Friday, July 01, 2016

State Of The Weather Address

It's hard to believe we are half way through 2016.  I thought it would be interesting and helpful to look at the past 6 months and take a sneak peak into the 2nd half of the year.  The long range forecast (anything beyond 3 months) needs to be taken with a grain of salt.  Also, I have never been a fan of the Climate Prediction Centers method of long range outlooks.  They are broken down in B (Below average), A (Above Average), N (Normal), and EC (Equal Chances).   For example, when reading these, "A" means the odds tilt towards above average temperatures.   With the amount of information available nowadays, there should be no such thing as (EC).  I really wish they would get rid of that.

With the forecast of La Nina conditions (cooling of the water in the equatorial Pacific), guidance into the rest of the year will show warmer than average temperatures across much of North America.  HOWEVER, I have seen these forecasts change quickly!  Several years ago, we had a La Nina and it turned out to be a very cold and snowy winter due to a persistent negative AO (arctic oscillation).  If you're a cold and snow lover, don't get worried... YET!

The data below is courtesy of the NWS Little Rock.  So far this year in Arkansas...

  • 21 tornadoes  (yearly state average is 33)
  • 0 fatalities
  • 5 injuries
  • 5 cases of extreme straight-line winds with no fatalities or injuries
  • 2 flash flood fatalities
  • 0 injuries
  • dust storm in Walnut Ridge... 1 fatality with 12+ injuries
It's important to note, we still have a couple important things to watch this year in terms of severe weather.  Remnant tropical systems can bring flash flooding and tornadoes IF they affect Arkansas.  Also, we have our secondary severe weather season late this fall into early winter.  There are times when it can be more active than our primary spring severe weather season.  Let's watch it!

Rainfall from January 1st to the end of June has been heaviest across the southeast half of the state with amounts around 30-40 inches.  Northern Arkansas has generally seen less than 20 inches so far this year.  This image is courtesy of  
3 month temperature outlook (July, August, September).  The odds tilt toward above average temperatures.

3 month precipitation outlook.  Equal Chances for normal, above average, below average rainfall.  They are saying the odds don't favor anything.  IMO, it's 2016, let's take a stand with these forecasts.

Temperature outlook for September, October, and November... Odds tilt to above average temperatures

The winter months of December, January, and February... odds tilt to above average temperatures.

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