Friday, May 18, 2012

Preliminary Riverfest Outlook

7 AM Monday update... I have received dozens of eclipse pictures you can see on my facebook page.  I also received this amazing time lapse from Robert Brown.  Below is his email and video.  Enjoy!

"I took the attached time-lapse video from Pinnacle Mountain State Park Visitor's Center outlook. This is 103 frames shot from a Canon DSLR with a telephoto lens and represents the last 18 minutes of the eclipse before sunset."


In the meteorological world, 1 week is a LONG amount of time.  There is so much that can change with the data, but I thought I would give you the best glimpse as possible into what scenario is most likely at this point.  Typically, Riverfest is marked by lots of fun and food with hot and humid weather. This year looks like it will live up to that reputation.

The data does suggest a strong trough of low pressure developing across the western United States with a strong ridge of high pressure across the central and eastern United States.  A "battleground" area looks likely to show up across the plains north and west of Arkansas.  This is where there will be an enhanced chance for rain and storms.  Since it's several days away, the placement and strength of these features is still to be determined.  Here's some of that data below.

This looks like a 2 year old splattered paint all over the map.  However, it indicates a strong ridge keeping us hot and humid across our region with a significant storm over the west coast of the United States next Friday.  This is the European model.
The GFS at the same time shows basically the same thing.  This surface analysis indicates a front draped to the north and west of Arkansas from the plains of Kansas to the Great Lakes.  This would be the focus for storm development with areas further to the east (Arkansas) likely to be more influenced by a strong ridge.  The flow of air is off the Gulf of Mexico.  This may turn Riverfest into "River-sweat".
The GFS next Saturday morning at 500 mb really shows the strong ridge over the Ohio River Valley with the trough over the west.  The battle ground for storms would set up in between these two features over the plains.
By Sunday morning, the GFS continues to show the pattern stagnant with the ridge holding strong and the trough still out to the west.  IF this verifies, all wet weather will hold off to the west with ONLY the possibility for pop up afternoon showers and storms.  According to the data, it would be hot and humid with highs in the upper 80s and lower 90s.  Again, much can change with the data so I'll watch it for you.  The timing and strength of these features are not certain.

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