Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Thursday Trouble?

Thanks for everyone contributing to the "National Weather Service Budget Cuts Proposal" blog post.  You can continue to post comments if you wish.  Don't forget to voice your opinion as well in the poll to the right.  It looks like an overwhelming majority are against the cuts according to it.

Welcome to La Nina everyone.  It's marked by an early and active severe weather season.  I'm not sure if you can call this "early" since March is only about a week away.  Last fall, I was thinking this could start in January like the 2008 season in Appleton, Arkansas.  Anyway, that doesn't matter now, it's going to get active for sure with two rounds of thunderstorms.  One Thursday and another possible Monday.

The main event should occur during the afternoon and evening Thursday as rain and a few thunderstorms will march from west to east across the state.  The levels of instability are not very high, but there will be quite a bit of shear.  It's also worth noting the model disagreement when it comes to the track of the low.  The GFS shows a more southerly track which would limit the northward progression of the warm and potentially unstable sector of the system.  The NAM, Euro, and UKMET indicates a track further to the north which would bring a severe weather potential to most of the state.  At this point in time, it appears severe thunderstorms and heavy rainfall will be likely, but to what degree will the severity reach?  Strong winds look like a good bet and we'll have to watch for the potential for isolated tornadoes as well.

You will be hearing a lot about instability and CAPE values during severe weather season.  CAPE stands for Convective Available Potential Energy and is measured in Joules/Kilogram.  This event will mostly be in the 0-1000 j/kg range providing for only marginal instability.  This could still change as this event is a couple of days away.

Here's a guide from SPC...

0-1000 ( Marginal Instability )
1000-2500 ( Moderate Instability )
2500 - 4000 ( Very Unstable )
4000 + (Extreme Instability )

The main long range models indicate a strong area of low pressure aloft coming into Arkansas next Monday.  This too will bring a severe weather potential, but it's too early to get specific with the next feature. 

If you haven't done so, sign up for WeatherCall 7.  This is a fantastic service which gives you warnings based on your own address.  It's only a few dollars a year so sign up along with the tens of thousands of Arkansans who have already! CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP

Slight risk for sever weather across all of Arkansas from the SPC.
The greatest risk extends from Arkansas into far western Kentucky and Tennessee


Jason H said...

I gotta a gut feeling we are just now breaking the ice on severe weather this year. When temps start to rise in the 70's and 80's "late March-early April" we will be in for some big time severe weather. Chasing time is here. Be safe everyone. Jason Hampton

nlrweatherman said...

I'm thinking storm chasing Thursday afternoon?

Kaleb Turner said...

Greeting Fellow ARWX Bloggers! There has been a lot going on lately! Whether its from the talk of severe weather to the proposed budget cuts at the NWS. Now, my thoughts on the two subjects.

First off, the upcoming severe weather. Now, just recently the severe weather risk was raised to a Moderate Risk for eastern Arkansas. I feel like we will have quite a few thunderstorms and wouldn't be surprised if we saw a couple of tornado warnings. If the temperatures would rise, I think everyone would be a little more concerned.

Now onto the proposed NWS budget cuts. I don't feel that it is right for people who save lives to get budget cuts and I think that the government should cut down on stupid spending, but what the heck, I'm just a kid. I do think that we will be in good hands if the budget cuts are taken and a couple of offices are closed. We would have 4 more offices to cover us during an type of weather and we would have the local TV stations for their radars and meteorologists. Again, I don't think it was right for the government to cut the NWS budget, but I do think we will be in good shape if they had to close during a severe weather period.

I hope everyone stays safe during the upcoming weather and that the government and the NWS can come to some type of compromise.

Peace and Blessings, Kaleb Turner :)

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