Saturday, November 17, 2018

It Snowed Before Thanksgiving in 1976 and LOOK at the Winter Afterwards!!

**CORRECTION** to blog below: There WAS a big snow in January of 1977 that is not logged in the Jonesboro data. Arkansas native, Kevin Myatt, of The Roanoke Times, read the blog and recalled a big snow. Sure enough, I checked the Paragould log and found this:

Original blog:
Nothing. That's right, it snowed 2" on November 14th, 1976 and we had no measurable snow or ice in the winter that followed. A lot of people have asked me over the past couple of days if last week's snow means that we will have a lot of snow this winter. My answer... NO. (still is "no")

However, like my winter outlook stated... I still think we will have some big swings in temperatures. I also think we will have some weeks that are VERY cold. I just don't think the snowfall will be above average.

Here's what the winter of 1976-1977 looked like:

Have a great Saturday!

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Upper-Level Low, Maybe Some Snow, Weatherman's Woes.

The above map shows the upper-level low that will be parked over us on Thursday morning. This low may bring snow to Region 8 as early as Wednesday evening. I've seen this type of setup bring 6" of snow to one county, while leaving another county with nothing. These are fun! Here are my bullet points, as of Tuesday morning:

  • I'm confident it is going to snow over parts of Region 8 Wednesday night into Thursday morning.
  • I'm also confident that it will melt quickly on Thursday, with temperatures going above 32°.
  • Extreme NE Arkansas and SE Missouri have the best chance of decent accumulation.
  • Big snowflakes
  • Wet snow
  • "Sticky" snow. This means that it should stick to the trees. I'm a little worried about trees that still have a lot of their leaves, like Bradford Pear trees. 
  • We will have the Central Nissan StormTRACKER out on Wednesday night and Thursday morning. 
  • We will be in the 50s on Friday.
So, let's dive into the maps! I am starting to get a little more concerned about Wednesday evening. I know many of you have church plans and we may have the snow in some areas prior to the end of services. Here's what radar could look like at 6PM. The snow would be rotating in from the southeast:
As the sun goes down, this will start to accumulate in some spots. The storm team has gone over the latest data this morning and this is what we are thinking for snow totals by Thursday morning. Keep in mind that this forecast can change and we will be updating it through the storm:
Let's talk probabilities. These maps from NOAA Weather Prediction Center breakdown accumulation by probability.

So, this map shows you the probability of seeing a 1" snowfall in Region 8. (About a 50% chance of a 1" snowfall for Jonesboro):
This shows the probability of seeing a 2" snowfall:
This shows the probability of seeing a 4" snowfall:
And because there is always a surprises with upper-level lows, here's the probability of 6" of snow. Yes, Poplar Bluff has a 10% chance:

If you have stayed with me this far on the blog, let me also show you the raw numbers from the models. The probabilities match up well with the guidance of accumulations. Here are three models:

Stay tuned!!! This forecast may change.


Friday, November 09, 2018

The Winter Outlook Nobody Will Share: Winter 2018-2019 in Region 8

Everyone loves to SHARE a winter forecast that shows lots of snow and very cold air. So, this forecast won't get the "shares" that others have seen over the past few weeks because I don't think this winter will be abnormally bad for Region 8. I typically wait until the first part of November to really nail down my winter forecast. I've had some pretty good success of long-term winter forecasting for Region 8, with one year being a total flop. So, this forecast will be a little different than some you have read over the past few weeks because I'm not going to tell you that it will snow all winter.

As I've mentioned in the past, I like to look at the current pattern and compare it to winter seasons of the past. I typically look at December, January, and February... but this year I also took a closer look at March. Most of the forecast is very general, but I like to get specific on a few things, just for fun!

To start, here's our average snowfall each winter since 1980. This will be our baseline when talking about below or above average snowfall:
This year, I compared the upcoming winter to the "1958-1959 Winter" and the "2006-2007 Winter". It's always fun to look back at the hand-written historical climate logs from the past. During the 1958-1959 Winter, the Benedictine Sisters kept the climate logs. Ironically, the Holy Angels convent is right down the road from KAIT:
Below you will see the Jonesboro climate logs of December 1958, January 1959, and February 1959. You can click on each image to take a closer look. Generally speaking, it was not a bad winter. Here's what I noticed:

  • There was not a lot of wintry weather. 
    • One 1" snowfall and 3-4 little wintry events with just a trace of mix.
    • I also glanced at November of 1958 and it had some light mix near the end of the month that did not accumulate. (Note: We have light wintry mix in the forecast next week)
  • Big swings in temperatures.
    • In December, our warmest day was 68°, but our coldest morning was 10°!
    • In January, we went as warm as 69°, but was 4° just 8 days prior.
    • In February, 10 days were above 60°, but 4 days started in the teens.

If you map out what the Winter of 1958-1959 looked like, you can see that Region 8 was below average on snowfall, but the above average snowfall wasn't too far away:
When you map the temperatures, the highs were about average and the lows were below average. Keep in mind... those big swings in temperatures averaged each other out:

Now, let's look at the 2006-2007 Winter. Below you will find the climate logs from December 2006, January 2007, and February 2007. Click each on to enlarge. Here are a few things I noticed:
  • Still not much wintry weather.
    • Really only had one winter storm at the start of February that produced about 3"  of snow.
    • We had a couple of decent rain events.
  • Big swings in temperatures, but overall there were some very cold streaks.
    • Look at February 6th-7th. We started the 6th at 19°, but went to 60° on February 7th!

If you look at this data in map form. Lows and highs averaged out to average. Keep in mind that it is an average of very warm days and very cold days. This goes back to the notation about big swings in temperatures. Snowfall was well below average:

Lastly, I briefly looked at the 2014-2015 Winter as my 3rd analog for the upcoming winter and noted a big event in March! During that winter, we went December-February with almost no snow or ice. BUT, in March... there was a 7" snowfall. There's a little hope for you snow lovers:

So, here it is! Here's my 2018-2019 Winter Forecast:
  • Big swings in temperatures.
  • 3-4 Small winter weather events (dustings, light glaze on exposed surfaces, etc)
  • 1 "good" winter storm: 2-5" of snowfall.
  • Overall, an "average" snowfall year.
  • No big ice storms, like 2009.
  • Very cold streaks. Meaning a couple of periods where we go 3-4 days without going above freezing and lows in the teens.
And here's my bonus stuff, just for fun:
  • Some flurries or light sleet within the next month.
  • Mild Christmas with rain possible.
  • An average of 3 snow days from school.
  • 1-2 severe weather events with tornado watches. 
  • Some light wintry mix in places next week!
Now, we sit back and wait! These forecasts are just for fun. Don't make critical decisions on this forecast or financial decisions. This is just a fun, annual tradition.

Have a great winter!

Monday, November 05, 2018

Severe Threat This Evening

The greatest threat for severe weather is going to be in Tennessee and Mississippi. We still have a LOW risk of severe weather over parts of Region 8, but most of the severe weather will be just east and southeast of Region 8. We still think that most of the storms will be out of our area by 7PM.

Follow Twitter feed for more updates.


Saturday, November 03, 2018

Severe Weather Possible on Monday (Saturday Update)

There is a chance of severe weather on Monday. While not all of the ingredients are coming together, enough are coming together that we need to be on guard. Here are the bullet points as of this morning:
  • It's going to rain on Sunday (tomorrow), but that is not a big concern. 
  • Monday: We have a MEDIUM threat for severe weather.
  • TIMING is 5:00 PM to 11:00 PM (this may change)
  • Greatest threat is high wind.
  • While a lower threat, hail and tornadoes are very possible.
  • Slightly greater threat may stay south of Region 8.
  • Check the settings on your Region 8 weather app to make sure you have the location and alert settings set to your preference.
  • Check the batteries in your weather radio.
  • There is no need to cancel plans, just have a plan in case the storms get severe.
We have some showers and storms that will be moving through on Sunday, but the environment will not be conducive for severe weather. Monday, the instability increases. At this time, it does not get outrageously high, but that combined with the wind shear is making us concerned. Here's a parameter that combines the instability and the wind sheer. You can see how the environment becomes increasingly more unstable through the day on Monday: 
We will watch it closely and give you updates over the next 2 days. Stay in tough with the Region 8 StormTEAM.