Thursday, March 15, 2012

Next Week, We're Certain of Uncertainties


The forecast this week was simple.  It was a matter of how warm and would we break records?  So far, a few temperature records have been tied or broken at North Little Rock, Hot Springs, Batesville, Jonesboro, and Fayetteville.  I still think there's the strong possibility we will end this month in the top 10 warmest March's in Little Rock weather history.

Next week will offer a whole new set of challenges with the forecast.  There's a massive trough developing across the western United States.  The downstream ridge over us is responsible for the warm weather and it will also slow the progression of that storm over the west.  Also on the back side of the ridge, plenty of warm and humid air will be pumped northward from the Gulf of Mexico and will be available for the next storm to tap into.  At this time, there is a fair amount of confidence severe weather will erupt in the plains of Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas.  As the system pulls into the plains, it will "close off".  That will bring us back into the forecasting dilemmas we had last week.  They are difficult to predict where and specific impacts will also be difficult to forecast until we get closer.  Nevertheless, next week will be unsettled with the chance for thunderstorms and even the possibility for heavy rainfall due to the slow movement of the storm system.  Where the low tracks is very important.  I think it's not too early to keep everyone weather aware next week for the possibilities for rough storms and heavy rain so stay tuned.  Below are some model maps.
The Storm Prediction Center has already outlined two areas of potential severe storm development to our west.  Day 4 is Sunday into Monday and Day 5 is Monday into Tuesday.   Uncertainties exist after this time period
This is the European model valid next Wednesday evening showing the upper level low over Arkansas.  This would bring rain and a few thunderstorms.  It would also be an island of cool weather in a sea of heat we have been experiencing as the low tracks over the state.
The Canadian model for the same time period shows the low further to the west which would also bring rain and storms to the state.  This has more of a negative tilt to it which COULD enhance the severe weather threat. 
This is the evening run of the GFS indicating a closed low over the Red River Valley of Texas and Oklahoma.  Again, this is very unsettled for Arkansas.
The next run of the GFS places the low close to the previous model runs placement.  There is a high degree of confidence this low will close off at some point.  Again, where this happens and where it tracks is uncertain at this time.

1 comment:

tboyce1979 said...

Bring it on! I'm ready for some wild spring weather. The only thing that has been changing is the temperature. And even that has been a creeper.