Arkansas is known for its mild winters and hot summers. Did you know, though, that the state has a place that experiences some of the coldest temperatures in the region? Located in the Ozark Mountains, this place is known for its frigid temperatures and winter snowfall. Today, we will explore the coldest place in Arkansas, highlighting its chilly records and climate. Whether you are an Arkansans looking to escape the heat, or are just curious about national weather patterns (who isn’t?), discovering the coldest place in Arkansas should be on your list! Let’s get started.
The Coldest Place in Arkansas
Gilbert, a town located in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas, is the coldest town in the state. This distinction has been recognized by the National Weather Service, which has noted Gilbert’s deviation from the rest of the state’s weather patterns. During the winter, Gilbert experiences some of the lowest temperatures in Arkansas. This includes an average low temperature of 24° Fahrenheit, compared to the state’s average low of 28° Fahrenheit.
Gilbert is a small town with a population of just 26 as of the 2020 census. That makes it one of the smallest municipalities in both the state and the nation. Despite its small size, Gilbert’s cold weather makes it a unique place to visit for those looking to escape the heat.
Gilbert’s location in the Ozark Mountains plays a big role in its cold climate. The mountains block warmer air from the south, causing cold air to settle in the area and bringing lower temperatures. The high elevation of the Ozarks also contributes to Gilbert’s colder temperatures, as the decrease in air pressure at higher altitudes leads to lower temperatures overall.
The Coldest Temperature Ever Recorded in Arkansas
The coldest temperature ever recorded in Arkansas occurred on February 13, 1905. This was in the historical community of Pond, near Gravette in the northwest corner of the state. The temperature plummeted to twenty-nine degrees below zero, a record that still stands today.
With Arkansas’s mild winters and hot summers, the state’s location in the south means that extremely cold temperatures are relatively rare. However, the combination of the state’s high elevation in the Ozark Mountains and its location in the interior of the continent can lead to frigid conditions in certain areas.
The Uniquely Split Climate of Arkansas
Arkansas is a small state with a diverse geography that includes both mountains and plains. This diverse landscape and the change in altitude can lead to major weather extremes, especially in the spring and fall. The state is divided into several natural regions, including the Ozark Plateau, the Arkansas River Valley, the Ouachita Mountains, the Mississippi Alluvial Plain, and the West Gulf Coastal Plain.
These regions experience different weather patterns and climates, which have had a significant impact on the state’s economy and history. For example, the lowlands in the south and east have a more favorable climate for large cotton plantations and a history of major slave populations. On the other hand, the highlands in the northwest have a cooler climate that has led to smaller landholdings but has also fostered major poultry and swine production in the 20th century.
The average high temperature in Arkansas is 73.1° Fahrenheit, while the average low is 51.6° Fahrenheit. Altogether, the average annual temperature is 62.35° Fahrenheit. Despite these pretty standard average temperatures, the swings that can happen during the seasons are quite dramatic. While the lowest recorded temp was in the negatives, the hottest temperature recorded was 120 degrees at Ozark ( on August 10, 1936, a nearly 150-degree difference.
Does Arkansas Get Snow?
While heavy snowfall is relatively rare in Arkansas, the state does experience some snowfall throughout the year, especially in the central region and the northern half of the state. The higher elevations of Northwest Arkansas tend to see slightly more snowfall, with snows of six inches or more occurring from time to time. However, the southern part of the state, which is closer to the Gulf of Mexico, is generally warmer and more humid and sees less snow.
January is typically the snowiest month in Arkansas, with an average accumulation of 2.3 inches of snow. Overall, snow is not a frequent occurrence in Arkansas, but it does occasionally occur, particularly in the colder months.
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