Thursday, April 27, 2017

Fake Tornado Reports Are Not Funny

For anyone that knows me, they know that I have pulled some pranks. My friends know that I will do anything to make them laugh or smile. The guy who posted this picture to Facebook last night was probably trying to do the same thing. I get it. But, posting fake tornado reports is not funny. It's dangerous. It creates false panic. And, it wastes time for those trying to warn people in the line of storms. The pic above was NOT from Region 8 yesterday. It is a picture from Marshall Brozek in Moore, OK in 2013. Let me explain more about the picture above:

Its' a picture of a tornado that killed 25 people in Moore, Oklahoma on May 20th, 2013:
It's the picture of a tornado that killed kids, pregnant mothers, dads, sons, and daughters. Here are their names, ages, and links to their lives:
Terri Long – 49
Megan Futrell – 29
Case Futrell – 4 months
Shannon Quick – 40
Sydnee Vargyas – 7 months
Karrina Vargyas – 4
Jeany Neely – 38
Antonia Candelaria – 9
Kyle Davis – 8
Janae Hornsby – 9
Sydney Angle – 9
Emily Conatzer -9
Nicolas McCabe – 9
Christopher Legg – 9
Cindy Plumley – 45
Deanna Ward – 70
Rick Jones – 54
William Sass – 63
Gina Stromski – 51
Tewauna Robinson – 45
Randy Smith – 39
Leslie Johnson – 46
Hemant Bhonde – 65
Richard Brown – 41
Kathryn Begay – 90

(List compiled by KFOR)

It's a pic of a tornado that lead rescue workers to spend days looking for victims, like these workers in Plaza Towers Elementary School:
Pic: Oklahoma National Guard
So, I don't find fake tornado reports funny. Most of the time, we can easily identify a fake report through metadata, recognizing the particular tornado, weather conditions, or geographical references. However, judging by the over 100 shares on Facebook, the public does not know that this is a fake report.  

I blocked out the dudes name because I've done some things in my past that I thought was funny and it wasn't. I hope he realizes that things like this matter and I hope others learn from his mistake.

Enjoy the sunshine today,

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Flooding Concerns This Weekend

I keep hoping that the models will start showing less rain over the next week, but they aren't. The 2 models that we use the most for guidance in the long range are showing some areas with 7-10" of rainfall before all of this is over. The placement of the heavy rain is still questionable, but with a very moist atmosphere for the weekend, we are bound to see some flooding... somewhere in Region 8. This is NOT GOOD considering a few rivers are ALREADY reporting minor flooding:
At the very least, some farmland may be under water by Monday. Here's what two models are showing as of right now. Remember, this is including the rain Wednesday night and the weekend. Let's hope this changes:

Stay tuned for changes... hopefully drier changes.


Monday, April 24, 2017

Severe Storms Over The Next 7 Days

If you have outdoor work that needs to be done this week, you might want to tackle those chores before Wednesday. The pattern is becoming very active over the next week. In fact, the next 7 days could be the most active weather we will have this severe weather season. I don't say that to scare you, it's just rare to have 4 of the next 7 days flagged for severe weather by the Storm Prediction Center. First, here are some bullet points:

  • Severe weather is possible on Wednesday. At this time, it appears the greatest threat will be in Central Arkansas, but we need to watch that carefully. All threats are possible: hail, strong winds, and tornadoes.
  • We get a break for Thursday and most of Friday.
  • Friday night, severe threat increases.
  • Saturday, severe weather is possible. Storms come in waves.
  • Sunday has the most dynamics. By that, I mean the winds at the surface and aloft are favorable for severe weather. Low passes north and the threat ends by Sunday night.
  • River flooding will be a concern, especially on the Black River that is already at minor flood stage. A lot of rain may fall north of the Black River basin.
Now, let's dig into some details and I'll try to keep this as simple as possible. Below is a graph showing the expected rainfall from each chance of storms. Notice that we could easily end up with over 3" of rain over the next 7 days. Some parts of northern and western Region 8 could have 4-5". This graph is for Jonesboro:
Wednesday is the first day we are going to watch. The greatest threat may be in the central part of Arkansas, but we need to watch it closely. Below is a map showing EHI (Energy Helicity Index). It shows us where the greatest threat of COMBINED energy and shear are located. This is Wednesday evening: 
After Wednesday, drier air and high pressure moves into the area. Below is a graph showing dewpoints (measure of moisture in the air). I've placed the cold fronts and the warm front to show you when the moisture increases and decreases. Notice the drop on Thursday. Thursday will be nice:

I'm going to try to make this as simple as possible. 

Friday will be interesting because we have very high CAPE (energy for storms), but may have conditions in place that block thunderstorm development. Warm front lifts north and everyone south of the front will be unstable. What this means is that the coverage may not be that widespread, but anything that forms will likely be severe. It's call a conditional threat:
Saturday is similar in nature as a few pieces of energy move through the atmosphere, we may see severe weather:
Sunday, the low pressures dig into the region and the atmosphere really gets rowdy. The wind direction and wind speed will change with height. The wind shear will be high. In my opinion, this may be the day with the greatest severe weather threat, but we shall wait and see:
The front comes through Sunday night and the threat ends.

All of this can change, but those are my quick thoughts on this Monday morning while I sip coffee. I tried to make that as simple as possible, Just stay weather aware over the next week,


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Tricky Weekend Forecast

When forecasting, you look at things that you are confident about and things that are still questionable. I'm very confident that it will rain this weekend. I'm confident that many people will see an inch or so of rainfall. I'm confident that a few areas may even see 2.00" of rainfall. I could easily go on TV tonight and say "It's going to rain this weekend" and I'd likely be right. But, we all demand more in a forecast, so we try to nail down the timing and if there will be severe weather. For the weekend, models are NOT in agreement on timing or the track of the low. The TRACK of the low determines the temperatures and just how unstable we will get in Region 8. Model 1 (GFS) has the low tracking NORTH of Region 8 Saturday afternoon. This would leave us with the threat of severe weather on Saturday afternoon and evening. Model 2 (Euro) has the low moving farther south about 12 hours sooner. Click image to enlarge:
As I mentioned, the TRACK of the low determines a lot. This is a comparison of CAPE below. CAPE is the fuel needed for storms. These images are 12 hours apart when the CAPE is most concerning for each model. For model 2 (Euro), I would very little worry about severe weather, if it verified (actually happened). I WOULD be concerned with the setup from Model 1 (GFS). Click image to enlarge:

To summarize:

  • I'm VERY confident it will rain on Saturday.
  • I'm VERY confident that a 1.00" rainfall will be common.
  • Severe threat is still questionable.
  • Timing is still questionable.
  • Stay tuned for updates, we are still a few days out.
Have a great day!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Storms Possible Tonight, But Not Much Severe

The severe weather threat is LOW tonight, but I can't rule out a severe thunderstorm warning or two. We should be mostly dry during the daytime hours, with only an isolated shower possible. The air does getting a little unstable this evening. This is a look at CAPE at 7PM. If you recall, CAPE is the fuel needed for storms, but several factors can still prevent thunderstorm development. For example, you can have a car full of gas, but if you have a dead battery... it's not going to start without some assistance:
Radar at 7PM may have most of the precipitation in central and southern Arkansas, but notice the few storms in our NW counties in that unstable environment:
I'm not overly concerned, but I will probably not go too far from the station on dinner break. By 10PM, a lot of the action moves east...
As we go further into the evening hours, the CAPE goes down:
Stay tuned for changes, but the severe weather threat appears to be LOW. Any warnings that are issued will likely be for gusty winds and quarter sized hail. We will keep an eye on radar.