Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Record-Breaking Holiday Weekend Rainfall!

I'm so sick of rain. Last week, most of Region 8 had 5-7" of rainfall. Over the Holiday weekend, we could see that much rain AGAIN. In addition to watching the rainfall for travel, we may have record breaking rainfall! Below is the TOP 10 wettest months on record and the TOP 10 wettest Novembers on record:
So far this month, Jonesboro has had 7.89" of rainfall. We are EASILY going to be in the Top 10 wettest Novembers on record. In fact, we may easily be the 2nd wettest November by Sunday night. In addition, there is a high chance that we break into the Top 10 wettest overall months on record! To get into the Top 10, we only need 3.48" of rainfall. I'm confident we will see that much rain. We shall watch and wait, but I'm not sure this is a record I want to break.

Now, to the forecast. Here are my bullet points on this Tuesday morning:

  • Most of Thanksgiving Day is dry. Just spotty showers.
  • Friday is looking soggy! 2-3"of rain is likely to fall on Friday alone.
  • Saturday looks to have periods of steady rainfall. 1-2" of rain will fall.
  • Sunday looks similar to Saturday with another 1-2" of rainfall.
  • Total rainfall will be in the 4-7" range, if the forecast does not change.
  • One difference from last week is that we had a few rounds of heavy rain. This looks to be more of a prolonged steady rainfall. 
Here are a couple of images showing the "total rainfall" for the 4 day weekend. They are really coming into agreement and the confidence in our wet forecast is growing. 

The GFS has been the wettest. This might be overdone a little, but the GFS did well last week:
Here's the Euro. For awhile, it had Saturday and Sunday mostly dry. It's now starting to come in line with the GFS. Another model, the GEM, is also starting to line up with the GFS. Here's the Euro:

Stay dry!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Heavy Rain Update, 11/16/15

The above image shows how much rain we could see today through sunrise on Wednesday, As we have been mentioning for several days, 3-5" of rain is likely. I've already picked up about 0.50" at my house and many places have already seen 1.00"+. Here are my thoughts on this Monday morning at 11:00 am:

  • The heaviest rain still looks to be Tuesday Night.
  • In additions to heavy rain, the wind will blow between 20-30+ mph Tuesday PM from the SE.
  • 3-5" of rain is likely (storm total), with some isolated areas getting over 5".
  • Flash Flood Watch is in effect for all of Region 8.
Here is how radar may appear at Midnight tonight:

Radar, mid-morning tomorrow.... Might be a brief break:

Radar Tuesday night with the heaviest rain:

Stay tuned! Live Facebook video this afternoon for some Q&A. Check the KAIT weather App for hourly forecasts!


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Recapping The Day & What's Next

You can click the above image to see the severe weather reports from today, as of 7:00 PM. I'm not giving us the all clear yet. But, we are looking pretty good. Hopefully I don't jinx us. I'm staying in the studio... just in case.

When you look at the severe weather reports in the above image, most of the action was in Iowa, northern Missouri, and Illinois. The map below is the risk map we showed last night:

Overall, the forecast was not too far off. I expected a few wind damage reports, but I won't complain! We had most of the area in a low risk, so I should not be too surprised at having no damage reports. Once again, I root for people and not storms... so tonight is a victory. As I type this, I'm still a little concerned about a wind damage threat until 9:00 PM or so.

So, what's next? We are going to be dry for several days, including most of the weekend. Sunday night, a warm front lifts north. This bring a lot of moisture into Region 8 on Monday. As the low pressure passes overhead on Tuesday, we may see heavy rain and storms. Models are showing a lot of rain over that 48 hour period:
We will keep you posted. I'm going to go back to watching radar. See you guys at 10:00.


SEVERE Weather This Evening

I am growing more concerned about the threat for severe weather this evening. We will have the Central StormTRACKER in place before the storms arrive. At this time, I'm thinking we will setup along Highway 49 in Cross or Poinsett Counties and move as needed.

Here are my thoughts in bullet points:

  • Storms move into western areas between 3-5 PM.
  • Most car lines will be safe, but we could see a few showers ahead of stronger storms.
  • Strait-line winds still look to be the main threat.
  • There is still a threat of tornadoes! Do not take this lightly.
  • The threat should be gone by Region 8 News at 10:00.
Let's show some maps:

I will Facebook LIVE video later today. 


Monday, November 09, 2015

Wednesday's Severe Weather Threat, Update 11/9

It still appears that we will have a line of storms come through on Wednesday, which could be severe. Here are my thoughts as of 1:00 PM on Monday, 11/9:
  • We are currently forecasting a MEDIUM risk of severe weather.
  • There will not be a lot of rain with this line of storms. Rainfall will range from a Trace-0.40" or so. Most location will get less than 0.25"
  • This is a storm system with high wind sheer, but not much instability.
  • Straight-line winds are the main threat.
  • There is a chance of tornadoes.
  • If a tornado occurs, it will develop quickly and move quickly. Treat every storm seriously.
  • Timing of the strongest storms in Region 8:
    • 3:00 PM-6:00 PM: Baxter, Stone, Fulton, Izard, Cleburne, White, Independence, Sharp, Howell, Oregon Counties.
    • 6:00 PM-9:00 PM- Ripley, Butler, Dunklin, Pemiscot, Randolph, Lawrence, Jackson, Woodruff, Clay, Craighead, Poinsett, Cross, St. Francis, Mississippi, and Crittenden counties. 
We have a strong a upper-low moving across the country. Ahead of that low, the air "spreads out" or "fans out". We call that difference and it is a prime setup for severe weather. It's kind of hard to explain, but maybe you can see the area highlighted below:
As mentioned before, there is not much "instability" with this storm system. This map below shows the "CAPE" or Convective Available Potential Energy. Notice the thin ribbon that moves through. It's not much, but enough to give these storms some lift:
I mentioned that there will not be much rain with this storm system. It's a fast mover and I'd be shocked to see many people get over 0.25" of rain. In fact, many areas will struggle to get over a trace. The storms that DO form will be small, move fast, and have some gusty winds. The chance of a tornado is also possible:
While the threat is not quite into the high or extreme range, we still need to keep an eye on these storms. Thankfully, they are not coming in after we go to bed.

Stay tuned for more updates!

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Watching Wednesday

We are watching Wednesday closely and we are trying to give everyone an advanced notice that there may be strong storms. One of my pet peeves is when there is a natural disaster, people say they did not know it was coming or they did not have a warning. By telling you that there is a chance of severe weather several days out, you can plan accordingly. We are not saying it will be worst weather of the year or that we all need to hide in our safe spots on Wednesday. We are just saying that you need to have a way to get severe weather warnings on Wednesday.

The Region 8 Storm TEAM uses a 4 part scale to communicate the risk of severe weather. There is only a Medium risk for Wednesday, but a risk that needs to be taken seriously. It's not a high or extreme risk, but if we feel that we need to bump it up over the next few days, we will.

Here are my thoughts on this Sunday morning in bullet points:

  • Severe weather is possible in the afternoon and evening hours of Wednesday.
  • Instability is not that high, but wind shear is high.
  • Strong winds aloft may lead to wind damage and even the chance of tornadoes.
  • I do anticipate severe weather watches from the Storm Prediction Center.
Let's show a few maps for you weather geeks. On Wednesday, a strong upper-low will be moving across the county. The pattern is starting to take on more of a "negative tilt" in the trough than what it appeared to have in earlier model runs. That's what has a few people more concerned this morning. I highlighted the area to watch: 
Winds at about 5,000 are quite impressive. This easily exceeds our threshold of what we look for in severe storms:
I mentioned earlier that one of the limiting factors was unstable air. We measure that by looking at the CAPE or Convective Available Potential Energy. We see that the CAPE increases along the line of storms, but it is not outrageously high:
Even though the CAPE is not that high, we still have a very active atmosphere above with changing wind speeds and directions with height. 

We will watch it closely. There's not need to panic. At this time it is only a Medium risk, not a high or extreme risk.