1980 Still The Hottest

REGION 8 - This month's heat wave has everyone baking under the summer sun, but it's nowhere near the hot and dry conditions of 1980.  According to National Weather Service records, Jonesboro hit or exceeded 100 degrees for 23 days in July and August of 1980.  Also during those months it only rained 0.08 inches of rain.  That's literally a drop in the rain gage.  In Paragould, no rain fell and it hit 100 degrees or above 28 times those two months.  Meanwhile, in Corning, the temperature was at least 100 degrees 33 times and 36 times in Pocahontas where the temperature hit 109 to 110 degrees for five days straight.

Jerome Boyd farmed near Cash in 1980 and says it was the worst year in his 46 years of farming.

"We got rain in like June or maybe the first of July, but then it just shut down and didn't rain one drop," Boyd said of the hot, dry summer of 1980.

Boyd usually cut 25 to 30 bushels of soybeans per acre, but that year he cut 3 1/2.

Today, lack of rain doesn't hurt crops like it did 25 years ago, because most fields today are irrigated.

Boyd says we have all changed over the years as well.  "In the 1950's when I was growing up and all, we didn't have air conditioning.  We didn't have it in the house, so we were adjusted to the heat all the time," Boyd recalled.

Boyd adds, "but August is always hot, whether you like it or not.  They say that it's the hottest it's ever been.  No it's not, we just can't remember good."