Tuesday, March 24, 2015

First Taste Of Severe Weather This Year

Our first taste of spring thunderstorm activity will be here Tuesday evening and again Wednesday evening.  This will not be anything major, but there will be a threat for wind and hail.  As always, you can never rule out an isolated tornado this time of year, but that threat is very much on the low end.

The Storm Prediction Center recently started adding categories to describe the threat for severe thunderstorms and it's something I strongly disagree with.  It goes back to the old rule, "less is more".  At KATV, we will continue to use the the old threat scale: slight, moderate, and high.  They have added marginal and enhanced.  In my opinion, it's great for those who are weather geeks like me, but in terms of a public forecast, it just adds more confusion.  If you feel differently, let me know in the poll to the right.  Keep the old categorical scale or use the new categorical scale?

Here is their new scale...

More information on this categorical outlook:    http://www.spc.noaa.gov/exper/dy1-3example/

Here is one we'll be using....

The following model maps are courtesy of WeatherBell Analytics

A slow moving front to the north will have waves of low pressure moving along it.  The first one arrives this Tuesday evening and will mainly have an impact on NW Arkansas.  A few storms will develop.  As the low lifts away and instability decreases, the storms will decrease as they move south.
HiRes simulated radar shows the storms at around 9PM Tuesday.
Storms decrease later in the evening.

The Storm Prediction Center has placed NW Arkansas under a "slight risk" for severe weather late Tuesday.

The next wave of low pressure moves along the front late Wednesday.  This will finally shove the front towards the south as it leaves and this will introduce much colder air.

Slight risk late Wednesday


Anonymous said...

I consider myself a weather geek. However, I find the new categories overly complicated. Simple is always best when trying to convey severe risks to the general public. That is why I follow your weather blog. Always simple and to the point.

Anonymous said...

The benefit I see to the new scale is to narrow down where the focus of severe weather might be. More specifically, if you have a giant slight risk area, an embedded enhanced risk will highlight where storms are most likely. If you don't include the enhanced risk, then it is more vague. But, hey, if you want to keep it simple, it's your show.

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