Archive for July, 2011

July The Hottest Month Ever
July 31, 2011

Everyone knows it is very hot. It seems like everyday we are talking about records in one way or another. However, this record seems to put the Heat Wave of 2011 into perspective. July of 2011 had an average temperature of 84.5 degrees in Fayetteville which makes it the 3rd hottest July on record finishing behind 1954 which had an average temperature of 85.3 and the all time hottest July was set in 1934 which averaged 85.5 degrees.

Fort Smith is in a league of its own. The average temperature was 91.2 degrees which is the first time in the city’s recorded history a month had an average temperature above 90 degrees. This not only makes it the hottest July on record, but also the hottest month ever recorded. At this point, it doesn’t look like August will be much cooler. We are starting off the month with the worst heat of the summer. Temperatures will come near 110 degrees in the river valley by mid-week. In fact, the last time temperatures reached 110 degrees was 47 years ago on August 4, 1964. The hottest temperature ever recorded at Fort Smith was 113 degrees which was set on August 10, 1936…It would not shock me if this record is in jeopardy later this week.

Ross Ellet

Follow us on twitter “4029weather”

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Battle Of The Heat
July 30, 2011

Phoenix is one of the hottest cities in the country but it’s heat has compared very well with Fort Smith. Both cities have seen simular temperatures but the desert city has seen 5 times the amount of rain as Fort Smith this month.

Ross Ellet

Follow us on twitter “4029weather”

Severe Drought Grips Area
July 29, 2011

Summer rainfall totals have been extremely low across the area as record heat turns up the evaporation even more. Nearly all of the vegitation is showing major signs of stress. The entire area is officially in a drought with severe drought now taking over the river valley and parts of the Boston Mountains.

The dry conditions come right as we are staring at the teeth of summer. The dog days have been here for a long time but the heat may step it up another notch by later this coming week. The 850 mb temperatures are forecasted to soar to at least 26 degrees C…that is the highest level of the summer. This combined with extremely dry conditions and a mostly sunny sky, more record highs are very likely. In fact if the current model forecasts are correct, I would not be surprised if some localized spots in northwest Arkansas could approach 105 degrees while the river valley could come near 110 degrees next week.

Ross Ellet

Follow us on twitter “4029weather”

 

Short Term Relief From The Heat, For Now…
July 29, 2011

Thanks to an increase in moisture as well as the typical afternoon heating, scattered showers and thunderstorms are possible for today…Some of us were lucky enough to see storms yesterday that dropped quite a bit of rain in some areas, check it out!

Now for today and tomorrow, Fort Smith/River Valley has the edge on slightly higher rain chances. To pinpoint that even more, to the South of I-40 has the greatest chances for showers and storms. Locally heavy rainfall is possible.

 Now heading into the weekend, rain chances are still there but will slowly drop off by Sunday and into Monday as temperatures will start to heat up once again. Triple digit heat and little to no rain expected by mid next week.  

Matt Devitt

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Dangerous Conditions Across the River Valley
July 28, 2011

The Greenwood wildfire is a dangerous reminder on how dry parts of our area have become.  Thankfully we’ll see about a 50% chance for storms for both Friday and Saturday; however, not everybody will see the rainfall.

Fort Smith finally picked up on rainfall today.  The airport measured 0.21″ of rainfall.  Now that may not seem like much, but considering this is the first time Fort Smith had rain since June 14th, every little bit helps.

Drew Michaels

Follow us on Twitter at “4029weather”

Update On Rain Chances Friday Through The Weekend…Now Drier & Hotter?
July 28, 2011

After a VERY hot and dry stretch of little to no rain and 100 F + heat, many are wondering if we have any signs of relief coming up? Well high pressure has been in control over the past couple of days, but that same high pressure system will be moving towards the SE United States, allowing for an upper level disturbance to increase rain chances around our area…Yesterday, computer models came into agreement that we were going to have decent chances for rain mainly Friday and Saturday with isolated storms possible Sunday. Today, however, confidence in that forecast is not running as high… The NAM, which in my opinion has been the more reliable computer model this summer, has been showing a drier/hotter solution to both Friday and Saturday (as of this morning)…The GFS has been much more consistent with both cooler temperatures / decent rain chances during that same time frame…Over the next 24 hours, the forecast could change once again, but keep it here for further updates!

NAM COMPUTER MODEL (06z) – FRIDAY AFTERNOON:

(CLICK ON IMAGE TO ZOOM IN)

GFS COMPUTER MODEL (06z) – FRIDAY AFTERNOON:

(CLICK ON IMAGE TO ZOOM IN)

Matt Devitt

Follow us on twitter “4029weather”

Tropical Disturbance Strengthening…”Don” Coming Soon?
July 27, 2011

Over the past couple of hours a tropical disturbance has strengthened near the Yucatan Channel…with showers and storms growing in coverage at / near the center of the storm. Radar from Mexico is currently showing a circulation possibly forming to the Northeast of Cancun.

*A Tropical Depression could develop later today (formation likely – 80%)…System is moving towards the WNW at 15 MPH.*

An Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter Aircraft is scheduled to investigate the system later today.

Current Visible Satellite Imagery:

(CLICK ON IMAGE TO ZOOM IN)

Courtesy: Weather Underground

Courtesy: Weather Underground

Model trends as you can see, take the system into Texas and possibly Northern Mexico…As far as a potential impact with our area, we need to wait and see if the remnants can hold together that far inland AND where the exact track will take it…We will have updates on this system over the next couple of days!

Matt Devitt

Follow us on twitter “4029weather”

Record Tying Day…Weekend Heat Relief?
July 26, 2011

Today marked the 25th day Fort Smith hit 100 degrees. That ties the record set in 1934.  We will break the record on Wednesday and continue to add to it during the rest of the week.

I’m all about a silver lining to the forecast.  We’re baking under high pressure right now, but that high will slide east toward the weekend.  The clockwise flow around the high will pick up moisture from the Gulf and give us isolated chances for pop up showers and storms.  The best chance for any storm will be Friday and Saturday. 

They will be hit or miss, but if you get stuck under one you’ll have some natural air conditioning.

Drew Michaels

Follow us on Twitter at “4029weather”

8:45 AM Update AND A Look At Your Weekly Outlook!
July 26, 2011

Currently a VERY persistent, slow-moving line of storms has been providing much-needed rain to portions of Eastern OK…and unfortunately, ONLY Eastern OK (and not the rest of us!). Storms have been training  over the exact same locations with very little progress towards the east. If it can hold together and move eastward (computer models don’t have it really holding together) it COULD bring a couple light showers to our western counties. Either way later on today we have the slight chance for additional development…mainly in the form of localized, pop-up t’storms (rain chances – 10%).

Now let’s talk about the next couple of days…Currently we have high pressure in control but that same high pressure system will move towards the SE United States by the end of the week…allowing a weak upper level disturbance to move from the Northern Gulf to around the Red River Valley.

Highest rain chances look to be around Friday (30% t’storms) with slight chances for rain by the weekend. Then once again (which seems to be the trend this summer), high pressure builds back into the area, heating us up and drying us out by the start of next week..Enjoy the decent rain chances ahead while you can!

Matt Devitt

Follow us on twitter “4029weather”

30 Day Rainfall Totals…Not Good
July 25, 2011

 

 Well I’m sure some of you at home are trying to keep score in regards to the lack of rainfall.  The River Valley and southeastern Oklahoma are really experiencing the dry conditions.  Here are totals from the last 30 days.

The lack of rainfall is also contributing to the unusual spike in temperatures.  Without the green trees and grass, we lose the necessary evapotranspiration which helps to naturally cool the temperatures.

The pattern over the next several days isn’t very favorable for rainfall!  The upper level high will move overhead and keep the extreme heat in place.  Toward the weekend the high will slide east and create a return flow off of the Gulf.  More clouds and isolated chances for storms will be possible for Saturday and Sunday.

Drew Michaels

Follow us on Twitter at “4029weather”