Thursday, July 19, 2012

It could be Worse. 1980 Remembered


For those of you who were living in Arkansas and remember, the summer of 1980 was historic.  I was only a few years old and remember it well.  As a matter of fact it was one of my first memories as a kid.  My birthday is on July 3rd and I got a my first bike.  I wanted so badly to ride it outside, but my parents would not allow me because they thought the heat was too dangerous.  So I rode it in the house instead. LOL.  Even though we're suffering now, it will be hard to compare any summer to 1980.

Remember, I look for 3 ingredients to produce triple digit heat in Arkansas: A dry ground, strong high pressure, and ample sunshine.  All of those came together perfectly for an extended period of time in 1980 to make it historic.

When you look at the first 6 months of 1980, 4 of those 6 months were below average in terms of rainfall with June the driest.   In June of 1980, Little Rock received only .53'' of rainfall when the average was 3.50''.  This helped to set the stage for a horrible, long, hot summer.

Here are some of the record from 1980...
  1. We set the record for consecutive 100 degree + days here in Little Rock at 15: July 5th - 19th.
  2. We had the 2nd most 100 degree days (42).  The most occurred in 1954 (43)
  3. Little Rock had the most days at or above 105 degrees (10 days)
  4. The average seasonal temperature was 97.29 degrees which ranks 2nd behind 1954's 97.64 degrees.  3rd on that list is 2010 and 4th is 2011.

Below are the high and lows for everyday that summer from June through August.  I have also dug up a few of the upper air charts as well.  Enjoy this piece of weather history and hope we never repeat it!

June 1980
July 1980
August 1980
July 7th, 1980.  Look at the strong ridge of high pressure centered directly on top of Arkansas.  The jet stream was well displaced to the north.  The pattern was stuck for weeks.
July 10th, 1980.  There is little movement 3 days later
July 13th, 1980.  It only amplifies and the heat rolled on.


Anonymous said...

Well, the hot weather came right back just like I thought. Didn't Snowbirdbob tweet on July 12th "Good News no Extreme Heat in sight over the next 2 weeks..& Yes.. That will come with chances of Rain.."

Hmm...and yet, not even 7 days later the heat came back. Interesting. I wonder what Todd or Michael have to say about this?

SnowbirdBob said...

Yes, I did give that tweet on July 12th..But, All the Long-Range Models..GFS,EURO,CANADIAN, & Many of the Ensembles were showing no signs of it..In fact most were showing big dips in the Jet Stream over the Central & Eastern US, The models stayed that way for Days..So, No..I still dont think we will see 105+ Temps & We do have chances of rain..The Ridge is not that strong..But,in any case the models did change there Tune just days after the July 12th Tweet..This happens at all times of the year not just in the Winter..& One more thing..The reason I get picked on so much, is that I am the only one..Besides NOAA, ACCWEATHER, & Joe B that will take a shot at Long-Range forecasting..To keep a good reputation..I know how to do that..Dont go out more than 4 days with detailed forecast..To me its no fun in that..& Not challenging at ALL!! Except in the Winter..Trust Me..If more of us went out 1,2,3 Weeks..we would all lose our reputation quickly..I just dont care..I love following the weather & predicting it..If I am wrong oh well.It only makes me smarter in future forecast...So, If I mess up in the future & I know I will..I am have a great day.

SnowbirdBob AKA Bob Read

The Weather Fanatic said...

Todd, I don't think I got my first bike until 1981 so I was fortunate not to remember the Summer of 1980.

This Summer is shaping up to be a two or three shot punch of heat waves. Right now, we are just beginning the second wave, but at least the high is somewhat dirty, allowing for daytime heating showers and storms. It appears the high is wobbling to our West a little more, which is a good thing and allowing a weak front to enter the state.

I went with an outrageous number in the Summer Weather Contest, and it appears I'll fall short unless this second heat wave sustains and lasts for another 4 or 5 weeks straight for the entire state. Let's hope that doesn't happen.

I'll be looking for a Major Hurricane to develop in the Gulf of Mexico around the middle of August. It's way too quiet and we all know how quickly the tropics can heat up. That will be our only shot of widespread rain and need a perfect track, so we'll have to keep an eye out for sure. If a Major Hurricane does develop,flooding will occur so it's best that we get the remnants of a weak Hurricane or Tropical Storm. Until then, I expect us to remain 100 or above for the next 3-4 weeks, especially since we just entered the Exceptional Drought category in Little Rock. This is not good. Vegetation is brittle out, and it won't take much for the wildfires to crank back up nor the temps to soar, especially at the airport.

The last punch of triple digits will be brief later in August/early September, depending on what happens in the Tropics. I sure won't mind if the pattern completely flops in mid to late August and turns cooler and wetter, but I'm not holding my breath. I'm ready for temps in the 80's for highs and football. We will be there before you know it! Until then, have a great rest of the Summer everyone and stay cool.

Michael Bodiak

Anonymous said...

And to answer your question, Snowbirdbob, no. This anonymous weather geek does not know Weatherninja as well as you seem to claim.

However, let us not digress. I'm simply stating that the last time I remember your forecasting to be remotely accurate was in December when 1 inch of snow fell from Little Rock to El Dorado, as you tweeted.

Either you seemed to be excessively wish-casting, or you were hoping you'd get a lucky break because that arctic blast never came like you kept talking about.

Just my 2 cents. I'm sure there are others who feel the same way. Have a nice evening.

Anonymous said...

They probably don't think much of it, since they got used to it. LOL

Anonymous said...

*Looks at the 7 day forecast*

Ughhhhhh, not again!

SnowbirdBob said...

To Anonymous...You will see a big change in my forecasting from this Day forward...The main reason..I am wrong most of the time, because I try to spice things up..When I should really stay more conservative..I only do that to for fun.. I am not making excuses..maybe a little..LOL..I agree I have been wrong many times, but I have also been right many times... I will stay more conservative in the future, but..I may go out on more limbs than many others will do..I just like a little action now & then...If I was forecasting for a big-time TV Station or Radio Station..I would have to be more conservative for my reputation & for the saftey of the people..I tweet & do this Blog for fun....Side Note: If any of you out there would like me to change my ways to a more conservative way..Tweet me or Reply back to this Post.. I cant wait for this Winter..Maybe my Arctic Jail Break is running a year Behind..LOL..Yall have a Great Day & God Bless


Anonymous said...

The summer of 1980 I was in the fourth grade. We did not have air conditioning in our school building, so school officials let school out after lunch until about the middle of September. Also, I was suppose to start push mowing the lawn that summer, but never really got the opportunity because it was so dry. Waited till next summer to learn.

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