El Niño leaves its effects on Region 8

El Niño leaves its effects on Region 8

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Springtime in Region 8 means plenty of rainfall, but the rain came early this year and we've seen plenty of it during the month of March.

This is mainly because our weather pattern has been in an El Niño phase.

El Niño mainly has effects on areas near the Pacific Ocean, but it can also cause changes for weather in Region 8.

When we are in an El Niño phase it leads to wetter, cooler weather for the Southeast, which describes the month of March for Region 8 fairly well.

With that kind of weather Thomas Lindsey with the Arkansas Forestry Commission said the number of wildfires seen this month has gone down greatly compared to past years.

During the months of February and March, Region 8 is considered to be in wildfire season.

While the numbers for February were closer to average, March this year has been much different.

Between 2005-2014 we've seen an average of 322.7 wildfires in March and those wildfires burned an average of 6717.1 acres in Arkansas.

This March we've only seen 23 wildfires throughout the state with 537 acres burned.

That may make this the lowest year for wildfires in the month of March on record.

With more rain in the forecast as we move through the end of the month things may stay on track to keep the numbers down this March.

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