Archive for December, 2011

Long Range Forecasts Feature Old Man Winter
December 31, 2011

It is very, very early, but those early signs show the potential for a major pattern shift sometime around January 15th. This could lead to cold, snow, and ice around the middle to late January.

Both the AO (Arctic Oscillation) and NAO (North Atlantic Oscillation) are expected to flip from positive to negative phase. This will allow the polar jet stream to dive south into the middle of the country it will also create a trough over the eastern part of the country. This is a much more favorable pattern for winter weather and being in a La Nina pattern, over running and the potential for ice will have to be watched as well. Again it is very early, but for all of the winter lover fans, there are some signs of change in the new year.

Ross Ellet

Follow us on twitter “4029weather”

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New Year’s Eve Forecast…..
December 30, 2011

 

The weather is looking good for all of the New Year’s Eve celebrations!  A cold front will arrive between 9 p.m. and 11 p.m.  The front will come through dry; however, colder temperatures will follow after midnight.

A blast of colder air will settle in for New Year’s Day.  Highs in the 40’s and 50’s will start out 2012!

Drew Michaels

Follow us on Twitter at “4029weather”

2011 Had Lots Of Thunderstorms
December 30, 2011

We have talked about the cold, heat, snow, floods, tornadoes, and earthquake extremes that happened in 2011 but we haven’t talked much about the individual thunderstorms that impacted our lives. The year started off with some thundersnow and thundersleet in early February. Training thunderstorms produced record floods and a record tornado season. Even though thunderstorms were very rare during the summer, isolated storms still occurred and they put on some loud and vivid light shows in the sky.

The viewing area averages 55 thunderstorm days per year and this year we had a recorded 65 thunderstorm days in Fort Smith and 71 thunderstorm days in Fayetteville. To put that in perspective, thunderstorms occurred about 1 out of every 5 days.

Ross Ellet

Follow us on twitter “4029weather”

Clipper System….
December 29, 2011

A fast-moving clipper system has arrived just to the north of our area tonight.  Some light rain is falling across Missouri in association with this system.  A cold front will arrive late tonight into Friday morning, but we will remain dry.

Other than a wind shift for Friday, 850 mb temperatures will remain warm, so temperatures will climb back into the 60’s. 

Another front will arrive on New Year’s Eve between 6 p.m. and midnight.  The Saturday front will feature a blast of colder air.  More clouds are expected with this front, but no rain or winter weather is anticipated.

Drew Michaels

Follow us on Twitter at “4029weather”

December Ends Warm
December 29, 2011

As the month of December comes to a close, the first month of winter has started off very warm. Fayetteville has had an average temperature around 40.5 degrees or 2.6 degrees above average. Meanwhile, Fort Smith has had an average temperature of 44.9 degrees which is 3.9 degrees above average.

2011 will end as one of the top 5 warmest years ever recorded in Fort Smith. Temperatures averaged 3 degrees above the average while temperatures averaged 1.4 degrees above average in Fayetteville.

Ross Ellet

Follow us on twitter “4029weather”

2011 Records…What a Year!
December 28, 2011

Since we are in the last week of 2011, I wanted to look back on some of the most notable records of the year.

In the Tulsa NWS area there were 75 recorded tornadoes.  That smokes the old record of 53.  On average eastern Oklahoma and western Arkansas report about  20 tornadoes each year. 

The summer of 2011 was the hottest on record in both Fayetteville and Fort Smith!  On a side note there is a chance that 2011 will be the hottest all time in Fort Smith…stay tuned. 

Fort Smith hit their all time record high of 115 degrees on August 3rd.  Fayetteville tied their all time record high of 110 on that date.

The other story was the number of 100 degree days in Fort Smith.  A new record of 35 consecutive days was set through the months of  July and August!  For the year, Fort Smith recorded 49 days of 100 degree heat; that’s 3rd all time! 

Drew Michaels

Follow us on Twitter at “4029weather”

Old Man Winter Is On An Extended Vacation
December 28, 2011

The current weather pattern is keeping the arctic air trapped into Canada and the latest weather data suggests it may be a while before it shifts into the United States. The jet stream not only remains to far to the north but it is a Pacific flow meaning it is carrying a more mild flow from the Pacific Ocean across the country. The jet stream will shift somewhat over the next 7 days, but it won’t be a huge pattern change. In fact, warmer than normal weather is expected for at least the next 2 weeks.

Ross Ellet

Follow us on twitter “4029weather”

Compressional Heating….Great Forecast
December 27, 2011

Well compared to the wild weather we experienced in 2011, this last week of the year is a yawner; and I like it!  Quiet and warmer weather will be the rule over the next several days thanks to a zonal flow aloft.  For Thursday and Friday you can thank the jetstream for the nice bump in temperatures.

The jetstream will be moving right across the Rockies for Thursday.  Sinking air along the lee side of the Rockies will create compressional heating.  The winds aloft will transport this warmer air mass across the Central Plains.

We’re expecting highs on Thursday to climb into the 60’s all across the viewing area!  Other than some clouds arriving on Saturday, we should remain dry an above average this New Year’s weekend.

Drew Michaels

Follow us on Twitter at “4029weather”

Short Term Forecast / Today Into The Weekend…
December 27, 2011

After a dreary Monday with widespread showers during the morning and afternoon, the system that brought that weather continues moving east out of the area…leaving behind sunny and dry conditions for this afternoon. Some higher level cirrus clouds could move in during the late afternoon and into the evening, but I’m expecting a lot of sunshine ahead…

Winds will transition to out of the S/SW for your Wednesday and Thursday. Those winds could be breezy at times topping 20-25 mph. Temperatures will also be climbing all the way into the weekend with highs in the 60s expected for Friday and Saturday across most of the area. Temperatures for this time of the year, believe it or not, should be in the mid to upper 40s…we will be running 15 to even 20 degrees above average by late week. The reason for the warmth? The jet stream (“the storm track”) is across the Northern United States and shows no signs of major dips South over the next couple of days. That also keeps the cold air bottled up in Canada and prevents any weather systems from making it into our area possibly bringing rain or even snow. The jet stream pattern is also more “zonal,” with a couple bumps here and there but no major troughs or ridges….

Enjoy the mild conditions and above average temperatures while you can because both the ECMWF and the GFS are showing a deep trough setting up early next week…bringing temperatures back down to reality.  

Matt Devitt

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4:30 P.M. Update….
December 26, 2011

No real changes from what Matt was thinking earlier this morning.  The bulk of the moisture will be moving east by the time the cold air advection begins.

We will continue a chance for a light wintry mix or flurries across northwest Arkansas later this evening; however, no accumulations are expected.

Light rain or drizzle will remain in the forecast throughout the River Valley.

Drew Michaels

Follow us on Twitter at “4029weather”