Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Summer Outlook 2015

There's one thing you can count on in Arkansas every single year: heat and humidity.  The questions are, how hot and humid?  Spring weather helps us predict what will happen during the summer months, especially early in the season.  If the ground is loaded with moisture, the suns energy will focus on evaporation before it can efficiently heat the ground.   This will keep temperatures from getting out of hand early this summer, but it brings the potential for high heat index values with the humidity around.  Then there's the mosquito problem, but that's for another blog somewhere else.

The summers of 2010, 2011, and 2012 were nothing short of brutal!  Here are 100 degree days those years.

2010 - 21 days
2011 - 18 days
2012 - 29 days

The next year, 2013, was much better with only 4 days and last year (2014) had no 100 degree days.  If we can do that this year, it will be the first time we have put together back to back years without hitting 100 degrees since 1957-1958 and that's very significant for the obvious reasons and for another.

I plan on interviewing WeatherBell meteorologist Joe Bastardi about his summer forecast.  As you know, I have great respect for this guy.  He has done an incredible job with long range seasonal forecasting lately.  Nobody is ever perfect with that science, but some are much better than others and he has proven himself as someone you really need to listen to.  His track record can't be ignored.  He is comparing this climate cycle we're in to that of the late 1950s!  Here's something else to consider about that time in our weather history.  The spring of 1957 was the 3rd wettest spring on record for Little Rock.  Spring 2015 was just a couple tenths of an inch from breaking into the top 10 and only about 5 inches short of 1957.  So putting together pieces of the puzzle, it's possible to have another non 100 degree summer.

I feel very confident it won't happen in early summer (Meteorological summer June, July and August) due to the soil moisture.  However, if we dry out, we'll have the potential down the road and that's why I want to interview Joe.

Here are a few interesting summer stats for central Arkansas.

Average first 100 degree day: July 19th
Average last 100 degree day: August 15th

Average first 105 degree day: July 30th
Average last 105 degree day: August 11th.

Average number of 90 degree+ days: 69
Average number of 100 degree+ days: 7

Longest period WITHOUT a 100 degree day: July 31, 1887 to June 29th, 1894  (7 years, 11 months, and 28 days)

Average seasonal high temperature: 91.3 degrees
Average seasonal low temperature: 71.7 degrees
Average seasonal rainfall: 9.51 inches.

Remember, summer is defined as the months of June, July, and August.  NOAA thinks there's a good chance for below average temperatures.
NOAA thinks there's a good chance for above average Precip.


Anonymous said...

I have heard that there is a strong El Nino developing. Supposed to peak during the winter. What effect will that have on Arkansas?

jimmylee42 said...

Todd-Thought I would go to the NWS site for Little Rock and check on 10 year snowfall amounts starting with the winter of 57-58. The total snowfall was 92.2 inches for that 10 span. Average of 9.2 inches a winter with two winters above 20 inches. I know Joe B has mentioned recent weather trends matching are close to analogues of the 57-58 period. A little early but keep the sleds handy?

NOAA Winter Guidance