Friday, February 12, 2016

Valentines Wintry Mix Update

We are still watching Valentines Day closely for the chance of a wintry mix. There has not been much change in the forecast, but it does appear to be speeding up a little. Here are my thoughts as of 3:30 PM on Friday, February 12th:

  • This still does not appear to be a big winter storm, but minor travel impacts are possible.
  • The precipitation looks to come in a little faster than previously thought.
  • Scattered sleet comes in on Sunday morning.
  • Sleet will be off and on through the day on Sunday.
  • Some areas switching to freezing rain.
  • Any accumulation of sleet will be less than 1"
  • Any accumulation of freezing rain should be less than 0.25".
  • Watch each newscast for the latest update on new data and analysis. 
Let's look at some maps to see what radar might look like. First, the sleet arriving Sunday morning:
By the lunchtime, we still have some sleet and freezing rain:
By the 10:00 News, many areas may be barely above freezing with just some showers:

We are watching it closely! Stay tuned.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Sleet On Valentine's Day?

We are still a few days away, but there is a chance of some sleet late on Sunday afternoon and Sunday night. There are still some questions to be answered, but we may see a brief taste of winter Sunday night. Here are my thoughts as of 8:45 AM on Wednesday, February 10th:

  • This does NOT look to be a big winter storm.
  • Sleet and Freezing Rain looks to be the main precipitation type.
  • Arrives late on Sunday.
  • Ends before sunrise on Monday.
  • Too early to nail down precipitation types for each area.
  • Too early to speculate on accumulations.
  • Highs in the 40s on Monday.
  • 50s and 60s next week.
Here's what some of the data is showing. Sunday afternoon, cold air is on place at the surface, but some warm air aloft will melt the snowflakes as they fall. Near the surface, they should refreeze. If not, they may freeze on contact. That's the difference between sleet and freezing rain. This forecast sounding for midnight on Sunday Night/Monday morning shows what the temperature may do as you go up with height. Notice the brief period of temperatures above freezing:
The result is an area of WINTRY MIX. Here's how this could shake out. Precipitation comes in on Sunday afternoon and evening:
The precipitation increases through the overnight as the warm air tries to move into Region 8... but probably not fast enough:

By sunrise on Monday, the precipitation will be gone:

As I said, I'm not overly concerned YET. This can change, so stay tuned. We will adjust and fine tune the forecast as it develops.


Sunday, January 31, 2016

Not Much Rain, But Strong Storms Possible

Good Sunday evening! I've been in Huntsville over the past few days learning about some new equipment we have a KAIT. I also heard from several people in the business about best practices for severe weather coverage. It was a very beneficial weather conference.

Now, it's time to focus on the chance of storms through lunchtime on Tuesday:

Here are my thoughts as of 8:00 PM on Sunday, January 31st:

  • I'm not overly concerned about the threat of severe weather in Region 8, but we will have to watch our eastern areas on Tuesday morning. 
  • Prior to that time period, we may see a few showers tonight and Monday.
  • We will be cooler on Monday before the warm front moves north.
  • The greatest chance for severe weather will be Tuesday morning through lunch.
  • The greatest threat is from Crowley's Ridge to West Tennessee.
Let's dig into some maps! Right now, we have a cold front moving through that has sparked off a few showers:
That front lifts back to the north tomorrow night to give us a few showers and it will make the air unstable. Since the warm front does not lift across Region 8 until the evening hours, Monday's temperatures will be cooler than what we had today:
On Tuesday morning, the air will be unstable, but not as much as what it will be in Tennessee by the afternoon. We should have showers developing into thunderstorms around Crowley's Ridge. Some of these storms may be strong:
The greater threat from this line of storms will come when it goes into Tennessee, Mississippi, and Kentucky:
Once that line moves out, our severe weather threat drops to zero and we will actually be left with a very nice afternoon before the colder air plunges in for the rest of the week.

In Summary, we have a LOW risk of severe weather for Region 8, with the exception of areas from Crowley's Ridge eastward where there is a MEDIUM risk. We may move that risk farther east in later forecasts.  


Thursday, January 28, 2016

Severe Weather Threat: Monday Night

Good morning, everyone! The Region 8 Storm TEAM is keeping a close eye on a storm that will impact Region 8 on Monday night. Here are my thoughts on Thursday, 1/28/16, at 7:45 AM:

  • Severe weather is possible Monday night into Tuesday morning.
  • Strong winds, hail, and even tornadoes are possible.
  • While the timing might help us with less instability, people are more vulnerable when they are asleep.
  • Confidence in storms is high.
  • Confidence in "severe" storms is medium right now, but growing.
  • The SPC (Storm Prediction Center) is also highlighting our area for severe weather.
  • Have a way to get warnings while you sleep:
    • Storm TRACK 8 App
    • Text STORM to 52488
    • Make sure your NOAA weather radio works
  • Stay tuned for changes in the forecast.
Now, let's dig into the stuff that only the weather geeks are interested in seeing. Others can get back to work! LOL

 The GFS and Euro model, both show unstable air in the overnight hours of Monday night and Tuesday morning. These maps show "CAPE" or Convective Available Potential Energy. In other words, the energy needed to fuel the storms:

It's not only the unstable atmosphere that has us concerned. This is a very strong storm system. The dynamics of it are similar to storms that have produced severe storms in the past:

I won't be on air for the next couple of days, but I will be working and watching this storm develop. Stay tuned for more updates and watch Justin and Rachel over the next few days. 

Friday, January 22, 2016

Storm Recap

The above image shows what fell last night and where. As I look at that map, there is no way to have forecast the storm accurately. I would have never gone on-air with a forecast map that has an "ice storm sandwich" between "heavy snow bread". Regardless, I'm my toughest critic and I'm looking for ways to learn from last night.

At my house, I had at least 0.25" of freezing rain, if not more. All rain gauges were frozen. I left and drove west to find snow. As I came down Crowley's Ridge by Mrs. Addies on Hwy 412, I started noticing white rooftops. By the time I got to Light, they had a dusting of snow. I kept driving west and by the time I arrived in Walnut Ridge, they had 2-3" of snow. That's only 20 miles! I then turned north and found the 5-6" in Randolph County. A direct path from my house to the 6" of snow is 31 miles. Folks, that's a tough forecast.

I've taken the slamming on social media from those that saw no snow. It comes with the job. In my bitterness, I banned a few people that I shouldn't have. If that was you, I'm sorry. Maybe.

I have an idea for a blog post soon that compares Meteorologists to Referees. We don't always get the call right, but we don't do it on purpose.

Have a great weekend. You guys are the best viewers in the world.