afternoon.

Most of Arkansas can expect a much-needed break from the extreme heat for the next few days. Following weeks of triple-digit high temperatures, conditions are expected to cool off with highs in the mid-80s in central Arkansas this weekend.

Meteorologist Colby Pope with the National Weather Service says rain is forecast through Sunday, alleviating drought and wildfire conditions.

“It will definitely help, especially since we’re forecast to get one to two inches, especially across central Arkansas. Some places could see a little bit higher, others may see a little bit lower, but I think one to two inches is a very fair estimate across the I-40 corridor, Little Rock and the River Valley,” Pope said.

The northern part of the state could see two to three inches of rain over the weekend, he said, with under one inch expected in southern Arkansas. He says high temperatures will briefly stay out of the 100-degree range.

“By the time we get into Monday to Tuesday, we start to have that ridge build back in and that will actually return us somewhat to the pattern that we’ve been seeing with the warmer temperatures,” Pope said.

In central Arkansas, showers are expected to begin in earnest Friday lasting through the weekend, with skies clearing up by Sunday evening.

Pope says the weather phenomenon known as La Niña is to blame for high temperatures hovering around 100 for the past few weeks.

“The La Niña pattern definitely does contribute to that, and it provides us with usually warmer temperatures than normal and less opportunities for rainfall,” Pope said. “We do have some periods within that like what we’re seeing over this weekend coming up, as we will see a frontal boundary moving through the area and hopefully giving us some relief.”

High temperatures are forecast to be in the mid-90s by Monday and near 100 on Wednesday.

Daniel Breen is a Little Rock-based reporter, anchor and producer for KUAR.