Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Pocahontas Man Gets National Recognition From NWS (NOAA)

Since 1894, weather observations have been kept in Pocahontas, AR. The above image is from April of 1894, the first month of weather observations on file! For 122 years, we have had an account of the weather from various parts of Region 8 by people that volunteer their time to serve their community. One of those people is Don Waterworth of Pocahontas.

Tomorrow, September 21st, Mr. Waterworth is going to get one of the most prestigious awards given by the National Weather Service (NOAA). It's the Holm Award, given for his efforts as a cooperative weather observer in Pocahontas for over 30 years!

Prior to Mr. Waterworth serving as the cooperative weather observer for Pocahontas, the Benedictine Sisters kept up with the weather observations. In February of 1982, they recorded their last report:

At the bottom of that report, they welcomed Don Waterworth to the cooperative program:

In March of 1982, Mr. Waterworth recorded his first month of observations:

I'd like to personally thank Mr. Waterworth for serving the Region 8 Weather Community. You have greatly helped the weather enterprise!


Friday, September 09, 2016

Number of Tornadoes Are Down In Region 8

I'm doing some research this morning and discovered some interesting tornado statistics:

  • It has been 706 days since Craighead County has had a tornado warning.
  • It has been 864 days since the city of Paragould had a tornado warning.
  • 0 Tornadoes in Region 8 in 2015.
  • 1 Tornado so far in Region 8 in 2016. (EF1 in Cross County) 
  • To compare, we had 9 in 2012, 13 in 2013, and 13 in 2014.
It takes time to research the "WHY", but my hypothesis would be a correlation to El NiƱo. But, looking at the map above of 2015... it just looks like we were lucky! Regardless of why we are in a tornado drought, it makes me wonder if we will be caught off guard in a major severe weather outbreak. 

Professionally, I need to make sure the staff knows how we handle major tornadoes in Region 8. Personally, I need to make sure my kids remember what to do in a tornado. While the weather is quiet, I hope you take the time to review your safety plans at home and work.

We are in the middle of a global pattern transition. The weather in 2017 will not be like the weather in 2016. This winter will not be the same as last winter. It will be more active and I'm more concerned about severe weather outbreaks (tornadoes) than wintry weather (snow, ice). Sure, we will have some snow and ice, but I'm more concerned about people not being prepared for winter tornadoes. 

I'm preparing to get more in-depth on the Winter Outlook soon. Enjoy the quiet weather, but start thinking ahead and making sure that you are prepared for severe weather.


Saturday, September 03, 2016

Earthquake Felt In Region 8

At 7:02 am, a magnitude 5.6 Earthquake shook a large part of the country. It was centered just NW of Pawnee, OK. If you have our app, you can turn on the earthquakes layer and see the position and information:

I kind of felt it at my house, but was too tired at first to investigate further. I thought it was just the kids and their friends running around the house. With 4 kids and friends on most weekends... our house shakes a lot! LOL

Immediately, my Twitter feed filled up with tweets from you guys and I knew it was something more than kids running around the house.

I started checking in on what happened and found that Oklahoma had a rather large Earthquake for their area. I started checking the seismographs in Region 8 and easily could see it:

Stay with KAIT and we will have some pictures and video of the damages in Oklahoma tonight on Region 8 News.


Monday, August 29, 2016

Relief From The Mugginess Late This Week!

It's hot and humid, but we have increasing confidence that the weather will get much better later this week. Here are my thoughts right now:

  • Monday-Wednesday will have scattered storms in the afternoon heating.
  • It's all about the Dewpoint!!!
  • Less humid air and cooler air starts moving in Thursday morning.
  • Dewpoints (which measures the mugginess) go from 70s to 50s! 
  • Tuesday night's Jonesboro vs. Batesville game will still be hot and muggy.
  • Thursday night Junior High Football games will be nice!
  • Football Friday Night and the ASTATE game on Friday evening will be even better!
Here are the dewpoints this evening. They will be in the 70s and it will be muggy:

As the less humid air starts moving in on Thursday, it will feel much better! Dewpoints will be in the low 60s!
The trend continues on Friday as dewpoints fall into the 50s! This will be one of the most comfortable Week 1 football forecasts we have ever had!

Let's hope this data does not change! 

There is also some action in the tropics that will likely not impact Region 8. I'll have that tonight on Region 8 News.


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Even Here In Region 8... We Watch The Tropics

There is a disturbance just east of the Lesser Antilles that needs to be watched. Admittedly, it's almost impossible to know the outcome of it's existence and it does not even have a name, yet. However, the technology is available to at least make us aware of something we need to watch for next week. The European model is already suggesting that this disturbance will be named soon.The above image is several models plotted on one map. We call it a spaghetti plot. I'm sure you can see why... But, notice the general trend to take it into the Gulf of Mexico. The Euro model started showing this setup and now the GFS is on board.

I was not overly concerned when I saw this trend (and I'm still not, really), but even here in Region 8, we have to watch the tropics. As we learned with Hurricane Ike, the tropics can greatly impact our harvest season, especially for rice. While we are several days out from this impacting any part of the United States, I do want us to be aware that we need to watch it closely. This is only one model run of the GFS and it's 7-10 days out, but it has this thing coming in as a tropical storm and bringing us 20-30 mph winds and rain. It's way out there, but let's not ignore it either....

Stay tuned and we will keep you updated.