Friday, April 25, 2014

Be Prepared, Not Scared

It's Friday night. Typically, I would be looking forward to having the next two days off work, but it's looking like a one-day weekend for me. We are expecting a severe weather event that could have several rounds over a 3 day period. Here are the bullet points as of Friday night:

  • Severe weather is expected Sunday evening and night.
  • Severe weather is likely on Monday at any point during the day, with the greatest risk in the afternoon.
  • Severe weather is possible on Tuesday, BUT there is a chance the threat will shift east. Still questionable.
  • Hail, strong winds, and tornadoes are possible.
  • On our scale that we use at KAIT, I expect all of Region 8 to have a high threat of severe weather at some point.
  • Colder air moves in for the middle of the week.
In a situation like this, people want to know the hour it will hit their house. That's an impossible forecast. The atmosphere is going to be locked and loaded Sunday PM through Tuesday. I can't rule out severe weather at any time. We are going to take one wave at a time and the first wave should arrive on Sunday afternoon and evening. Here is the threat map for Sunday:

There is a chance that we will adjust this map for the higher threat to encompass all of Region 8, especially Sunday night. While wind and hail are the greatest risks, tornadoes are possible: 

Let's take a look at some data. First off, let me show you the "CAPE" or the energy needed for the storms. It's high across the entire state at 4PM on Sunday, with the highest amount of energy in Central and southern Arkansas:

That should get some severe storms going. Here is what the WRF model shows for a possible radar image at 10PM. This would be some nasty weather:

A data product that I really like to look at is the simulated satellite data. It really helps to show if the model is expecting a line of storms or supercells. The WRF clearly shows supercells at 10PM on Sunday evening:

Here's our game plan for the Storm TEAM. I'm going to try to spend as much time with my family before the storms arrive. Therefore, I'm going to be spending as much time as possible at a basketball tournament. Justin and Andrew will be at the station all afternoon on Sunday. As soon as a warning is issued, they will go on-air and I'll be there in 10 minutes. That's my plan, but you guys know me well enough by now that if any storm even starts to look severe... I may come in before the warnings. 

I'll be transparent, these next few days have me concerned. I do not want you to be scared, I want you to be prepared. There is a difference. Have a family meeting and discuss where to go in a tornado. Dig out the football, bike, baseball, and softball helmets and have them on standby to protect your heads... kids and adults.

Follow me on Twitter at for more updates through the weekend. I'm going to try to blog again on Saturday morning.

Take care,

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