Archive for December, 2010

New Year’s Eve Tornado
December 31, 2010

Tragedy struck several communities today as an EF3 tornado ripped across Adair and Washington counties and killed three people.  The NWS estimated the maximum winds to be at 140 mph. 

Here are some of the pictures from the field.

Here’s the track and timing of the tornado.

I have included some sobering tornado statistics below.  The last significant tornado that hit Washington county occurred in the spring of 2008.  That EF2 storm ripped through Dutch Mills and Evansville around 4 a.m.

Drew Michaels

Follow us on Twitter at “4029weather”

A Few Tornado Stats
December 31, 2010

Today’s severe weather that occurred shortly before dawn this morning is a shocking reminder of the threat of night-time tornadoes. Roughly 1 out of every 4 tornadoes occur at night but over 40% of all the killer tornadoes are at night-time. Those statistics are even higher in the southeast (including Arkansas) where the majority of killer tornadoes occur at night. The last time that Washington County had a strong tornado was on April 10, 2008 when it impacted Evansville and Dutch Mills. That tornado also occurred during the middle of the night.

Ross Ellet

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Strong T-Storms Possible Through 8am
December 31, 2010

A tornado watch is in effect for Carroll, Madison, Benton, McDonald, Washington, Delaware, Adair, and Cherokke counties until 8am this morning. A second round of thunderstorms has already developed and is moving through Tulsa, OK. This line of thunderstorms will move in during the morning commute. The storms will approach from the west and move to the east between 6am and 8am this morning. All of the rain is expected to exit our area around 9am. The main threat with the approaching storms will be damaging wind gusts, hail, heavy rain and frequent lightning. The tornado threat is low but can not be ruled out completely.

Ross Ellet

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New Year’s Eve Temperature Drop
December 30, 2010

New Year’s Eve is never complete without the ball drop, but this year we’re adding temperatures to that tradition!  Highs on Friday will be reached throughout the morning and early afternoon. 

The real cold air will lag behind the surface front until the late afternoon and early evening.  Temperatures will fall into the low to middle 30’s by Midnight. 

The showers and storms will move east of the area by the late afternoon.  An isolated strong to severe storms is possible; however, the greatest chances for severe storms will exist across central and eastern Arkansas late Friday afternoon and evening.

Drew Michaels

Follow us on Twitter at “4029weather”

Temperature Review Of 2010
December 30, 2010

2010 was a year of extremes, especially when it came down to the temperatures. Winter set records for cold and summer set records for heat. At the end of the year those extremes balanced out in Fayetteville. The average temperature was 58 degrees. In Fort Smith the summer heat moved in quicker and lasted longer which was enough to push the city to an average temperature of 63 degrees. That is 2 degrees above the yearly average.

The most extreme months were February and August. During the month of February the temperature was 6 to 7 degrees colder than average, it was also the 14th coldest February on record. During August the average temperature was 5 degrees hotter than average, it was also the 3rd hottest August on record.

Ross Ellet

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24 Hour Rainfall Totals
December 29, 2010

Some much-needed rain fell across our area over the last 24 hours.  Northwest Arkansas saw the least amount of rainfall out of this event, while  the River Valley and Ouachitas picked up between 1.00″ to 2.00″.

As Ross mentioned in his earlier blog post, we’re still well below average for the month!  We have one more shot for rain coming up on Friday!

Drew Michaels

Follow us on Twitter at “4029weather”

A Break In The Dry Weather
December 29, 2010

It has been very dry all through the fall season and the entire month of December. Most areas had about 4 to 4.5 inches of rainfall for the entire fall season which is only half of the average. Up to this point only 1/3″ of an inch of rainfall has fallen in the month of December. Well that was until today’s rain maker moved into the area.

The rainfall has been a welcome relief with 0.50 to 1.50″ falling overnight and into the morning hours. Today’s rainfall will help ease a moderate drought that is now developing for areas south of I-40. The year is still on par to end very dry despite 2 rain makers moving in during the last 3 days of the year. Fayetteville will end around 4″ below average, and Fort Smith will be around 9″ below average for the entire year.

Ross Ellet

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Tonight’s Storms
December 28, 2010

The low-level jet will start to crank after midnight across eastern Oklahoma and western Arkansas.  The LLJ is a fast-moving ribbon of air that usually forms around 5,000 ft.  The LLJ is important because it transports moisture and warmth into our area.  The jet is forecast to strengthen to around 50 knots!

A strong low level jet usually indicates the chance for elevated showers and storms.  We’ll expect storms mainly after midnight across the area. No severe weather is expected; however, some small hail is possible with any storms that do develop.

The rain and storms will move east by Wednesday afternoon.  Total rainfall will range between 0.25″ to 1.00″.

Drew Michaels

Follow us on Twitter at “4029weather”

Spring-Like Weather Expected
December 28, 2010

Round number #1 of the rain will move in just after midnight tonight and last through the morning hours on Wednesday. Then a spring-like warm up will follow. On Thursday, temperatures will reach the mid to upper 60s. It will be the warmest weather since December 3rd earlier this month. The spring set up will end on Friday morning as a second round of storms will sweep through the area. A few strong storms are expected but, due to the unfavorable timing of the storm system, widespread severe weather is not likely.

Ross Ellet

Follow us on twitter “4029weather”

New Year’s Eve Update
December 27, 2010

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!  Now all eyes will turn to the storm system for New Year’s Eve.  The computer models are starting to become more progressive with the timing of a cold front.  It looks like the front will move throughout our viewing area by Friday morning.  The front will provide a 70% chance for showers and storms. 

The rain and storms are forecast to move east during the early afternoon, and they should clear us for Friday night.  Keep in mind temperatures will fall into the 30’s for your New Year’s Eve evening thanks to strong northwest winds.  Other than some flurries the majority of the snow will remain north of our area.

New Year’s Day will be partly cloudy and cold with highs in the 30’s!  We’ll continue to watch this forecast closely for you.

Drew Michaels

Follow us on Twitter at “4029weather”