Monday, January 26, 2015

Vote For Kids!

Last year, I won an online contest for "Best Weathercaster of the Year" from For winning, they donated $500 to a charity of my choice. I chose the the Children's Shelter in Walnut Ridge. Through the awareness of the contest, Region 8 raised about $5,000 for the kids that go to the shelter!

I do not care if I come in last place of the contest. It makes me happy to see people vote for me, but there are a lot of people on the list that are very good at their job! Some of them are my friends. If we can raise $5,000 again, I count it as a win.  Please take a moment to look at the website for The Children's Shelter. You can see the facility, find more info, and make an online donation: CLICK HERE

This facility provides a safe environment for children that are victims of violence, neglect, physical abuse, and sexual abuse. Some of these kids have seen more in their short lives than many of us adults. In Arkansas, over 4,000 children are in foster care. The state pays for a lot of their needs, but we need everyone's support to make their lives better. Playgrounds, toys, food, staff that loves them, and other things that we take for granted need funding. That's where you step in!

People have asked if we are personally attached to helping foster kids and orphans. Yes, this is personal to our family. I do not want to get too personal in a public setting, but the simple answer is... yes. That's why we're passionate about raising this money! Thanks in advance everyone!

Have a good day!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Snow? Or NO?

As I mentioned yesterday, tomorrow's disturbance is not a big problem. There are too many things working against an accumulation: warm ground, surface temps above 32°, and daytime arrival. Here are my thoughts:
  • Some people will see snow falling from the sky in Region 8.
  • Some people MAY see a dusting on elevated surfaces and on the grass.
  • Snow sticking to the roads is highly doubtful.
  • Schools will likely NOT dismiss early.
I know snow lovers are not liking that, but there's just not enough moisture and the ground is too warm. I still think that we will see some snow falling through the day. As we said on the news last night, it's going to be "superficial snow".

Have a good day. If the forecast starts to change, we will update the blog and update you on Twitter at @ryanvaughan 


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

January 1999

January of 1999 was a wild one for Region 8. We had ice storms, single-digit lows, highs in the 70s, and two terrifying days of tornadoes on January 17th and January 21st. Below is a hand-written log from Terry Wood. Look at the comments section! Click image to enlarge:
That's quite a month. Thankfully we have not been as active this year as in 1999.

Have a good night.


The History of "The Morning Blog"

I missed the 10-year birthday of my blog. Last month, this blog hit the 10-year mark. At the time, I had not even heard about a blog. The only person I knew that had a blog was Neil Orne, a news anchor in Nashville, TN. I'm not even sure he blogs anymore. If you don't know why it's called "Ryan's Morning Blog", let me explain. 

When I started the blog, I was the morning meteorologist at WSFA in Montgomery, AL. A lot of people forget that I left KAIT for a few years to be in Alabama. I REALLY loved it there, but for several reasons I was excited to come back to Arkansas and Region 8. Anywho, I called it "Ryan's Morning Blog" because I worked in the morning. When I came back to Region 8 and went to the evening shift, I kept the name because I stilled blogged in the morning, most of the time. It varies today, but I'm keeping the name... just because.

The cool thing about the blog is that I can go back and look at old posts. Some of the posts are happy and some of them are sad. Here are some of the posts that I remember the most:

I'm sure there are many more, but these stand out. My wife and I are really enjoying this look back at some of the entries from the past!

Thanks for reading and giving feedback. Twitter and Facebook have changed how I do the blog these days, but I still enjoy blogging.

Have a great day!

Could It Snow Friday?

One model (NAM) started to hint at a Friday snowfall with it's model run this morning. This evening, it still shows the CHANCE of snowfall on Friday morning:
At first, I discounted it because other models barely had enough moisture to get the ground wet and it appeared that the temperatures were too warm for snow. I still think that surface temperatures may stay above 32°, even though cold enough aloft will support snow. Here are my bullet points this far out:
  • I'm still NOT sold on it. I need us to get closer to Friday and see more data that supports this outcome.
  • If it does snow, it may not stick to roads. We have had a couple of warm days and surface temperatures will be above freezing. Plus, if it falls during the day, it's harder for it to stick the roads.
  • If it occurs, it should not be much. (Famous last words)
I WILL say that the GFS this evening started to come in line with the NAM. It shows colder air and the moisture farther north. In fact, the GFS now shows a dusting to 2" in parts of the state:
Don't let the map above get you excited. We are still a few days out. This is just a model. Stay tuned for changes in the forecast as we move into the latter part of the week.

Have a good week,

Saturday, January 10, 2015


First, let's review the difference between freezing rain and sleet. Sleet falls as pellets of ice, while freezing rain falls as liquid and freezes on contact. Freezing rain sticks to surfaces and glazes over. Sleet bounces.

Now, let's talk about tomorrow (Sunday 1/11/15). We are expecting freezing rain. Here are the bullet points as of 10:00 am on Saturday:

  • Freezing rain will start in the morning.
  • Bridges and overpasses will get slick first.
  • Because we have been so cold, the roads may get slick quickly.
  • Churches, have sidewalk melt on standby.
  • 0.10" of ICE glaze is possible on exposed surfaces.
  • Most locations should go above freezing in the afternoon
  • Once we go above freezing, the ice should melt quickly.
There will be some areas that stay at or below freezing longer than others. Southern Missouri and the counties in Arkansas that border Missouri may see more ice accumulation because they will stay colder, longer. In the morning, we will ALL be below freezing as the moisture moves in:
I believe the worst part of the day will be late-morning into the lunch hour, when the greatest moisture will meet up with the freezing air:
By the evening, MOST of us should be above freezing. The areas still in pink, may continue getting ice accumulation. This includes southern Missouri. It also includes some Arkansas counties. In Jonesboro, we should be seeing a cold rain with temperatures in the mid 30s. Close call!!!:
This is a VERY TRICKY forecast. We will keep a close eye on it and give updates through the day. Follow me on Twitter at 


Thursday, January 01, 2015

LOTS of Rain, Any Freezing?

There were a couple of forecast challenges this week with the approaching storm system. The timing of the system was a tough call. At first, it appeared to mainly be a Friday storm, then it looked like it might come in a little early (today)... and then linger into Saturday. As I look at radar this morning at 10:00 AM, the bulk of the rain is still 200 miles away, but moving our direction at 35-40 mph. That means that I'll be tracking rain in Region 8 before the 5:00 News. Click to enlarge:
As you can see in the above map, there is some pink on the map. That was also a challenge in the forecast. Will any of this fall as freezing rain or sleet. At 10:00, most of us are above freezing, so I'm not worried about freezing rain, BUT as the atmosphere moistens at the onset of the precipitation, some areas may see 15 minutes or so of sleet. Here are the 10:00 temperatures:
So, the main threat from this storm will be heavy rain. Over the next 48 hours, 1-2" of rain will be common, with some areas seeing 3-4 inches of rain across the state:
Get ready for some COLD RAIN!

Feel free to tweet me any questions to @ryanvaughan