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!

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.

  • 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.


Saturday, January 14, 2017

BOOM, It's A Girl! Weather Helps Spread The Good News!

Shortly after 3:30 this afternoon, I received messages, tweets, and Facebook mentions asking about a loud "boom". Some thought it was thunder, some thought it was a transformer, someone even made a connection to a train incident. I checked for lightning, an earthquake, a wreck, and power outages. I found nothing! I concluded that it MIGHT have been a sonic boom from a military aircraft. I still questioned that theory because the weather conditions were not great for flying. This evening I found the answer! It was a baby gender reveal! CONGRATS! IT'S A GIRL! Tannerite style!

But, why was it so loud? Why was it heard in 4 counties? SCIENCE!

Today, we had a strong temperature inversion. This means that we had warmer air aloft. To be more precise, the air started getting warmer @ 900'. Below is a forecast sounding for 3:00 this afternoon in Jonesboro to show the temperature profile of the atmosphere. The red line is the temperature. Notice how the atmosphere is warmer at 900'. This put a "cap" on the sound waves and allowed them to carry for miles! This fun baby gender reveal was heard in at least 4 counties!
In a more normal atmospheric setup, the soudnwaves would not carry as far because they would go up and not bounce back to the earth:
This will be a cool story for their daughter one day! As someone on Twitter said, "GO BIG, OR GO HOME!"


Sunday, January 08, 2017

Plain Rain Is A Good Thing

***Before we go any farther: IF we see ice, it will NOT be as bad as 2009***

As expected, models are starting to not agree on what will happen next weekend. Shallow cold air is tough to pinpoint. Just look at the temperature gradient going into next weekend from one model:
One model has the colder air farther south, one has it farther north. Therefore, each model has a different idea of where we will see ice (pink). Here are both:

If anyone gets a round of ice, it may only be NW Region 8. This is still 6 days out... Let's just hope ALL OF US stay with plain rain:

Saturday, January 07, 2017

First Alert: Icy Pattern May Develop Next Weekend

It's early, but the data is hinting at some type of wintry weather next Saturday, 1/14/2017. As we learned with this last storm, deviation to the north or south by 50 miles makes a huge difference. While it's too early for specifics, I will point out a few bullet points:

  • We will not be lacking moisture. There will be a lot of precipitation, so we need to hope it is rain. Precip TYPE is questionable.
  • Temperatures are questionable. There will be a SHARP temperature gradient across Region 8.
  • Snow is unlikely because of warm air aloft. Therefore, if surface temperatures drop below freezing, the precipitation would be sleet or freezing rain.
  • Some people may stay just rain. I hope all of us...
  • Models are in better agreement than the last storm!
It's early, but I know many people have weekend plans next week. Let's hope that it is just a rain event, but be on standby in case it is more. Enjoy the warmer air prior to this storm.

Have a great weekend!