Thursday, September 15, 2011

Drought And Upcoming Fall Pattern

I received this information from John Robinson with the National Weather Service in North Little Rock.  The drought is forecast to either persist or even intensify.

Click to enlarge.  This is the U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook just released from the Climate Prediction Center

The attached graphic is the three-month drought outlook, which was
issued this morning by the National Weather Service's Climate Prediction

For Arkansas, the news is not good.  For areas already in drought, the
drought is forecast to persist or intensify.  For parts of northeastern
and eastern Arkansas, drought is forecast to develop.

A moderate to strong La Nina weather pattern is forecast to occur as we
go from fall into winter.  (La Nina is a cooling of the waters in the
equatorial Pacific.  It causes a redirection of the jet stream in our
part of the world, and consequently affects the way weather systems
develop and move.)  In a La Nina pattern, it is common for Arkansas to
experience below-normal precipitation in the fall.

As we get into fall, we always have more weather systems come through
Arkansas that produce windy conditions.  Drought and windy weather will
cause an increase in fire danger.  As an example, over the Labor Day
weekend, we had some windy weather.  During that time, the Arkansas
Forestry Commission fought at least seven wildfires that burned more
than 100 acres each.  The largest fire consumed 670 acres and another
burned 500 acres.

A seasonal outlook cannot foresee what effect dying tropical storms or
hurricanes might have on Arkansas.  Thus, there is still a possibility
that a tropical system could cause widespread rain and have an effect on
the drought.  However, climatology suggests that as we move toward the
end of the tropical weather season (October and November), chances for a
tropical system affecting Arkansas begin to decrease markedly.

On a more personal note:  Everyone has probably heard that the drought
in Texas has resulted in virtually no forage for the cattle.
Consequently, hay is having to be trucked in from other areas.  On
Monday, another NWS employee and I traveled to Amity and Alpine in Clark
County on business.  As we came back up Interstate 30 from Arkadelphia,
we were amazed at the number of trucks on the interstate that were
hauling hay toward Texas.

John Robinson



Anonymous said...

Thanks for the 'heads up,' John. Very important news that should be front page.

Jason H said...

Very interesting to say the least. I have never been a big believer in long range forcasting "even though I like to give them";-). If we have another dry Oct-Dec, I may believe in the direct and indirect effect of La nina.:-)Ill come back to this blog about the end of December and let ya know.


Hello Everyone, It is forecasted that as we head deeper into the fall & winter season for the La Nina to get stronger & stronger...In My Opinion that could lead to more of an active storm track similar to last year..I am sure everyone noticed last year most of Texas & Ok did get some good winter weather events, But is seems Ark is located right outside of that major drought area,So Ark could be in that battle zone for storm systems to intensify..I look at it in this way..Take an example...In the summer time when you have a strong High Pressure system located out in Texas or somewhere in that area.. You get most of your showers & Thunderstorms right outside of that area..So In my opinion..This will be no different as we head into the fall & winter of 2011/2012...We get these weak systems heading across the southern Plains, Then BAM..It taps into the Gulf & If the cold air is in place, You get your winter storms...The only bad part is if the High Pressure is located to far south in the Southern Plains..You will have the storm track pressed to far south...This is another reason, I mentioned Ice in my long-range outlook for Central & Souhtern Ark,, If we have these Strong Cold High Pressures,,Most of the time very cold dry air is very shallow only reaching about 2-5 thousand feet into the atmosphere..Well, with that in mind & the stronger La Nina could lead to a more southern storm track at times, & with the shallow arctic air could lead to big time Ice Events across the Deep South..& In some cases for example the El Dorado area could be at 28 Degrees with freezing rain & as you head north to Little Rock it could be 26 Degrees with freezing rain..I know most of the time you see the transition from North to South, Like Snow,Mix of sleet & snow, Sleet, freezing rain, Then plain rain.. Well, If the cold air is the same from north to south such as the example of El Dorado & Little Rock, They may both have the same shallow cold air mass in place even though Little Rock is located many miles north of El Dorado..They both will have freezing rain.. I am hoping for all snow, As I know most of you are wanting just that...& Yes, we may end up getting just that..Just a few more thoughts, That I wanted to put out there..



WinterLover said...


That's exactly what I was wondering! I remember evryone saying last winter was a la Nina, so I hope we have a repeat . But like you said, with pure snow :)
Thanks a lot!!!
-- WinterLover

Jason H said...

Starting to look HOT and DRY for the end of September threw the 1st week of October. Sure hope this changes!


Hey Jason, Your exactly right through that time period, I beleive as we head into the Oct.13-20, We will see our first Big time cool down for the state, The latter half of Oct. should not be as dry as the first half of Oct.In fact by looking at all the tools I use for my long-range forecasting,Oct. could end up dryer & warmer than average, but isn't that the same ole see Nov. with a month of extremes form north to south in the state..But,Boy I am riding that horse for the month of Dec. WOW!! Talking about a month of extremes, Someone in the state may see temps in the 70's,& a few days later in the Teen's..I know..I know..I am going out on a very thin limb here..But, I think & feel very strongly the Dec.15-31st..Time-Frame..There could be places that approach zero with High Temps in the mid-teens...Ok,I have said this pans out can you Say Christmas Spirit!!!& Then we need a Happy New year to go along with that..Jan.1-15 Icy & Snowy BRRRR!!...


Jason H said...

We "Northeast Ar" has not seen a frost before the 20th in a very long time....with that being said I cant remember the last time we had a September as cool as this one. We have had numrous days where we havent even hit 70 for a high, and have been in the upper 40's for lows a couple times too. Lot of cloudy/cool days for us. What will that mean for mid to late October....could we be in store for a EARLY dusting of snow this year?

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