Thursday, April 25, 2013

My "State Of The Weather Address"

Sorry I have been away from blogging for awhile.  With the new weather center + the new "MetroFirst" graphics I have been making, it has absorbed my time.  Also, I became VERY ill over the past few days and now getting better. While sick, I came up with a bunch of new blog post ideas so I'll have more here soon.  That's what "WeatherGeeks" do when we're running a high fever.

I really hope you like the new weather center.  It really is an incredible set up and I think you'll see that once we have severe weather.  It's no secret I'm Little Rock's shortest meteorologist so standing in front of that huge 80 inch monitor will be interesting.  No joking, I can't reach the top.  We have a vast number of resources now just a button or mouse click away.  I truly believe this will serve you better when severe weather hits.

But when will we have more severe weather?  I think it's interesting how everyone is talking about how cool this month has been and yes, SOME places have broken record lows.  However, this April is closer to "average" compared to the past three Aprils.

Here are the departures from "normal" by daily average temperature

2013 (as of 4-25)  -1.6 degrees
2012 +4.5 degrees
2011 +4.6 degrees
2010 +4.7 degrees

How about some tornado statistics.  Remember, the yearly average is 33 for Arkansas.  Here's a look at the number of tornadoes so far this year compared to this point over the past 3 years.

2013 (as of 4-25) 12 tornadoes
2012 10 tornadoes
2011 47 tornadoes
2010 8 tornadoes

On Thursday, April 25th, the National Weather Service sent out this tweet.

"Arkansas has gone 23 months without a tornado fatality. Let's keep the string going! Last tornado death: May, 25, 2011 in Johnson Co."

I was talking to Ryan Vaughan, chief meteorologist at KAIT in Jonesboro, and he said his area has not had a tornado related fatality in almost 5 years!  That's wonderful!!!

Looking at the pattern over the next several days and into the beginning of May, I do see a couple chances for some strong to severe thunderstorms, but in terms of "outbreaks" or something "big", I just don't see that at this time.  Remember, that can change!!!!  While severe weather can happen any month of the year in Arkansas, our primary severe weather season only has about 4 weeks left in it.  As we go into late summer and fall, we'll have to watch tropical systems as they can bring tornadic activity if their remnants track into the state.  Plus, don't forget the secondary severe weather season in late fall into early winter.  There have been a few years where that ends up being more active than spring.

Now everyone is wondering what this summer will be like.  Last year I made it known a warm winter and spring did not necessarily mean we would have a hot summer, but we did!!!  The past three summers have been wayyyyy above average.  The chance of a "four-peat" is low, but you know anything can happen in Arkansas weather.  You probably know I don't like long range forecasting as it is not all that reliable so take all this with a grain of salt.  Even though it's not technically summer, we'll start out with May.

This is a climate model I have been following lately and it's available through  It hasn't done a bad job lately.  This is indicating a good chance temperatures will be a few degrees below average in May!

The NOAA forecast from the Climate Prediction Center for the months of June, July, and August indicates a good chance temperatures will be above average for much of the country.
As far as precipitation is concerned, NOAA is saying  there's an "Equal Chance" for average, below average, and above average precipitation for about 90% of the country.  The following is my opinion and not the opinion of KATV...  If you are going to use my tax dollars to pay people to make long range forecasts, could you please be a little more specific????


Greg Reddin said...

I'd like to see a "weather geek's" tour of the new weather center :-)

Anonymous said...

Love the blog but don't think delving into issues of funding and tax payer money is the best course to take.. that's just my two cents.

Otherwise, great work Todd!

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