Sunday, September 10, 2017

Irma Could Bring 35+ mph Winds To Region 8

The last thing rice farmers need right now is 35 mph wind gusts, but it may happen on Tuesday. For the past few days we have been tracking Hurricane Irma and it's possible impacts on Region 8. Unfortunately, it still looks to be coming this way. Here's the wind GUSTS (not sustained) projections for Tuesday at lunchtime. Notice the remnants of Irma will be in northern Mississippi and the light blue is 20+ KNOTS of wind. In MPH, all of the blue is 23+ mph. The LIGHT blue is 32 KNOTS which translates to about 36 mph:
As far as rainfall is concerned, some models give 1.00-1.50" of rain fall, but the European keeps most of the rain in TN, MS, and AL. Here's the total rain projections from the Euro:
I would plan on the worst case scenario, but hope for the best. Worst case scenario is 1.50" of rain and 40 mph winds. Everything decreases on Wednesday.

Stay with Region 8 News. We will be in the rice fields tomorrow for updates on Hurricane Irma as it moves closer to Region 8.


Saturday, September 09, 2017

Hurricane Irma Impacts on Region 8

By Tuesday, guidance is showing that the remnants of Irma will be east of us and increasing our rain chances. We WILL NOT see the amount of rain that we had with Hurricane Harvey. My greater concern is that wind gusts could go over 20 mph. Here are the expected sustained wind speeds on Tuesday:
If you notice in the above image, the SUSTAINED winds could be 10-20 mph. I'm thinking the wind GUSTS could kick up to 20-30 mph.

We will watch it closely.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Harvey Is Here!

We have a had one heck of a rain band come through Region 8 this morning. This band is well ahead of the main storm system and has dropped 4-6 of rain in some isolated spots. As of 8:00 am, here are some of the rain totals so far:

Walnut Ridge 0.07"
Paragould: 0.24"
Jonesboro: 1.62" (with a big band of rain approaching)
Bay: 2.33"
Osceola: 2.73"
Trumann: 2.81"
Fisher: 3.36"
McCrory: 5.85"

We have some DEEP moisture that this rain band is working with and this could be the heaviest rain of the day. Let's hope so because it is already overachieving!

Let me show you a map that represents how much water content we have in the air. It's called "Precipitable Water". Notice the dark reds and pinks. That is deep, tropical moisture at 7AM this morning:
Notice that we get a little drier toward lunchtime in PARTS of Region 8, but you can clearly see the center of Harvey moving closer to us at this time. This is noon:
By the evening, the deep moisture is moving away from us:
This is why I think the heaviest rain for most of Region 8 is right now. Notice I said "most". Our SE and East counties are going to be in this tropical airmass most of the day. I still think West Memphis could get 6-8" of rain today. Watch for flooded roads today!

Dry weather for the weekend!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

ARDOT Traffic Cameras. What About NE Arkansas?

For months, KATV meteorologist Todd Yakoubian and I have poked fun at ARDOT for being the LAST state in the United States to provide highway traffic cameras to the public. Most of these jabs have been done on Twitter and were mainly done to joke around with our friends at AHTD. They finally launched the cameras yesterday on their iDriveArkansas app. The cameras that have been installed look GREAT! The streaming video looks GREAT. The user interface looks GREAT. But...


If you look at their app, you will see a lot of cameras in central Arkansas:
You will also notice several cameras in NW Arkansas:

And there are a handful of cameras across other parts of the state, but what about NE Arkansas? Well... there's not much. In fact, the one camera in Region 8 launched as "temporarily unavailable"(UPDATE: This camera is now online):

And the cameras in Crittenden County on the app are owned by the Tennessee Highway Department and are not as good of quality as the cameras in Central and NW Arkansas:

Am I complaining? Yes. We pay taxes, too. There should be AT LEAST ONE camera on I555. I hope plans are in place to add cameras to the Jonesboro area soon.


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Harvey Is Coming Towards Region 8

Much like snow storms, you have to watch every evolving element of a tropical storm system. We are at a crucial time of the year for our farming community. Some need some rain, some don't. Nobody needs the wind! So here are my bullet points right now:

  • Wind on Thursday and Friday should blow at 15-20 mph. The best chance for 20 mph wind is Thursday night. This should be NOTHING like Ike from a few years ago. 
  • Rainfall amounts are still questionable because it all depends on the TRACK. The east side of the track would be the wettest, so the eastward trend in the track is favorable.
  • There will be a SHARP cutoff on rain totals. Some parts of a county will see less than an inch, while another part of the county may see 4-5".
  • Whoever is near the center or east of center, could get 6"+ of rainfall.
  • Tornadoes are possible near the center and east of center. These would be small, but fast developing tornadoes.
  • Thursday night Jr. High games may be soggy and breezy. 
  • The heaviest rain will hopefully be gone by Football Friday Night.
  • The weekend should be mostly dry.
Let's dig into some maps! First , let's look at the official forecast track from the National Hurricane Center:
The NHC is leaning towards this more eastern solution because of a couple of models that have been handling the weather nicely lately: The European and NAM. For those of us not wanting, heavy rain... we want this solution to pan out. It's faster and more east. Let me explain...

The European has the center of Harvey nearby on Friday MORNING and in Northern Mississippi and Tennessee:
The NAM has a VERY similar solution:

Here are the rainfall projections from both of those models. Notice, the Euro still has the extreme eastern parts of Region 8 getting A LOT of rain:


Now, let's talk about the worst case scenario. The GFS has not been doing as well and typically is not the most accurate model, but it occasionally beats it's competition. I hope that is not the case with this storm. It has a SLOWER and more WEST track. In fact, it still has Harvey on top of us on Friday evening:
Because it has the track of Harvey going right over us, the rainfall projections are crazy high:
Yes, that shows a larger area getting 7-9" of rainfall. That would be very bad. While this model is all by itself with the western track, we can't completely discount the possibility. At KAIT, we are going to be prepared for the worst case scenario... just in case. 

Stay tuned as we track every step of Harvey's track. We will keep you informed on the latest updates and changes.