Sunday, November 10, 2019

UPDATE: Monday's Rain To Snow

Milk and bread are still safe, but I've nudged the PANICOMETER up a little. If you are going out Monday evening, I would allow a little extra time. While most of this storm system will be RAIN, there will be a brief changeover to a wintry mix and snow on Monday evening. Keep in mind, I would suggest to allow extra time even if it just stayed rain! Here are bullet points this evening:

  • Most of tomorrow will be plain ole rain.
  • Rain will start by lunchtime.
  • It will end as wintry mix Monday evening.
  • Any accumulations will be LIGHT: decks, grills, patio furniture. (DUSTING)
  • Ends by 10-11 PM.
  • No watches, warnings, or advisories right now.
  • I would not be surprised to see some advisories as this unfolds.
  • Missouri counties stand the best chance of getting accumulations.
  • I'm telling my kids that they are going to school on Tuesday! They hope I'm wrong. LOL

Many locations will not see much accumulation and those that do will likely only have them on surfaces that are elevated. For example: decks, grills, patio furniture, and MAYBE grass. It would be pretty tough to get it to accumulate on roads.

Here's what to expect radar and temperatures to look like around 2PM. Most of us are rain, but a chilly rain:
By 6PM, the colder air starts to mix some sleet and snow into the rain in spots. But, look at the temperatures. It's tough for anything to stick when you're above freezing:
Here's one models output on snowfall potential. This is the European model:
Overall, a dusting is POSSIBLE, but not all will get it. 

Stay tuned! I'll have new data, tonight on Region 8 News. 

Friday, November 08, 2019

Snow looking LESS likely on Monday...

Monday is not looking like a big deal, even if we see a few flurries or brief light snow on the tail end of the rain. I kept telling people not to get too excited. This is also why we kept the Panicometer at the lowest level. It's just not the type of setup that yields much snow. BUT, we are still expecting a a few snowflakes.

It just doesn't look like the cold air will catch up to the moisture:
Sure, we are going to see SOME snowflakes, which is always crazy in November, but no problems are expected on the roads. It is still going to be BRUTALLY cold next! Lows will drop into the low to mid 20s again. Get ready for that.

Also, bundle up tonight for football!


Thursday, November 07, 2019

OK... Let's chat about Monday.

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At this time, the Panicometer is as low as it gets for Monday! Side note... the Panicometer is a teenager! I started the Panicometer in November of 2006. Today, stations across the nation use a similar graphic. I don't mind though. I think it is a fun way to communicate the impacts of a winter event. While it is low right now, there is a good chance that it gets nudged up a little in the next couple of days. In fact, we may nudge it up a little on Region 8 News tonight.

So, is it going to snow? Well... the easy answer is, "it might". Here are bullet points on this storm that is still 4-5 days out:
  • There will be precipitation. It may just be rain, but something will fall on Monday!
  • If the cold air plunges in, we may switch to snow.
  • The cold air IS COMING. But, will it be here before the moisture is gone?
  • LIGHT accumulations are POSSIBLE. NOT likely. So don't freak out yet.
  • Too early for an "Accumulation Forecast", but I will show you some model output below.
  • At this time, teachers and students should plan on being at school on Tuesday.
  • Keep checking back as this storm evolves. These bullet points will be adjusted.

So... let's talk about the data. We have some energy in the coming in from the SW that will enhance the precipitation while a strong cold front dives south with some brutally cold air. MOST of the event will be PLAIN OLE RAIN. As you can see in the map below, PLAIN RAIN will cover Region 8 at the start of this system: 
As we go farther into Monday evening, the MUCH colder air arrives and the models have us switching to snow. The GFS model has us switching to snow sooner in Region 8, but the Euro has the changeover after sunset. Regardless, both are showing a switch to snow:
So, how much? In years past would not even entertain that question, but in a day where you can search around on the internet and find someone sharing it anyways, I'll open that can of worms. Keep in mind that when it comes to snow "sticking", a lot of factors come into play. This is just model output. First, the Euro has the changeover later for Region 8, but has the cold air in Missouri early enough to tap into the tail end of the precipitation better:
The GFS model has the cold air coming in faster, but the precipitation ending faster, too. This really limits the snow in Missouri, but not a huge change for us in Region 8, except that the snow would come in the daytime hours. This would be good for roads. Snow sticks to roads easier at night for several reasons. Anywho, here's the GFS:
Once again, those are just maps of model output. Being that it is still a few days out, this could change a lot! Stay tuned!


Monday, November 04, 2019

Winter Outlook 2019-2020

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I'll be honest, this was a tricky outlook. In year's past, I find similar trends and patterns of the past and present to draw conclusions for the future. It's worked pretty well over the past several years. This year, I am struggling to find those correlations!

I've said it in the past, but I'm not what you would call a "long-range forecaster". I do this for fun. My job is normally forecasting the next 7-10 days.

So, where did I begin? Well, the Spring 2019 months were crazy wet. The summer did not yield any 100s. We had a lot of rain in August, but stayed mostly dry in September, with the exception of some late-month downpours. September was the hottest since 1925. We started October near 100, but ended with 30s and some flurries/sleet pellets across the state! It's been WACKY! I almost wanted to pass on making a Winter Outlook this year! But, what's the fun in that?

I initially "wanted" this to be an easy slam dunk. I wanted to look at 1925 (which had a hot September) and see huge correlations in the pattern from that year and this Winter. Sadly, it did not match up.

This year, we are really not in a "La Nina" or "El Nino" pattern. Some call it a "La Nada" or NOTHING. So, I looked at other "Nothing" years and compared it to what we have now. Don't panic when I say this, but the winter that had some similarities, was the 2008/2009 winter. Yes, that's the ice storm year, but DO NOT PANIC. That was a catastrophic event that is likely not to happen again in our lifetime. Plus, the power companies are WAY more prepared now. It's hard to find a limb over power line these days! If we had the exact same storm again, it would not be as bad because we are much more prepared.

So, here's your 2019-2020 Winter Outlook:

  • We average about 5" of snowfall in Jonesboro each winter season. NW parts of Region 8 average more. I think we will be average on snowfall this year, if our winter events are snow and not sleet or ice. Remember, snow "accumulates" more than sleet and ice. Think of it as the difference between filling jars with BBs and cotton balls. Here is a map to show you our average snowfall each Winter since 2000:
  • There are some signs that the storm tracks will often move directly over Region 8. This means the frequency of storms may be higher. Even though our snowfall is expected to be near average, I expect the overall precipitation to be above average. There are some signs that some of these storms could be ICING events. 
  • In regard to temperatures, I was really torn. However, I've come to believe that temperatures will be near average. Here's a breakdown:
    • December average low: 29, high: 48.
    • January average low: 26, high: 46.
    • February average low: 30, high 51.
    • March average low: 38, high 61.
  • Here are some random predictions I'm making for this Winter:
    • Big swings in temperatures.  Single digit lows in January, but some 70s in February.
    • 1 "small" wintry event before Christmas. (maybe advisory worthy)
    • 1 "good" snowfall with 3-6" across Region 8. (Winter Storm worthy)
    • 1 "OK" snowfall with 1-2" across Region 8. (Advisory)
    • 1 "icing" event, but not a repeat of the 2009 ice storm!
    • I predict an average of 4 snow days or AMI days. 
    • 1 severe weather event. Probably in February. 
In summary, AVERAGE snowfall, ABOVE AVERAGE Overall Precipitation, AVERAGE Temperatures. Yes, ICING is possible, but don't get too hung up on what happened in 2009.

So, there it is, folks! I'm not super confident in this year's outlook. BUT, as I have said in the past, this is just a fun thing to do late in the Fall. It's fun to watch it unfold and it's rewarding when it is accurate! I can only think of 1 year where I completely blew the outlook. I wasn't too upset about it though!

Have a great day!

Sunday, September 29, 2019

1925 Was Wacky!

For a good part of the month, we have been talking about September of 1925 as being tied as the hottest September on record. I decided to look up the old handwritten climate log and WOW, it was HOT! Take a closer look and look at those 100s at the start of the month:
Here's where 1925 gets wacky though! I decided to look up October of 1925, too (just for fun). I thought I'd find the heat continuing, but NOPE.... IT SNOWED!!! Look at the 30th:

That's right, after September of 1925 went down as the hottest... one of the earliest snowfalls of the season in Region 8 occurred. 

So, if you are wondering if the dry and hot September means anything about the rest of fall... the answer is NO.

Take care,