Archive for August, 2009

The Space Shuttle Is Once Again Visible In The Sky
August 31, 2009


(Photo By NASA)

The space shuttle will once again be visible in the night sky as it links up with the International Space Station over the next week and a half. The complete list of observation times, maximum elevation and sky location is listed below. If you are an early bird you can catch the worm (space station) streaking across the early morning sky as early as tomorrow and lasting through Saturday morning. Then evening sightings will be possible Saturday night through the following Friday. If you get any good pictures, stories, or questions about the space shuttle sightings please contact us. Happy Viewing!

Date Time Where To Look
9/1/2009 5:40 to 5:42 am North/Northwest Sky
9/2/2009 4:31 to 4:32 am North/Northeast Sky
9/2/2009 6:05 to 6:11 am Northwest Sky
9/3/2009 4:56 to 4:57 am North Sky
9/4/2009 5:22 to 5:25 am Northwest Sky
9/5/2009 5:47 to 5:48 am South/Southwest Sky
9/5/2009 8:34 to 8:36 pm South Sky
9/6/2009 8:58 to 9:01 pm Southwest Sky
9/7/2009 9:25 to 9:26 pm Northwest Sky
9/8/2009 8:12 to 8:17 pm Southwest Sky
9/9/2009 8:40 to 8:42 pm Northwest Sky
9/11/2009 7:54 to 7:56 pm North/Northwest Sky

Ross Ellet


Chilly August Stats
August 31, 2009

August has come to an end and the monthly statisitics are below. To sum it up, it was a very cool and wet month compared to average.

Statistic Fort Smith
Monthly High 96 degrees
Monthly Low 58 degrees
100+ Degree Days 0 days
90+ Degree Days 14 days
Days Not Reaching 80 Degrees 2 days
Average Temperature 78.8 degrees
Temperature Departure From Normal 2.6 degrees below
Monthly Rainfall  5.10″
Rainfall Departure From Normal 1.91″ above normal
Thunderstorm Days 6 days
Monthly Maximum Wind Speed 56 mph on August 5th
Statistic Fayetteville
Monthly High 94 degrees
Monthly Low 51 degrees
100+ Degree Days 0 days
90+ Degree Days 5 days
Days Not Reaching 80 Degrees 6 days
Average Temperature 74.0 degrees
Temperature Departure From Normal 3.9 degrees below normal
Monthly Rainfall  6.13″
Rainfall Departure From Normal 3.13″ above normal
Thunderstorm Days 8 days
Monthly Maximum Wind Speed 45 mph on August 5th

Ross Ellet

Significant Trough & Ridge
August 31, 2009

For the last day off August the upper level wind pattern looks more reminiscent of late fall.  A dominant ridge blankets the west, while the northeast sits under a deep trough.  This is known as a ridge trough pattern.


Under the ridge temperatures in southern Canada this afternoon have warmed into the lower 80’s.  Compare that to the 60’s across the Great Lakes. 


The Climate Prediction Center has the majority of the U.S. under an average temperature forecast for the month of September.  The only areas of note are across the southwest and northeast, where above average temperatures look to take place.

Drew Michaels

Hurricane Jimena Could Reach A Cat. 5 Before Landfall
August 31, 2009


Photo By: NOAA

Hurricane Jimena is now a strong category 4 hurricane with sustained winds of 150 mph and winds gusting up to 178 mph. “There’s a good chance this system could be a Category 5 in the next 24 hours,” said Dave Roberts, a hurricane specialist with the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida. Whether the hurricane is ever officially determined to be a category 5 hurricane may be irrelevant since sustained winds are currently only 5 mph below the threshold. The bottom line is that this storm is a violent and catastrophic hurricane that will make landfall on Tuesday. The resort populated southwestern tip of Baja California is expected to take a direct hit from the storm. The storm will weaken to a tropical depression before impacting the United States. However, Southern California and Arizona may see heavy rain and flash floods later this week as the weakening storm approaches the United States & Mexico border. Below is the 3-day forecast track from the National Hurricane Center.


Ross Ellet

August 31, 2009

We have a good chance for some showers and storms later this week with a “Northwest Flow” set up taking shape.  This scenario will allow energy to move in from the Northern Rockies and produce some showers and thunderstorms.  It’s still a little too far out to determine if this will turn into a severe weather event.  Keep checking the blog over the next couple of days for the latest updates.










August Ends With Record Lows
August 30, 2009


Above is a map of the temperatures at 850 mb (about 1 mile above the surface). This map is showing the coolest temperatures since the beginning of summer. The temperatures at 850 mb has a direct relationship with the day’s highs and lows, and this week the maps are screaming with fall weather.

The coldest weather since May 20th is on the way for Monday. High pressure is firmly in control providing light winds, a clear sky, and a dry atmosphere. These ingredients will allow temperatures to fall like a rock overnight Sunday and into the morning hours on Monday. The record low in Fayetteville stands at 48 degrees and it will be challenged overnight tonight. Lows are expected to dip into the upper 40s in northwest Arkansas and the mid 50s into the River Valley. It will be a great idea to skip out on the shorts and grab the jacket if you are heading out early on Monday or Tuesday morning. Afternoon highs will be in the mid to upper 70s across the entire area with low humidity and lots of sunshine. More summer like weather will arrive for Labor Day Weekend.

Ross Ellet

Dangerous Cat. 4 Hurricane Ready To Strike
August 30, 2009


Hurricane Jimena is a powerful category 4 hurricane with sustained winds of 140 mph and gusting to 165 mph. The hurricane is expected to intensify slightly over the next 36 hours and slam into Baja California by mid day Tuesday. Mexico is bracing itself for the first direct hit by a hurricane this year in North America. Unless the hurricane goes against the odds and actually weakens over the next day and a half, it is likely the region will suffer catastrophic damage. The forecast path from the National Hurricane Center is below.


Ross Ellet

The Work Week Will Start With Record Cold, And End With Storms
August 29, 2009


The next round of cold air is moving in overnight Saturday and Sunday. The bulk of the cold air will arrive on Monday morning. High pressure will dominate the area with a clear and dry sky, this will all lead to bone chilling cold for the month of August. Lows are expected to dip into the 40s in northwest Arkansas and the mid 50s in the river valley. The record low in Fayetteville is 48 degrees set back in 1967 and the record low in the river valley is 51 set back in 1915. The records in northwest Arkansas will likely be tied or broken on Monday morning. As for the river valley we will most likely fall just shy of a record. Showers and thunderstorm chances return for late week. Perhaps the first Friday Frenzy will be a soggy one…it will be fun to watch.

Ross Ellet

Get The Jackets On Stand By…
August 28, 2009


Cold front number one has pushed through the area, but cold front number 2 is yet to come and its effects won’t go unnoticed. The next blast of cold air will arrive Saturday night and by Monday the coldest of the air will be settled over the area. Monday’s lows will be in the upper 50s in the river valley and the upper 40s to low 50s in northwest Arkansas. Even though it will just be the last day of August it will feel like the middle of October…and it might not be a bad idea to grab your jacket for the morning hours on Monday. Highs will only top out in the low to upper 70s Monday afternoon. Showers and thunderstorms and warmer weather do return to the forecast by the mid to late part of next week.

Ross Ellet

24 Hour Rainfall Totals
August 28, 2009


Scattered showers and thunderstorms caused locally heavy rainfall over the past 24 hours. Showers and storms put down some impressive rainfall totals in northwest Arkansas. However, by the time the storms made it to the river valley they had died out. A few more showers redeveloped this afternoon across the southern part of the area. Jerry Kelly picked up on another 0.40″ of an inch today in Mena.

Ross Ellet