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Thursday, December 18, 2014, 2:37 a.m.
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Enjoy cool, dry day, forecasters say, because rain is coming

By Gavin Lesnick

This article was published July 16, 2014 at 9:51 a.m.

If you enjoy spending time outdoors in Arkansas, the National Weather Service has some advice: Do it today.

A dry, unseasonably cool forecast Wednesday promises "another below normal, pleasant day," National Weather Service meteorologist Jeff Hood said, but it's the last one before potentially heavy rains move in. And more familiar July heat is set to roll in behind that system.

The rain isn't expected to develop until late Wednesday night or early Thursday. High temperatures during the day, meanwhile, are expected to range, north to south, from the 70s to mid 80s, about 5 to 15 degrees below normal.

This isn't record-breaking cool weather — except in Harrison, where the high of 77 tied the lowest high temperature record set there 99 years before — but it's worth experiencing while it lasts.

"Middle of July temperatures like this, not to too many people are complaining," Hood said, adding that he'll be outside as soon as he can be. "That's what I plan on doing when I get off."

Warning coordination meteorologist John Robinson said in an email that Thursday through early Friday will bring a "very rainy period." Northern Arkansas should see up to 1 1/2 inches of rain, central Arkansas could see up to 3 inches and southern Arkansas may see as much as 5 inches.

"The areas of heaviest rain are still subject to change," Robinson said. "It seems pretty likely that some flash flood warnings will be necessary as this rain moves through Arkansas."

The weekend will be drier, but temperatures will be increasing. By Monday, a high of 92 is expected in Little Rock.

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