Archive for October, 2008

Mid-morning Update
October 31, 2008

Two areas of high pressure, one to our north and one to our east have “sandwiched” a strong region of southwesterly winds and inclement weather over our area.  A wave / weak-trough, of low pressure has been the focal point and we saw storms fire QUICKLY this morning.  The visible satellite shot shows how concentrated the trough is.

A sharp shift in wind direction and speed along the trough, helped produce small yet intense thunderstorms.  Hail, appearing like a light cover of snow, appeared in parts of Benton county.

Most of the line of showers and storms has become concentrated in parts of Carroll and Madison counties.  The storms are moving to the east-southeast.  Small hail (pea to penny size) and some brief gusty winds will remain the predominant threat.

Morning Storms…
October 31, 2008

We are dealing with a few isolated storms this morning throughout NWA.  There is nothing severe and the storms are moving very quickly.  These are elevated storms caused by strong low level winds.  We call this a low level jetstream.  A strong low level jet will keep these storms moving very quickly, but we can’t rule out some some small hail as these storms move east.

LOW LEVEL WIND FORECAST (FRIDAY MORNING)

PRECIPITATION FORECAST (FRIDAY MORNING)


A LITTLE WAVE… a stray shower.
October 30, 2008

Centered on the southern Nebraska / northern Kansas border is a lone wave of low pressure that is undercutting a broad ridge of High pressure.  This wave looks to clip our area tomorrow and coupled with some sunshine, coinciding with peak afternoon heating hours, we probably will see a sprinkle or two or perhaps an isolated thunderstorm.  As we head into the evening and lose the heat any rain activity should fizzle out, making for a dry Halloween evening.

 

The broader picture to the west highlights a substantial trough of low pressure off the pacific coast that will migrate eastward over the next four to five days, likely spelling out a line of showers and thunderstorms around the Wed. / Thu. time-frame.  The attendant surface Low looks to track to our north, keeping the heaviest activity north.  This will be our next shot of measurable rain.

 

 

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Temperature Spreads
October 30, 2008

From low (27) to high (68) in Fayetteville today we climbed 41 degrees.  This seemed to be quite impressive, enough so that it instigated a dig through the data of 2008.  Below are listing of the top five temperature-spreads thus far in Fayetteville. 

 

January 29, Low 16, High 67, Spread: 51 degrees!

 

March 1, Low 27, High 70, Spread: 43 degrees

 

January 27, Low 21, High 63, Spread: 42 degrees

 

February 3, Low 26, High 67, Spread 41 degrees

 

October 29, Low 27, High 68, Spread: 41 degrees

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Next COLD shot… a little wait!
October 30, 2008

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Thickness of the 1000-500mb layer (measured in decameters) is proportional to temperature; the thicker the values (higher numbers) the warmer the air and likewise, the less thick the value is, the cooler the mean temperature is within the layer.

 

With this being said watch the lower thickness values circling the northern hemisphere in the map above.  The pink line denotes the 540dm line, which correlates well with a temperature of freezing.  At the start of the loop the position of the pink line is off to the east, carved out in a substantial trough of low pressure; this was the “chunk of cold” air that we got a few days ago.  It also was responsible for brewing up quite an early season snow storm, putting down 27” of fluffy white at the Windham Ski area in NY State! (*see picture below).

 

The two week loop highlights a few disturbances passing through our area; one on Tuesday, November 4th and then another around the 12th of the month, but in regards to another early season push of arctic air, it’s a lone chirping cricket… in other words quiet!  We recently had an email question asking us when the first snow would hit.  Here’s a tip: watch for that next shot of cold air and go from there.  Sometimes the models are late in the game in storm development; meaning that the cold air often shows up first.

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STORM CHANCES NEXT WEEK
October 29, 2008

We will remain rain free for Halloween and this weekend, but next week we could get a few showers and thunderstorms.  It’s still very far out, but here is what I am thinking.

TUESDAY SURFACE MAP

A cold front will move through the area next week and this will provide the shower and storm chances as it moves over us.  The severe weather threat looks very low, but that could change over the next couple of days.

WEDNESDAY PRECIPITATION FORECAST

WEDNESDAY CAPE (CONVECTIVE AVAILABLE POTENTIAL ENERGY) FORECAST

We can expect some lighting and maybe some gusty winds.  The hail threat looks minimal, but we are going to watch this very closely; so make sure you keep checking the greatest weather blog in the market with the very latest information.

blog by Meteorologist Patrick Crawford

BIG RIDGE / BIG WARMTH
October 29, 2008

A monster ridge of High pressure presently has capped the western half of the country and unseasonable warmth has been the result for locals underneath.  Well, where there’s a “see”, there’s a “saw” and where there’s an “up”, there’s a “down”.  In this case, just “downstream” from the ridge, major unseasonable cold air has even parts of northern Florida under a freeze warning!  As the whole pattern shifts eastward over the next few days, our weather along with much of the nations will level out and we’ll see the warmth under the ridge. 

 

 

 

 

BUMBLE BEE FLIGHT
October 28, 2008

Today’s Drew’s Digital Snapshot winner indirectly is responsible for this neat video post.  The shot was of a bumble in still flight; the wings were clearly miniscule in relation to the bee’s body size.  This sparked a controversy here in the studio about how exactly a bee flies.  The jury is still out on that… but, in the meantime, check out this super slow video of a bee in flight.  It might just have the answer…

TUESDAY FREEZE WARNING
October 28, 2008

FREEZE WARNING

We are still under a Freeze Warning this morning as temperatures are flirting with the record books.  3 ingredients have come together to give us these extremely cold temperatures.  Light winds, low humidity and a clear sky;  all of these weather variables are with us this morning and that is why our temperatures are the coldest so far this season.  We only have to tough it out today and tomorrow morning before our temperatures start to warm up…just in time for Halloween!

CURRENT TEMPERATURES


Warmth is near…
October 28, 2008

The ridge out to the west will come our way!  That’s the positive news that may warm your super chilly Tuesday morning.  As for Tuesday afternoon, lots of sunshine will warm us up into the mid 50s to lower 60s but the first part of the day will be COLD!

 

We’re looking at our first widespread frost by morning!  Be sure to dress warmly heading outside and hopefully you’ve covered any plants that you would like to keep around for awhile longer.  Bothe Highs and Lows get closer to average and even go above over the next few days as the ridge moves eastward.

 

Word to the wise…wear a hat!