Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Sunday Storms 4/10

I think our severe weather season is really getting a kick into high gear now.  The storm system Monday behaved like it was forecast... check out the previous blog post.  Most of the damage was from strong thunderstorm winds.  There was one confirmed EF1 tornado near Whelen Springs in Clark county.  I remember looking at that storm on radar and seeing a very small circulation.  It stayed on the ground for 4 miles.  That tornado raises our total for the year to 4 tornadoes for the state, but we could have another added to the list as the National Weather Service office in Shreveport conducts storm surveys in far southwest Arkansas today.  Our yearly average number of twisters is 26.

Our next chance for significant severe weather is on the horizon.  It's Sunday with a potent low and associated cold front Sunday afternoon.  It's wayyy too early to speculate about specifics, but the chance is elevated enough for the Storm Prediction Center to highlight most of Arkansas for a risk.

GFS 500 mb map showing the upper level energy swinging close to Arkansas.  The main low is well north of the state.
The GFS shows a band of rain and storms by 7 PM Sunday afternoon crossing the state
By Sunday afternoon, the GFS indicates a high levels of moisture (fuel) in the state.  Notice how it drops off (blacks and reds) in northwest Arkansas westward.  That's the dry air behind the front.
The Storm Prediction Center highlights a good chunk of the state for a threat for severe weather.

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