Sunday, August 05, 2012

Sunday Storms Interrupts Record Breaking Summer


This summer has been incredibly brutal and it appears some much needed, but minor relief is on the horizon.  Unfortunately, it will come at the expense of a few strong to severe thunderstorms later Sunday afternoon and evening.

So far this summer, we have had 25, 100 degree plus days.  This ranks as the 3rd most in a single meteorological summer (June, July, and August).  1980 had 42 days while 1954 had 43 days. 

It's an entirely different story when you add September 100 degree days.  According to the National Weather Service office in North Little Rock, we rank 5th on the list of 100 degree days considering the entire year.  2012=25,  2000=26, 1998=27, 1954=46, 1980=47. So you can see it won't take much to vault us past the years 2000 and 1998 and put is in third place in this category as well.

As far as 105 degree + days, we rank #2 on that list.  So far we have had 10 of those.  The only year with more is 1980 with 12.

So far this summer, we have had 2.50'' of rainfall.   If summer ended today, it would be the 4th driest in Little Rock weather history.  However, there's a chance for some rain even today which could drastically change this statistic.

A front will slowly ease into the state with ample amounts of instability in place.  Hi resolution model data continues to support the development of widely scattered showers and storms over central and eastern Arkansas.  Any storm that does develop will have the ability to produce high winds, some hail, heavy rainfall, and frequent lightning.  It's important that if you hear thunder, you can be struck by lightning. 

Behind the front will be somewhat cooler and drier.  The strong ridge of high pressure aloft will migrate to the western United States over the coming days allowing a northwesterly wind flow aloft to develop.  This type of pattern is prone to allow disturbances to bring clusters of showers and storms, so small rain chances will go in the forecast later this week.  This will also help keep temperatures in check, however, it's still going to be very hot.

What about help from the tropics?  We have Ernesto to watch as he will go into the southern Gulf of Mexico later this week.  At this time, I do not expect any moisture in Arkansas.  That can still change, but I have little hope at this point.

5 PM hi res NAM shows scattered storms developing Sunday afternoon for central and eastern Arkansas
By 8 PM, storms continue, but will begin to decrease later in the evening.
The SPC has covered the areas in yellow in a slight risk for some severe weather.  I think the worst of this will be east and northeast of AR, but we could see some isolated severe weather.  I'll watch it for you.

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