Many of you have probably noticed the HAZE over the past day or two. You may have also noticed that it's not like our normal summer haze. It has a little bit of a "dusty" look to it... Well, that's because it is from the Saharan Desert!
As you can see in this animation, the general wind flow is from East to West in the lower latitudes. If the wind patterns are just right... that dust is scooped northward into Region 8:
The above animation is a forecast over the next few days. Notice that while the dust is still moving across the Atlantic, it will lesson over Region 8. Yesterday was probably the worst day:
One good thing about having Saharan Desert Dust over the Atlantic is that it helps suppress hurricane development.
It's several days out, so DO NOT ALTER PLANS YET. With that said though, I know a lot of people are making outdoor plans for Memorial Day Weekend. There is a tropical disturbance that is very far away from us right now. Some data is suggesting that the disturbance will move inland this weekend and could impact Region 8. Here are my thoughts right now:
Don't cancel plans yet. It's still early and things can change.
However, consider a Plan B.
Wind is not looking to be an issue.
The best chance of rain looks to be on Monday.
Pockets of heavy rain possible.
So, let's dive into some data. The maps below show the "precipitable water" in the atmosphere. Think of it as how much water there is available if it all rained out of the clouds. I want you to focus on the pinkish-salmon color. That's the deep, tropical moisture. This is the last run of the Euro model:
Notice where the moisture is on Wednesday:
By Friday, it starts moving inland, possibly as a tropical depression or storm. We should still be mostly dry on Friday:
By Saturday, we may start seeing a few more showers and storms:
If this plays out, Sunday would be more wet:
The latest Euro has this deep moisture lingering around on Memorial Day:
Once again, let's not worry, yet. I just wanted to give you as much notice as possible. Consider this your First Alert. We will update you with any changes.
If you look at the Jonesboro records for May, there are a couple of days that may stand out. On two days, the record snowfall for Jonesboro is a "trace". But, there is a flaw in the record systems... Hail is counted as snow. Let me explain....
If you look back at the two years in question, you will notice that it was NOT cold enough to snow, but there were thunderstorms. Thunderstorms with hail!
Here's 1949. Notice the comments:
Here's 1955. Notice the hail reports:
So, if you ever see "snow" being reported in climate logs during the spring and summer months. It might have been hail!
April of 1907 was an odd April for Jonesboro. We had 6 days with frost, with the latest on the 18th. On 10 of the days, we never even hit 60° for the high temperature. It was kind of wet and gloomy and areas north of us were still experiencing snow. As you can see from the map below, the entire state had below average temperatures:
So far, April of 2018 has been even colder! That's right, we are currently experiencing the coldest April since 1907. Therefore, we are on track to have the coldest April on record in Region 8! Take a look at the same map, for this month, so far:
I pulled the latest data this morning for Jonesboro and we have an average monthly temperature of 51.8°. That's 6.9° BELOW average:
Here are the TOP 10 coldest Aprils in Jonesboro:
I know some of you are wanting to make a correlation to the summer forecast, but let me caution you to NOT DO THAT. I'm planning on digging into the summer outlook soon. Let's get to the end of April before we dive into that task! I will leave you with this... July of 1907 was above average on temperature in some parts of Arkansas: