Saturday, April 30, 2011

From Drought to Deluge. Here We Go Again!

11:30 PM Saturday Update.... North Little Rock received 2.3 inches of rain in just a little more than one hour.  This is absolutely dangerous if you're out and about.  Street flooding is a major concern.  This is just round one of several rounds of rain over the next 3 days.  Remember the NWS slogan, "Turn Around, Don't Drown."  I urge everyone to pay attention to flood waters, especially if you live in a flood prone area!


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It's amazing to see how we have gone from a severe drought to floods.  Sometimes mother nature can snap like a rubber band and go from one extreme to another.  First off, we have the threat for severe weather today.  This is not a huge threat and will not be an outbreak!  I suspect a few strong to severe thunderstorms will erupt late this afternoon and persist into the evening for a few hours.  The main threat will be wind, hail, and we can't rule out an isolated tornado, but that threat is low.  There will also be a threat for severe weather Sunday, but again, the main threat will be some wind and hail.

I can't emphasize enough the flash flooding danger, especially for northeastern Arkansas due to the extremely high water already in place.  I talked to KAIT chief meteorologist Ryan Vaughan this morning about the situation up there.  The town of Pocahontas is drowning.  The Black river is flooding along with the White River as both are at major flood stage.  The situation could only get worse.

A frontal boundary will once again work into the state and stall.  The upper level wind flow will parallel the front which means it will not get a push out of the state.  As it stalls out and meanders around the Natural State, several waves of rainfall will develop as a series of disturbances interact with the front.  This shows no signs of letting up until Tuesday.  Check out the maps below.

By late Saturday afternoon, the NAM indicates surface based instability increasing across portions of southwest and central Arkansas. While a slight risk for severe weather is up for most of the state, this is the area I will really be watching late in the day.
The Saturday morning run of the NAM model shows the corridor of highest rainfall amounts through Tuesday morning will be across the northwest half of the state.  This indicates up to 5-7'' possible.  However, there are model disagreements so look below at the next image.
The GFS shows the heaviest amounts of rainfall through Tuesday AM setting up along the I-30 corridor into northeast Arkansas.  The Saturday morning run of the GFS indicates amounts could exceed 6'' easily.  This is further south than the NAM obviously.  It all depends where this boundary will end up stalling out and the track of each wave of low pressure.
The HPC manual progs are taking the middle of the road approach and bringing a large swath of high rain amounts through much of Arkansas.  As you can see, they indicate amounts could reach 7'' or more through portions of central and eastern Arkansas.  A flash flood watch continues for much of the state.


Jeff from Beebe said...

Its a good thing they did not cut funding for the NWS. Imagine if this outbreak was watched by less experts, the loss could have been worse. Question, Is there anyway or anywhere you can look at past radar images? My house was hit by the EF-1 tornado in Beebe this past Monday and I was wondering what that return looked like as it passed over( was taking cover at that time). Thanks for all you do!!

jimmylee42 said...

Checked my rain guage at 7:45 this morning and we had 6.5 inches of rain in the bucket just overnite in WLR. Hope the folks in the White River Basins don't get this heavy rain, but it looks like some or all will.

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