Here we go with another round or two of severe weather. Like I have been saying since last weekend, it doesn't look as intense as the late April system. I hesitate to write that because I don't want to give the impression nothing will happen. We are expecting severe weather and all severe weather can be dangerous. At this time, the tornado threat is low, but it's always possible. The main threats will be wind, heavy rain, and hail.
Round 1 arrives Thursday afternoon and evening and there could be more Friday as the front eases into the state. The front will lift to the north again this weekend with another wave of low pressure developing along the boundary. This will shove the front south again with more rain and storms next Monday into Monday night. This will be followed by cooler and drier air.
With that said, let's talk about the next couple weeks. NOAA's outlook is calling for a better chance temperatures will be below average. It's really no surprise as once we warm up, the cold air comes back. That has been the pattern lately. We just can't shake the cooler air masses and stay warm. If we look at the past 12 months, almost every month has been below average. Will this trend take us into summer? If you look at NOAA's outlook, they are betting the chance is greater temperatures will be above average across the southern tier of the country May, June, and into July.
Some private sector meteorologists who nailed the forecast last winter say the opposite. One in particular says below average temperatures can be expected and with the developing El Nino, he's even looking into next winter as below average as well. I'm waiting for him to tweet his forecast so I can post it here and I'll get more specific.
As usual, here's my disclaimer. I'm not a big fan of long range forecasting. I look at them all the time, but it's very difficult to make these forecasts. The meteorologists who make them are brilliant and doing the best they can, but it has limitations. With that said, it's getting better and better and progress is always being made as techniques improve and new things are learned.
Update on my mom... first thanks for the nice comments here and on facebook and twitter. She's resting comfortably as long as she doesn't move her leg. Surgery keeps getting delayed, but we're looking at later today. Thanks for your thoughts.
Below are maps from weatherbell.com going over the rain/storm potential today. Also are some interesting maps dealing with the long range forecast.
|4PM today according to the HRRR. Not perfect, but it gives you a good idea of what radar should look like. Notice the reds indicate heavy rain and storms. It's affecting portions of central and western Arkansas.|
|The risk for severe weather Thursday is slight and includes the northwest half of the state including Little Rock. The main threats will be wind and hail. Tornado threat is low at this time.|
|The entire state has a slight risk Friday.|
|Rain amounts through Saturday morning.|
|Total rain amounts from Thursday into next Wednesday.|
|NOAA 6-10 day (May 13-May 17) temperature outlook indicates a good chance temperatures will be below average.|
|NOAA 8-14 day outlook (May 15-21) indicates the cooler than average temperatures will continue.|