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August 2011: Remembering the hottest month in ArkLaTex history

(KSLA News 12)
Published: Sep. 8, 2021 at 10:37 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 9, 2021 at 12:37 PM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - The “dog days of summer.” It’s a common phrase used to reference to the hottest part of the summer season.

In the ArkLaTex, the “dog days” run from late July through early September. Sweltering heat and humidity are the norm, with highs that commonly reach into the upper 90s; triple-digit heat is not uncommon.

In the summer of 2021, even though the area has seen a fair share of hot days, temps have yet to reach 100°. However, 2021 marks the 10-year anniversary of the hottest month in the history of the ArkLaTex: August 2011.

This was a month unprecedented in the amount of heat seen, not just in Shreveport, but in the ArkLaTex as a whole.

Here’s some perspective: in a typical year, Shreveport sees roughly ten 100° days. In August of 2011 alone, Shreveport hit 100° 28 times. In addition, the city hit the 105° mark 17 times; it hasn’t been that hot in Shreveport since 2018.

Putting the incredible heat that we saw in August of 2011 into perspective.
Putting the incredible heat that we saw in August of 2011 into perspective.(KSLA News 12)

Finally, 2011 is responsible for 16 record highs for the month of August. No other month of any other year is responsible for more than eight records, and one of those months is June of 2011.

It wasn’t just the heat that made August of 2011 so unbearable, but also the dry weather that sparked numerous wildfires across the region. The smoke from these wildfires got so bad that for the first time ever, the NWS in Shreveport issued Dense Smoke Advisories for the region.

The main culprit for the all the heat was the combination of a La Niña, as well as a prolonged drought. The La Niña began back in 2010 and continued through the summer season, causing drier and hotter than average weather for the ArkLaTex. The La Niña helped contribute to a drought that began in 2010 that dried out the ground, allowing temperatures to get hotter than normal. The slight silver lining was the drier ground meant it wasn’t quite as humid as usual.

A prolonged La Niña was one of the biggest contributing factors to the record heat of August...
A prolonged La Niña was one of the biggest contributing factors to the record heat of August 2011.(KSLA News 12)

So while there may still be a few more toasty temperatures days ahead for the ArkLaTex until fall really arrives in October, just remember, it will never compare to the scorcher that was August of 2011.

The KSLA First Alert Weather team will keep you up to date with any potential intense heat that we could see during the month of September. Here’s how you can stay First Alert about what to expect:

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