Archive for April, 2011

April Showers Smash Records
April 30, 2011

The April showers added up to nearly 20″ in some spots. Springdale picked up on 18″ for the month of April and some localized areas northeast of Springdale and another area near Lincoln, AR picked up around 20″ of rain for the entire month. Many have been asking if this is a record and the answer is yes. April was the wettest month on record in northwest Arkansas. 15.28″ fell at the drake field airport in Fayetteville that tops the record books at both drake field and the coop site for Fayetteville which has records back to 1892. In Fort Smith, April of 2011 has been wet enough to place 3rd on the list for the wettest April on record.

May is expected to start with more rain. An additional 1-2″ is expected across most of the area on Sunday and Monday. A flash flood watch is in effect until the next rain event comes to an end.

Ross Ellet

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Saturday’s Forecast….
April 29, 2011

Well, if you need to mow the lawn, get out early and do it on Saturday!  A cold front will arrive between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Saturday sparking off a 50% chance for showers and storms. 

Some of those storms may become strong to severe; however, the slight risk will be confined mainly across southwest Arkansas.  Large hail and damaging winds are possible.

The weather should be decent for the Dogwood festival in Siloam Springs on Saturday.  Expect a chance for storms late in the afternoon and evening with an 80% chance for storms on Sunday.

Race for the Cure will be dry for Saturday morning.  Expect breezy south winds with temperatures in the lower 60’s.

Drew Michaels

Follow us on Twitter at “4029weather”

Severe Weather Possible Saturday Afternoon/Evening
April 29, 2011

Although I’m sure everyone is loving the sunshine today (and wanting more!), we will have another round of storms possible late Saturday into Sunday. The time frame will most likely be the late afternoon and then primarily into the evening hours…Large hail, damage winds, and even a VERY slight chance of tornadoes can’t be ruled out. I think Sunday will be more of a heavy rain event, unfortunately news we don’t need to hear, once again making flash flooding a possibility/concern.

Matt Devitt

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One for the Record Books
April 28, 2011

The April 2011 tornadoes have been off the chart!  These numbers above are unofficial; however, I went back to each SPC report for tornadoes for the month and tallied a total of 871.  This month will easily break a record for April.

Keep in mind that in an average year the United States receives 1200 tornadoes.   

This recent outbreak is being compared to the Super Outbreak of 1974.  I did a lot of thinking about the recent death toll.  The question of how could so many people die with today’s technology continued to surface in my mind.  I found the answer in a yahoo story today.

“These were the most intense super-cell thunderstorms that I think anybody who was out there forecasting has ever seen,” said meteorologist Greg Carbin at the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla.

“If you experienced a direct hit from one of these, you’d have to be in a reinforced room, storm shelter or underground” to survive, Carbin said.

Drew Michaels

Follow us on Twitter at “4029weather”

Recap – Historic 2011 Tornado Outbreak
April 28, 2011

Unfortunately with all the necessary ingredients in place for disaster, the Southern Plains and especially the Southeast  just experienced the deadliest tornado outbreak in almost 40 years. Currently, from the entire outbreak there have been over 346 reported tornadoes and 300+  fatalities (a number that is expected to rise once more damage is searched/cleared away). It is the deadliest outbreak since the 1974 Super Outbreak, and the deadliest tornado outbreak to occur in the United States since the implementation of the NEXRAD doppler radar network.

The outbreak started on April 25th with tornadoes across several states, including two that caused significant damage in Oklahoma and Texas. Tornadoes were scattered that day until early evening, when an intense tornadic cell moved near Little Rock with direct aim on Vilonia, AR.  The tornado caused significant damage to the town and had a damage path that was 1/2 mile wide. The EF-2 tornado sadly killed four people and injured dozens more.

One day later, severe weather was seen almost across the entire eastern half of the country, with strong thunderstorms not only in the South but the Northeast as well. Severe thunderstorms caused scattered wind damage and large hail across Pennsylvania and New York.  An isolated supercell moved across Central New York much of the afternoon, producing golf ball sized hail in Syracuse and spawned a very brief EF-1 tornado in Verona Mills.

  On April 27th, severe weather once again stretched all the way from the South to the Northeast, even including portions of Southern Canada. At around 5:10 PM (Central), a very large and exceptionally destructive tornado struck Tuscaloosa, Alabama. About 40 minutes later, a tornado from the same parent supercell, possibly the same tornado, struck the northern suburbs of Birmingham, Alabama. A debris ball was observed by the Birmingham NEXRAD, indicating that the tornado was causing extreme damage…Also, debris from the tornado was reported to be falling from the sky across Birmingham over 20 miles away in Jefferson County. Television cameras, including a skycam operated by local ABC affiliate captured the mile-wide tornado as it moved east-northeast across the western and northern suburbs of Birmingham around 6:00 p.m. (Central). Initial reports indicate significant structural damage and a mile to 1½ mile wide damage path. According to Tuscaloosa’s emergency manager earlier today, at least 32 people have been killed in Tuscaloosa. A statewide review by emergency management officials has recorded 200+ fatalities in Alabama with more than 300+ killed in total.

Source: ABC Affiliate - Alabama

Source: AP Photo

Source: AP Photo

Source: The Globe And Mail

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Severe tornado damage, including at least seven deaths, has also been reported in Ringgold, Georgia.

Matt Devitt

 
Follow us on Twitter at “4029weather”

 

Sources:

 http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42777780/ns/weather/

http://www.wkrg.com/alabama/article/death-toll-rises-from-tornado-outbreak/1206494/Apr-28-2011_7-06-am/

http://www.webcitation.org/5yEZrqim2

http://abcnews.go.com/US/massive-tornado-hits-alabama-storms-leave-16-dead/story?id=13465028

River Valley Wall Cloud Pictures
April 27, 2011

Danielle Grober, Fort Smith

Kevin Page, Van Buren

The severe weather is gone for the next couple of days, so as the severe weather moves away from us, I wanted to share some of these wall cloud photos with you from Fort Smith and Van Buren yesterday evening. 

That same supercell also produced softball size hail in Van Buren and Mulberry!  Thankfully we didn’t have any reports of a  tornado touch down.

Drew Michaels

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12:30 P.M. Update…Rain Go Away!
April 27, 2011

Here’s the latest look at the radar.  Scattered showers and storms on the back side of an area of low pressure continue to move across the area.  It’s looking like the rain will linger through 3 p.m. before moving out toward the evening.

The overall severe threat is low; however, some storms across the eastern part of our viewing area toward Johnson vounty may see some isolated strong storms that could produce some hail. 

Rainfall over the last 6 hours has ranged between 0.10″ to 0.75″.  An additional 0.10″ to 0.50″ is possible through the afternoon.

Drew Michaels

Follow us on Twitter at “4029weather”

10 AM Update – Scattered Showers/T’Storms
April 27, 2011

Well it seems we just can’t catch a break…We were expected to see scattered showers and thunderstorms today, but unfortunately a couple storms this morning have gone severe…Bringing heavy rain, gusty winds, and even hail over an 1″ in some locations. Expect this trend to continue for the next several hours (into the afternoon and then calming down during the early evening hours). The other story, flooding, is definitely a possibility within some of these larger cells (and in areas that are repeatedly hit with these thunderstorms over and over again). Most of our area  (River Valley/Northwest AR) has been hit with nearly 12″ of rain over the past several days…Additional rainfall (not even very much) could cause flash flooding this afternoon.

Keep it here for updates throughout the day!

Matt Devitt

Follow us on twitter “4029weather”

9pm Update: Severe Threat Lower, Flooding Threat Not Over
April 26, 2011

The severe thunderstorms continue to move east of the area tonight. As this first wave moves east it should remain mostly calm over the viewing area through 1 or 2 am. After 2am the second wave will move in from the west. An area of low pressure will increase in strength. By that time, the best instability will be south and east of the area. However, some elevated instability will lead to elevated thunderstorms. Since the air aloft will be very cold, the freezing layer will be low enough for some hail stones to develop by the early morning hours. Showers and thunderstorms are possible through the morning hours and early afternoon on Wednesday. Rain totals on Wednesday could average around 1 to 2″. This is more than enough to prompt flash flooding through early on Wednesday.

Ross Ellet

Follow us on twitter “4029weather”

3:30 Update
April 26, 2011

Scattered showers and storms have developed south of the warm front across northern Texas and southwest Arkansas within the last hour.  Coverage of these storms will continue to increase late this afternoon and evening.

There is a tornado watch for both McCurtain and Polk county until 10:00 p.m.  Showers and storms will start to increase in coverage across our viewing area after 6p.m.  The greatest tornado threat will remain across extreme southeastern Oklahoma and southwest Arkansas.

Elevated showers and storms across the River Valley and northwest Arkansas this evening may produce hail and damaging winds.  The greater threat is the flooding risk late tonight.  1″ to 3″ of rain is forecast for tonight into Wednesday.  Any area that experienced flooding will be under the gun again. 

Drew Michaels

Follow us on Twitter at “4029weather”