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story.lead_photo.caption As visitors flock to Northwest Arkansas to see the fall foliage, the crowds have caused increased traffic congestion and parking problems, authorities said. - Photo by Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism

Central Arkansas will finally see more seasonal temperatures over the next seven days after a hot September that matched the all-time record for number of days reaching 90 degrees.

Heather Cross, meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said two cold fronts over the next few days will bring temperatures down.

The first front, expected to move in Thursday afternoon, will leave highs in central Arkansas in the mid to upper 80s through the weekend.

“That will be our first taste of fall-like temperatures,” Cross said, though she added that is still slightly above normal for this time of year.

A second front is forecast to move in late Sunday into early Monday morning, bringing a chance for showers and thunderstorms as well as slightly below average temperatures for this time of year.

Highs are forecast to be in the upper 60s and low 70s Monday and Tuesday, and Cross said for the remainder of the 7-day forecast, central Arkansas should be at or below average temperatures.

This will likely come as a relief for central Arkansans, who experienced 22 days in September where the temperature was at least 90 degrees.

Though this ties the record for days at or above 90 — a record also met in 1998, 1954 and 1939 — Little Rock never met or exceeded daily record highs for any days in September, Cross said. North Little Rock tied daily records on two days last month.

Cross said this sustained heat was caused by a ridge of high pressure over that state that didn’t allow storm systems to move in.

She said patterns have now shifted, allowing lower pressure systems in that will bring cooler temperatures.

As for the rest of the month, Cross said the weather service doesn’t forecast that far out, but she said it is less likely now for a high pressure ridge to develop and block storm systems, as happened in September, increasing the chances for cooler weather.

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