Archive for July, 2007

July 31, 2007

Earlier this morning, winds of tropical depression three were estimated to be around 30 kts. or approximately 35 mph. A Storm gets named once winds reach 39 mph or better. This happened in the case of TD3 and now it has become the third named storm of the Atlantic tropical season, Chantal. Naming of storms is predetermined and rotates every six years. In the case of a particularly bad storm, such as Katrina, the name gets retired.

Chantal presently has winds of 40 mph and is moving to the northeast at 23 mph. It is mainly a threat for the shipping industry and poses no threat to the States.


Fayetteville tops 90 F
July 30, 2007

It took almost all of July to finally hit 90F in Fayetteville. Yesterday Drake Field hit 91F. At this point last year 90F or above had been reached some 28 times. It’s quite likely that we’ll be flirting with the somewhat elusive mark this week as well. On the positive side, we’re almost into August and by the 15th of the month, average highs begin to lower.

In Fort Smith, 90F or better has been reached some 24 times. This compared to last years 54 times at this point is low. Yesterday’s high of 95F is the highest of the summer thus far. Last year by this time Fort Smith had seen 100F or better several times. What we’ll be contending with this week is a high heat index. By the time moisture is factored in it can feel much hotter than it actually is. Be especially careful this week to; drink plenty of fluids, take frequent breaks, and keep an eye on pets and the elderly.

Sunday’s Outflow Boundary
July 29, 2007

The heat and humidity of Sunday gave way to more storms along a washed out frontal boundary; moreover, what started out as isolated convection near Franklin county, quickly developed into scattered showers and storms throughout the River Valley. Take a look at the radar image above. You are looking at 2 separate outflow boundaries from a complex of storms that originally developed near Ozark.

An outflow boundary is the rain cooled air that flows away from a thunderstorm. You can think of outflow like exhaust from an engine. These boundaries are typically picked up on radar, and they look like a fuzzy curved line moving away from storms. These outflow boundaries act like mini cold fronts that help lift the warm and humid air.

This particular outflow boundary created a line of strong storms from Marble City all the way to Poteau around 5:45 p.m.

Sunday Afternoon Storm Update
July 29, 2007

The washed out frontal boundary is now starting to fire across our area. Look for scattered afternoon showers and storms to persist as we go throughout the afternoon and evening hours. Very isolated strong to possibly severe storms can’t be ruled out.

CAPE values are running close to 3,000 this afternoon, so small dime size hail will be a possibility within the stronger storms. Dry air aloft is still present from Oklahoma City to Springfield. This may contribute to strong gusty thunderstorm winds around 50 mph.

This front will give us chances for storms throughout the upcoming work week. Remember you can always check our super doppler radar loop to find out where the storms are going… is the only television weather website to have that feature for your convenience!

Saturday Evening Storm Update
July 28, 2007

It’s turned out to be one of the hottest days of the summer! The frontal boundary we’ve been watching has blown up across Kansas and Missouri this afternoon; however, the boundary’s slowly moving south, so we’re still expecting a chance for showers and storms this evening across NE OK and NW AR.

CAPE values this afternoon have climbed around 2,000 J/KG, which still suggests that the storms could produce small hail. Dry air aloft may also contribute to strong gusty winds around 50 mph.

Saturday Storm Potential
July 28, 2007

A slow moving frontal boundary could provide the focus for showers and storms this afternoon. The best coverage area for storms will remain north of I-40 across NE OK and NW AR in association with the front.

Morning sunshine combined with low level moisture will contribute to CAPE values approaching 3,000 J/KG this afternoon. The Little Rock upper air sounding above indicates a substantial pool of dry air aloft, and that favors strong gusty winds due to evaporational cooling aloft.

Widespread strong to severe storm activity is not expected; however, a few storms may need to be watched, so we’ll monitor the afternoon closely.

Dog Days of Summer….
July 27, 2007

We’re in the thick of it now, and there’s no turning back! Typically, from the 21st of July through the 12th of August, we see the hottest temperatures throughout our area. During this period our average high in Fort Smith is 94 degrees while Fayetteville typically climbs to 90.

Record highs during this stretch are impressive. On August 10th, 1936, Fort Smith climbed to a sweltering 113 degrees. Fayeteville’s mercury reached 106 back on August 4th 1964.

The forecast is for a below average August, so we’ll see which way the mercury goes!

July 27, 2007

That swirl in the clouds off the Baja coast is “Dalila”, A weakening tropical storm. As of this blog entry, Dalila has 30 mph winds and continues to move to the WNW at 9 mph. The storm is encountering cool waters not conducive to intensification and it will likely become a remnant Low.

The picture comes from a favorite website of mine to grab satellite info worldwide. Check it out.

July 26, 2007

July 26, 1943: Tishomingo, OK, which is southwest of McAlester, baked in the heat as the mercury soared to 121 degrees! This is the Sooner State record high temperature.

BLIND SPOT… this is neat!
July 26, 2007

Look around. Do you see a blind spot anywhere? Maybe the blind spot for one eye is at a different place than the blind spot for the other (this is actually true), so you don’t notice it because each eye sees what the other doesn’t. Close one eye and look around again. Now do you see a blind spot? Hmm. Maybe its just a little TINY blind spot, so small that you (and your brain) just ignore it. Nope, its actually a pretty BIG blind spot, as you’ll see if you look at the diagram below and follow the instructions.

Close your left eye and stare at the cross mark in the diagram with your right eye. Off to the right you should be able to see the spot. Don’t LOOK at it; just notice that it is there off to the right (if its not, move farther away from the computer screen; you should be able to see the dot if you’re a couple of feet away). Now slowly move toward the computer screen. Keep looking at the cross mark while you move. At a particular distance (probably a foot or so), the spot will disappear (it will reappear again if you move even closer). The spot disappears because it falls on the optic nerve head, the hole in the photoreceptor sheet.

So, as you can see, you have a pretty big blind spot, at least as big as the spot in the diagram. What’s particularly interesting though is that you don’t SEE it. When the spot disappears you still don’t SEE a hole. What you see instead is a continuous white field (remember not to LOOK at it; if you do you’ll see the spot instead). What you see is something the brain is making up, since the eye isn’t actually telling the brain anything at all about that particular part of the picture.

Forget the: “the models didn’t have a good handle on the system”, “the initialization scheme was off”, “bad data in yields bad data out” excuses! If I should happen to botch a forecast, and we all know this hardly ever happens… 😉 but, IF I SHOULD

I’ll blame it on my blind spot!