Monday, November 24, 2014

Cold November, But 70s Soon?

The wind woke me up this morning! Wind gusts went over 40 mph in Region 8 this morning and some people lost their power. It's still a little breezy and colder than yesterday.

Despite being a little warmer yesterday, Jonesboro is still on track to have the SECOND coldest November on record. The overall average temperature this month, so far, is 43.3°. Here are the Top 10 coldest Novembers on record prior to 2014 (NWS):
As you can see, we have been colder than 1951, but not quite as cold as 1976. Despite having a very cold November, I still think the average temperature for  the upcoming Winter may be "average"... but the weather may be active.

For those that are sick of the cold weather, I have some good news! This map shows the temperatures well above average for the start of December:
After looking at some long-range data this morning, I think some places may flirt with 70° to start December! I like that, but it could lead to some severe weather. It's still early and the data could change, but all indications are pointing to a warm-up at the start of December.

Stay tuned!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sunday Night SNOW

It looks like we are going to get some snow tonight. As always, let's simplify everything with some bullet points on my thoughts as of 7:30 am this morning (Sunday):

  • I expect the rain to change to snow this evening.
  • Some areas could see 1-2", with some isolated areas seeing 3".
  • I expect several schools to close tomorrow.
  • With Monday and Tuesday being at or below freezing, roads could stay slick in spots.
  • With it being an early storm, it's hard to know how the roads will respond.
  • I'll be on air with LIVE updates at 5:00 and 10:00 tonight, with Andrew Wilson.
Justin and I spoke this morning and adjusted the accumulation map based on our thoughts on the latest data. This may change this afternoon:
I think if anyone sees more than 2", it would be SEMO and possibly Clay or Greene counties. We'll adjust this map as needed, as new data arrives, and the storm unfolds. 

If you know me, you know I'm not a fan of winter. To get snow in November does not make me happy, but that's life! LOL As I mentioned earlier, the hard part about this forecast is how the roads will respond to the first snowfall of the season. I'm not a road expert. I have a pretty good idea about how much precipitation should fall and what the temperatures are going to do, but I'm still not a road expert. My gut feeling tells me that with snow falling at night and temperatures around 30°, the roads are going to get slick. It has been very cold over the past week and I think the snow will stick easily, ESPECIALLY on bridges and overpasses.

Also, I'm worried about how long the roads stay slick. Temperatures on Monday and Tuesday may not go above freezing in many locations. This may leave roads slick in spots, especially shady areas. Can you imagine school being out for 3 days for 1-2"? It's happened before... Never say never.

I hope I am dead wrong. It would not hurt my feelings if it were all rain! It would not hurt my feelings if the roads stayed wet. Let's prepare for the worst and hope for the best. This might be good training for when Winter actually begins!

Here's a timeline. At 6PM, rain is changing to snow in places like Hardy, Melbourne, Mtn. View, etc:
At midnight, snow and sleet covering most of Region 8. Notice the heavier band setting up where we believe the highest snow amounts will be located. We will have to watch the storm unfold to see exactly where that bands sets up:
By 6AM, we are left with flurries or freezing drizzle:
I hope this helps! I'm heading to church, but will be at work by 2:00 PM. If anything changes, I will give another update. Also, follow me on twitter at @ryanvaughan and on Facebook at

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Snow This Weekend?

There have been a lot of rumors floating around about the the chance of snow this weekend, so let's talk about what we know with some bullet points:

  • Yes, we may see some snow falling this weekend.
  • At this time, LATE Saturday and Saturday night appears to be the best window of opportunity.
  • Ground temperatures will be around 40°.
  • Little, if any, accumulation is expected.
  • Roads should be fine.
  • Most of this should come after the A-State game. 
Let's dig into the data. I do not feel confident enough to show a accumulation map, at this time. We are still a few days out and we don't need to start a bread and milk panic. Generally speaking though, I'd be shocked to see more than a dusting (less than 0.50") anywhere in Region 8. My thoughts may change on this, but that's what I'm thinking. Here's what radar could look like on Saturday evening at 6:00 PM: 
This is the GFS model above (click to enlarge) and it shows the rain/snow line right through Region 8. The one thing that may help the snow to stick is that it appears to be coming in after sunset. This will help the snow stick to elevated surfaces, if this model is right and this precipitation materializes. Let's fast forward to midnight:
Notice, the 32° line is still right through the middle of Region 8. If this happened, some would be seeing light showers... while others would be seeing light snow.

It's still early and things can change, but right now, we may see some light snow on Saturday night. I would not change my plans yet, for the reasons I mentioned earlier, but I'd keep a close eye on the forecast.

Take care,

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Record-Breaking Cold Air Next Week?

The coldest air of the season will likely plunge in next week! If the data seen now becomes a reality, we could see records broken. The record for the coolest high temperature for next Thursday (11/13) is 37°, set in 1976. Right now, we have a forecast for a high of 39°. Let me show you what some of the latest data is showing for high temperatures on Thursday, First, the Euro model shows a high of only 38° for Jonesboro. Click image to enlarge:

Next is the GFS. It also shows a VERY cold day, with highs in the 30s. It shows a high of 39° in Jonesboro. Click image to enlarge:

This is very abnormal for mid-November and that's why we are going to be so close to breaking the record for the coolest high temperature for 11/13. Let's take a look back at when that record was set in 1976. Here's an old climate log from Jonesboro. Notice how cold it was!!! Click image to enlarge:
Not only was it COLD on 11/13/1976, but it snow on 11/14!!! Now, I do not see any accumulation in the forecast, BUT flurries can not be ruled out.

I'm not a fan of cold weather, so I hope this data changes! We still have a week for it to change.

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Halloween Snow, 21 Years Ago

It's been 21 years since kids were Trick or Treating in the snow in Region 8. Snowball fights on Halloween night in Arkansas may be weird, but that's what happened over 20 years ago. When you hear about this night, it's always referred to as the time "it snowed on Halloween", but it was not ACTUALLY Halloween. You see, Halloween fell on a Sunday and many cities in Region 8 chose to trick or treat on the night before. So, the snowfall was actually on October 30th. The above image shows the strong upper-level low that had dipped south to help bring the snowfall. This is Saturday evening's 500mb map.

I decided to dig up some old climate logs to see what was written about this snow event and this is what I found. Here is the Jonesboro log for October of 1993 from Terry Wood. Click image to enlarge:
Notice, Terry logged that we had sleet and snow, with about a half inch of accumulation. Some places had more accumulation than others. Here is the historical log from Pocahontas. They has a nice snowfall, with accumulations of over an inch! Region 8 Weather Watcher, Jason Hampton, said they were having snowball fights in Randolph County as they were Trick or Treating! Click image to enlarge:
Finally, let's check one more location from that day. This climate log came from Doniphan, MO. Notice, over 2" of snow reported! Once again, click image to enlarge:
I hope you enjoyed taking a look back at the "Halloween" snowfall of 21 years ago. This Halloween will not have snow, but it will be cold!

Enjoy the cooler air!