Friday, February 22, 2019

Severe Threat Shifting SE, But Still Needs Watching

This map shows some good news for parts of Region 8, but we are not letting our guard down and not changing our plans on coverage. I am still highly concerned for areas around Wynne to as far north as Blytheville.

Let's dive right into some maps. First, we will hear storms through the overnight, but they will have more BARK than BITE. This means... they will mainly just be loud. By 11AM, the atmosphere is prime for severe storms with damaging winds and possibly tornadoes. Just because the greatest threat is shifting SE, DO NOT LET YOUR GUARD DOWN ANYWHERE IN REGION 8:
In addition to the storms, I'm worried about the wind outside of the storms. We call this "gradient winds" because they are the winds that are dependent on the gradient between high and low pressure. During the daytime hours, they will gust over 40 mph from the south...
As go into the overnight, the winds gust from the NW over 40 mph:
With SATURATED ground, this will be like wiggling loose teeth on trees! I would not be surprised to have trees down and power outages from the winds alone. We will also be watching for that threat.

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Severe Weather, Saturday February 23rd.

We've had another active 24 hours, with many locations picking up another 2-3" of rainfall. This moved Jonesboro to the 5th wettest February on record. Now, it's time to focus on Saturday. The models are not in full agreement, but they are in enough of agreement to be concerned about severe weather Saturday afternoon. The details will be come more clear in the next few days. Make sure you have our Region 8 weather app for video updates. Here are my thoughts about Saturday, as of today:

  • All modes of severe weather are possible: Wind, hail, and even tornadoes.
  • Straight-line wind damage is the main threat.
  • Timing appears to be Saturday afternoon. It's too early to get any more precise. 
  • Additional 1.00-1.50" of rainfall.
  • We are still keeping it a LOW risk of severe weather for now, but may upgrade that to a Medium risk. I do not expect us to upgrade to high or extreme. 
We are going to have all hands on deck on Saturday. Bryan and I will likely be in studio in case we have to break into regular programming, Zach will be out in the Central Nissan StormTRACKER. 

Let's dig into some maps. This appears to be a very dynamic system. The winds within this storm will be strong and will change with height. This first map shows is the winds about 5,000' up. I get concerned when the winds are over 35-40 kts. This map shows the winds at 5,000' will be about 65 kts on Saturday afternoon. 

In addition to the wind speed, they will be changing with height. This map shows the change in wind direction with height. Notice that the speed and direction change with height:
The air will be marginally unstable, but impressive for February:

We'll keep an eye on it.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Rain Tonight. What about Snow?

I think we are all a little uneasy about a forecast that calls for rain to end as snow after last Saturday. On Saturday, we expected MINOR accumulations (until Friday night and Saturday morning), but the colder air plunged in quickly and we saw a few inches of snow in parts of Region 8. I didn't really pick up on that trend until Saturday morning, just a few hours before it got crazy. A little later than I wanted.... but, I'm glad that we were a little above freezing or we would still have covered roads.

With that said, we once again find ourselves in  situation where the rain will end as snow. As you can imagine, I'm a little hesitant to say that there "will not be much accumulation", BUT I'm going to do it anyway. Tomorrow morning does not look like a huge problem. Here are my thoughts right now:

  • Most of the daytime hours will be dry and windy.
  • Rain increases tonight.
  • A squall line moves through between 2:00-4:00 AM.
  • Severe weather threat is very low, but the winds could get gusty.
  • 0.75-1.00" of RAINFALL expected.
  • Briefly ends as snow around mid morning.
So, let's dive into some data. All of the models show a wet night across Region 8. These maps show what radar could look like at 3AM and you can see the heavier squall line that could have some thunder overnight:

We don't need any more rainfall, but it's coming. Most data is showing 0.75-1.00" of rainfall. Here are the model runs in graph form:
This is what it looks like on a map:

Lastly, some of the data still shows the rain ending as snow, but ALL DATA shows little to no accumulation:

So, get ready for a soggy night and a wet drive to work and school on Wednesday morning. Don't panic if you see snowflakes.


Monday, December 31, 2018

Winter Weather This Week? I'm Not Too Worried.

I've had a few people asking about the chance of snow and ice this week, so let me clear up some things. First, it's not looking like a big deal. Yes, we have had the chance of "mix" in our forecast for a few days, but it's mainly going to be a cold rain in Region 8. Here are my bullet points this morning:

  • This will be mainly a cold rain event. 
  • No data is showing enough wintry weather to warrant any watches, warnings, or advisories for Region 8. Therefore, we do not have RED on the 7 Day Forecast beyond today.
  • Yes, we will see some snowflakes and freezing rain in parts of Region 8. I just don't expect huge problems.
  • Timing: Wednesday and Thursday.
  • NW Arkansas may get enough for travel impacts, but I'm not even sold on that.
  • If this changes, we will tell you.
Let's look at some maps to back up my thoughts. First, the Weather Prediction Center agrees with me:

Here's the probability of at least 0.10" of freezing rain from the WPC:

Here's the probability of 1"+ of snowfall. Yes, that shows a 10% chance or less in the Ozarks. Not too concerning at this time.:

Here's the probability of wintry weather for Thursday:

Now, let's look at the GFS and Euro weather models. Here's the output for snowfall:

And here's the output of freezing rain:

Here's the deal. I know there is a lot of social media chatter. We are watching it. We are not too worried. If we DO get worried, we will tell you. Otherwise, enjoy New Year's Eve!


Friday, December 07, 2018

Tricky Forecast!

This might be one of the trickiest forecasts. Many models are backing off on the winter storm, while a couple of models are still ALL IN on wintry weather impacts for tomorrow. Here are my thoughts as of this morning:

  • This storm is going to surprise us... I'm just not sure how... yet.
  • Overall, snow forecasts are being adjusted downward.
  • Overall, freezing rain forecast is not being adjusted yet. Swath of 0.25" still expected.
  • Reminder, freezing rain typically is not "too" bad for roads. Sleet and snow is worse.
  • Greatest threat for travel problems is in Independence, Sharp, Jackson, and Cleburne counties in Region 8. This does not mean we will not see slick spots in other locations.

To give you an idea of the wide range of data this morning. Here's the the snow output from two models:

Here's the range of freezing rain output:

I'm hoping the data comes more in line this afternoon. Stay tuned.