Thursday was a record-setting day in Monticello as an unseasonably warm temperature of 85 degrees shattered the old Feb. 23 high of 80 degrees, according to the National Weather Service in Little Rock.

Thursday was a record-setting day in Monticello as an unseasonably warm temperature of 85 degrees shattered the old Feb. 23 high of 80 degrees, according to the National Weather Service in Little Rock.

The warmth also cracked the previous high February full-month reading of 84 degrees, set on Feb. 27, 1986. Record-keeping in Monticello began on Jan. 1, 1876.

An NWS spokesman said that no other record temperatures were reached in Southeast Arkansas, but Pine Bluff was only one digit shy of its old 84-degree record for the date. Pine Bluff’s highest temperature for the month is 91 degrees, reached on Feb. 28, 1918.

Several record highs were matched nearby on Thursday, however, with readings of 80 degrees at both the Hot Springs and North Little Rock airports, and 82 degrees at Little Rock’s Adams Field.

The temperatures in Southeast Arkansas are expected to plunge Friday, however. In Monticello, after a predicted low of 45 degrees Thursday night, Friday’s NWS-forecasted high is only 60, a drop of 25 degrees from Thursday. The chance of rain was 30 percent Thursday night, but is figured at 20 percent Friday.

The change is predicted to be equally dramatic in Pine Bluff. After a forecasted low of 44 degrees with a 30-percent chance of rain Thursday night, rain possibilities will drop to 10 percent Friday with a projected high of just 57 degrees, 26 degrees below Thursday’s mark.

Windy conditions are expected to continue Thursday.