Archive for March, 2009

Interesting April Tornado Statistics…
March 31, 2009

The start of severe weather season has arrived.  Look at the amazing video above!  That’s why we don’t want inexperienced people chasing storms!

Top 5 Tornado Prone Cities in April…according to VorTek data

1.  Nashville, TN

2.  Oklahoma City, OK

3.  Tulsa, OK

4.  Topeka, KS

5.  Witchita Falls, TX

Little Rock, AR ranked 9th on the list.

Top 5 Tornado Prone States in April…according to VorTek data

1.  Indiana

2.  Oklahoma

3.  Tennessee

4.  Arkansas

5.  Iowa

I want to give props to my producer Jennifer Dreisbach for providing us this information.  She’s an avid reader of the blog so she can take credit for this post!

Drew Michaels


Last Night’s Rainfall
March 31, 2009


Here are some totals from the showers and storms that rolled through last night.  There was a reported wind gust at the Ft. Smith airport of 62 mph as the line bowed out.  There was also a report of an out building blown down in Stigler, OK.  Thankfully the severe weather reports were few and far between.

Drew Michaels

March 31, 2009


The cold front that brought the line of severe thunderstorms through the area early this morning has now started moving off to the East.  That will allow a nice area of high pressure to build over the region.  This high pressure system will provide a mostly clear sky this afternoon.  Temperatures will be a few degrees cooler than Monday, but it will turn out to be a beautiful afternoon.






Tuesday’s Early AM Storms
March 31, 2009

The line of thunderstorms that moved through the area produced lots of rain, some gusty winds and lightning. Here are a few photos from the storms. The last two photos only had a flash of lightning instead of a streak. However, the last two photos also have car headlight and taillight trails from traffic along Highway 71 between Greenwood and Fort Smith.





Ross Ellet

11 p.m. Storm Update
March 30, 2009


Showers and storms ahead of a cold front continue to move east this evening.  These storms are moving into a weaker environment with dewpoints in the 30’s and 40’s so our severe weather threat will remain low.

We can expect brief gusty winds of 40 to 50 mph along with some pea size hail with the stronger storms.  The thunderstorms will move into northwest Arkansas after midnight, while the River Valley will see storms after 1 a.m.

Drew Michaels

Severe Thunderstorm Watch
March 30, 2009


The SPC has issued a severe thunderstorm watch for central Oklahoma until Midnight.  The counties in the watch are colored pink.  While we have been in and out of the clouds this afternoon; however, central Oklahoma has seen more sunshine which has helped to destabilize the atmosphere. 

CAPE values have increased in that zone with limited convective inhibition, so storms will likely fire ahead of a cold front this evening.  Winds and hail are the primary threats for severe weather in that zone!


Dewpoints in the watch area have climbed into the lower 50’s ahead of the front; however, across eastern Oklahoma and western Arkansas, dewpoints have remained in the 30’s.  With the limited amount of moisture we don’t anticipate severe weather across our area.

Showers and storms will move across our area after midnight.  These storms may contain small hail and brief gusty winds, but the severe weather risk will stay to our west.  .25″ to 1.00″of rainfall is possible with the showers and storms overnight.

Drew Michaels

Alaskan Ash Could Bring An Arkansas Beauty
March 30, 2009

The Alaskan volcano, Mt. Redoubt, has been erupting off and on over the past week. This volcano has been responsible for putting down a layer of ash across most of the population centers in Alaska including Talkeetna, AK which is a popular tourist town and air strip for hikers that climb Denali or better known as Mount McKinley. That same volcano has put a few ash clouds into the stratosphere which is nearly 40,000 feet above the surface. One passed over our area on Saturday and another one may pass over head on Tuesday. Ash clouds are responsible for some of the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets across the globe. On Saturday we were dealing with rain and snow, however Tuesday around dawn and dusk the sky will be mostly clear. As a result, we have a chance of seeing a brilliant sunrise and sunset on Tuesday if the ash cloud continues to move our direction. The GOME-2 (Global Ozone Monitoring Experiment) sensor onboard Europe’s MetOp-A satellite is tracking Mt. Redoubt’s sulfur dioxide clouds, colored red in this 5-day animation:

Here is some more information regarding the ash clouds courtesy of


Alaska’s Mt. Redoubt volcano has erupted at least 19 times since March 22nd, and several of the larger blasts have hurled plumes of ash and gas into the lower stratosphere. 

 One cloud has just crossed North America en route to Europe; a second cloud is leaving Alaska on the same east-west track. The last time an Alaskan volcano blew its top (Kasatochi in 2008), clouds like these caused fantastic sunsets around the northern hemisphere. More could be in the offing. If you live along the SO2 ground track, keep an eye on the twilight sky for signs of Redoubt.

Ross Ellet

Snow To Sunshine…The Active Pattern Continues
March 29, 2009


Monday’s weather will be a spring delight without question. Highs will be near the 70 degree mark with lots of sunshine early in the day. However, it won’t last long. The clouds will increase through the day with our next round of thunderstorms on Tuesday morning.

We are watching two batches of cold air this week. The first will arrive on Thursday. Right now it appears a little to warm for snow. However, we will keep a close eye on it since the temperature profile will be very close. Regardless, moderate rain, wind and temperatures in the 40s will make for a very raw day. Our second shot of cold air comes in on the back side of an area of low pressure forecasted to move through on Sunday. A rain/snow mix is possible on Sunday especially in northwest Arkansas, however there is a lot of time for the computer models to shift the track of this storm system. It is something we will watch closely.

Ross Ellet

Snow or Clouds?
March 29, 2009


This is a visible satellite picture across our region this afternoon.  What looks like milky white clouds to the west is actually snow the satellite is detecting. 


Here are snow totals across NW Oklahoma!  Talk about a major storm.


The Tulsa metropolitan area was dumped on yesterday!  Here are the  impressive totals above.

Drew Michaels

Up & Down Week Ahead…..
March 28, 2009

Talk about a wild ride over the last several days.  Heavy rainfall and storms fell across across a good majority of the area thanks to the elevated thunderstorms, and then Old Man Winter blew back in for Saturday with many locations across NE OK and NW AR receiving a dusting to an inch of snow. 

This coming week ahead may be a repeat performance!  Let’s first focus on the warmth coming for Monday.


850 mb temperatures will warm between 8 and 10 degrees Celsius.  Under a partly cloudy sky temperatures should warm into the mid to upper 60s and lower 70’s.  A front will come through by Tuesday morning providing additional chances for showers and storms.

The forecast gets really interesting for Thursday.  The GFS and Canadian have been consistent with more cold air and a chance for a wintry mix.



The models hold the precipitation through Thursday morning.  With cold air returning this could mean a change from rain to sleet and possibly snow.  It’s still several days out but it’s something were going to watch closely.

Drew Michaels