Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Have We Had A Winter? I Say "Kind of..."


As we start to question if Winter is done, many are asking if we ever had a Winter. I say "kind of...". Let me break down some facts that might surprise you:

  • We had 13 days with freezing temperatures in December.
  • We had 7 days in the 20s in December.
  • We had 3 days in the teens! We woke up on on December 19th at 13°!
  • We had a trace of snow on December 17th. Side note... We went from 76° to 19° from the 17th to the 18th!
  • We officially had 2" of snowfall on January 6th in Jonesboro. I only had 0.50" and other parts of Region 8 had flurries. Still... officially there was 2".
  • We had 8 days with freezing temperatures in January. 
  • Morning lows for January 6th-9th were: 17,11,10,18 respectively. 
  • Even this month (February), we have had 6 mornings of freezing temperatures. 
  • On February 4th, we started the day at 23°.
So, I say we "kind of" had a Winter. It's been a Winter with some BIG swings in temperatures, but we expected that. February is going to go down as one of the warmest on record. We are already in the Top 6!

I've come to learn that we have about a "2 week weather memory". That means that if we had 20° for the next 2 weeks and 1-2 snow events, we would forget about the 70s over the past week. With that said... I see no snow in the forecast. ;)

Have a great (Springlike) day!
Ryan

Monday, February 20, 2017

Top 10 Warmest February Temperatures In Region 8

As of today, this is the 8th warmest February on record in Jonesboro. The average temperature is running 7.8° above average. That's the warmest February in 27 years! Here's the Top 10 warmest average February temperatures on record:
As always, I like to look back at the record breaking years, so let's look at 1930 in Jonesboro. I highlighted some interesting things:
All of the dates that had 60s and 70s, I highlighted. They had most of their warm air in the second half of the month. We had some 70s earlier this month and 70s in the forecast. I feel we are going to break into the Top 5 before this month is over. Another thing to note about 1930 is the number of frosts. They had 8 mornings with frost. I don't have an exact number for 2017, but I think we have only had 3-4 so far. Something that has lowered our average in 2017 is the overnight lows. You may have forgotten, but we woke up on February 4th with a temperature of 23°.
We will continue to watch the rest of the month unfold, but with forecast highs in the 60s and 70s over the next 6 days, a Top 10 finish for warmest February temperatures seems very likely.

Stay tuned!
Ryan

Monday, February 06, 2017

Severe Storm Potential: Tonight and Tomorrow

We are warm and unstable over the next few days. Despite that, the severe storm risk is "conditional". It's one of those setups that "if" something develops, it could be severe. Not everyone will see rain and storms. Here are my bullet points this morning:

  • The best chance to see severe weather will be tonight and through noon tomorrow. (12AM-12PM)
  • Gusty winds and hail are possible.
  • Tornadoes are possible.
  • Make sure you have a way to get warnings while you are sleeping. Some storms could develop before the alarm clock goes off. 
Let's dig into some maps. The air starts getting unstable tonight. This map shows CAPE or the energy needed for storms:
Models do show some storms developing tonight. A few factors come into play, but I do expect storms between midnight and daybreak somewhere in Region 8. Probably in our western areas. Prior to midnight, I'll be looking somewhere between Little Rock and Mountain Home for storms that could impact Region 8. This map shows how much rain the GFS thinks will fall between 6PM and midnight tonight:
Tomorrow morning through lunch, the instability shifts East and the threat will continue for us into the lunch hour, especially in the eastern parts of Region 8:
Not everyone will have rain, but each storm that develops should be watched. This is the GFS precipitation from Tuesday morning until noon:
It's NOT a high or extreme risk at this time, but any risk (low, medium, etc) should be taken seriously. We will watch it closely. Stay tuned to the KAIT weather app and Region 8 News.

Ryan

Monday, January 16, 2017

Do You Remember This Day In 1994?

On this day in 1994, we already had an inch of snow on the ground and a Winter Storm Warning for more snow AND ICE! The above image is the old climate log from KAIT in 1994. You'll notice Terry Wood's signature at the bottom. In the days to come, we had freezing rain to stick to the power lines and 4-8" of snow on top of the ice! As Terry noted on the log, at least 8,000 were without power. I'd assume that number might have been higher because the technology was not in place to track those numbers as well as we can today. This storm caused travel problems across the entire state!

Just rain today!
Ryan

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Halfway Through Winter: How's It Going?

There are Astronomical Winter dates and Meteorological Winter dates. Astronomical Winter dates are based on the sun. This year, it runs from December 21st to March 20th. Meteorological Winter is based on the months. Therefore, December-February. Based on Meteorological Winter, we are halfway through the season! For someone that is not a fan of winter, I'm happy.

Let's review the first half of Winter.

December:
  • Average temperature was 41°, which is 1.5° above average.
  • Precipitation for the month was 4.46", which is 0.31" below average.
  • We had a little sleet in spots, but nothing to cause travel problems.
  • Some places had single digit lows on December 19th and 20th.
Just for fun... Here's what I thought about December (in November) versus what the Old Farmer's Almanac said:

January So Far:
  • Average temperature has been 38.7°, which is 1.7° above average.
  • Precipitation so far is at 1.50", which is 0.04" below average.
  • We have had 1 winter weather event that produced 0-3" of snowfall across Region 8. 
Again, just for fun... Here's what I thought about January (in November) versus what the Old Farmer's Almanac said:

Long-range forecast is not too far off, so far. Long range forecasting is difficult with a high degree of uncertainty! I'm pleased so far.

Rest of Winter?
  • This can change, but I don't see any winter storms for Region 8 through January.
  • I think I'll miss the temperature outlook that I did in November for January. We will probably end up at or above average on the temperatures. Mainly because overnight lows are staying higher due to cloud cover. 
  • I still think February is going to be warmer than average. The Old Farmer's Almanac and I pretty much agree on February. While wintry weather is still possible, it will feel like an early start to Spring. Here's the outlook from November:

Let's sit back and watch! I'm still concerned about severe weather over the next couple of months. Make sure you family has a plan in the event of tornado warnings.

Ryan