Wednesday, August 16, 2017

5 Day Cloud Forecast For The Solar Eclipse

We are getting closer to the eclipse! While I'm still optimistic for seeing the eclipse very well in Region 8, the path of totality really needs that couple of minutes of totality for it's "cool factor". Let me explain... Here in Region 8, we will have a partial eclipse. While we may have a few clouds covering some parts of the "peak" at 1:20ish, we are likely going to see a good part of the partial eclipse as it starts at 11:50ish and ends shortly before 3:00. Even if we have a few clouds during the "peak" at 1:20, we are still going to see a great partial eclipse. The reason to drive to the totality or 100% zone is for the couple of minutes when the sun is 100% covered. If you have ONE cloud covering the eclipse in that 2 minutes, it really impacts the experience. So, here's the latest data regarding clouds around 1:20 on Monday:

First, the GFS CloudCAST. In the second image, we have color coordinated the "best to worst" conditions. Red is bad, Yellow is decent, and green is awesome:

Second, the European Model CloudCAST. In the second image, we have color coordinated the "best to worst" conditions. Red is bad, Yellow is decent, and green is awesome. Notice that the Euro model is more optimistic. I'm tending to lean toward the European model because the pattern that we are transitioning into typically supports sunshine and HOT weather. It appears that we will have a strong ridge trying to build into the region and this would really support a better viewing forecast. It also supports mid 90s, so stay hydrated!:

We will continue to watch the latest data as we get closer to the greatest eclipse we have had in our lifetime!


Monday, August 14, 2017

7 Day Cloud Forecast For The Solar Eclipse

We are still 7 days out, but all eyes are on the CLOUD FORECAST for next Monday! I've been pretty worried about the pattern lately, but I'm starting to get a little more optimistic. Typically, when a ridge of high pressure aloft moves close to us, we get hot and sunny. Heading into next week, we have an upper-level high pressure SW of us... nudging in our direction. That's the good news, but the bad news is if we are stuck on the perimeter of the ridge. That will leave us in a path of storm complexes or Mesoscale Convective Systems (MCS). Here's the GFS model for next Monday:
My hope is that the ridge builds in enough to keep the storms WELL to our north. The latest data shows that could happen:
Even if this happens, some HIGH clouds may linger into the early afternoon. If this occurred, we may still see the eclipse through the high, then clouds (optimism). Here's a look at the Euro and GFS cloud cover at eclipse time. The upper-left shows total cloud cover. The upper-right shows medium cloud cover. The lower-left shows low level cloud cover. The lower-right shows high clouds:

Here's the GFS:
 Here's the Euro model:

We are still 7 days out! We will update you every day as we get closer to the eclipse.


Wednesday, July 05, 2017

WET 2017 So Far... For Most.

The above map is a "rough" estimate of the departure from mean precipitation for 2017. Parts of Region 8 are ONE FOOT above average on precipitation this year! If you think it has been WET, you're right. The SE parts of Region 8 are much closer to average. Here are the numbers for a few cities in Region 8, as of July 5th, 2017:

Jonesboro (COOP site):
2017: 35.15" Average: 25.33"

2017: 38.02" Average: 25.82"

2017: 34.17" Average: 24.78"

2017: 34.28" Average: 24.47"

2017: 27.03" Average: 27.09"

2017: 22.81" Average: 25.71"

Mountain Home
2017: 29.07" Average: 21.41"

2017: 35.65" Average: 24.60"

Hopefully we dry out soon!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Cindy Is Coming To Region 8!

Tropical Storm Cindy has come inland near the TX/LA border and is moving our way. Here are the bullet points on this Thursday morning:

  • Rain increases today. Mainly scattered at first.
  • Rain and wind increase by Friday morning
  • The center of Cindy should pass between Jonesboro and Memphis.
  • Some isolated locations could see over 4" of rain over the next 48 hours.
  • Pinpointing the exact location of the heaviest rainfall 24 hours out is almost impossible.
  • Wind gusts in Region 8 should be between 20-30 mph.
  • Strongest winds will be in MS and TN where wind gusts could go over 40 mph.
  • Western parts of Region 8 may not even get an inch!
Let's dig into the details. First, I want to talk about the track of the storm. Since yesterday, I've been mentioning that the center is likely to be a little closer than the official NHC track. That means we have a little higher chance of excessive rainfall. I'm still not overly concerned about the wind until you go into TN and MS. Here's 3 models showing the possible path and winds:

There's not much variability in the path, but worth noting. The next thing is rainfall. For farming, I have heard that we need some rain... but, not too much. Generally speaking, most places will get UNDER 4", but with deep tropical moisture, I have a feeling that there will be a small area that gets a little more. This will be near the center of the storm, where heavy rain develops and just rotates over the same spot. Here's some model solutions on rainfall. Notice that they show some small areas seeing over 4". Don't focus on the exact locations, but rather the trend.:

The one thing that concerns me about the rainfall is that we are going to have some DEEP TROPICAL moisture moving through! It's much different than what we typically have in Region 8. These next maps show Precipitable Water. Think of it as a measure of how much water we are working with.... The pink area (deep moisture) moves in tomorrow, but dry air moves in Saturday:

We know it is going to rain. We know it could be heavy in spots. We know that it will be breezy. We will watch the specifics and update you on air, on our app, and on social media through the storm.


Saturday, May 27, 2017

Severe Storms Today (5/27)

I'm up early this morning to watch a few storms that have been severe. While these storms are loud and are waking a people up too early on a Saturday morning, they are not as bad as what we are expecting tonight. Here are some bullet points:

  • The morning storms should be out of Region 8 by 8AM
  • The rest of the daytime hours look mostly dry. 
  • The air becomes VERY unstable through the day.
  • A line of severe storms will start moving into our northern counties about 7:00 PM
  • The line will be moving through the heart of Region 8 about 10:00.
Here's how radar might look about 7:00 PM:
By 9:00 PM, the line is moving through with high winds, lots of lightning, hail... and the low chance of a tornado:
As I mentioned, the air is going to be VERY unstable. CAPE measures the amount of energy available for the storms. This is the highest I have seen it this year:
CAPE is not the only ingredient needed for severe weather. Other parameters are not as great, but still enough to support a severe weather event.

Stay tuned!