Thursday, March 10, 2016

Hail of A Storm

Last week, we saw it coming.  The only questions needing an answer, how much and exact location?  At first, we thought right through southwest into northeast Arkansas, then all the data shifted northwest a bit.  Then as we got closer to the event, it all went into the southeast 1/2 of the state.  This is what we mean when we can't give specifics far in advance.  We knew heavy rain was likely, but until you get within 1-2 days of the event, you don't know specifics. 

Amounts of more than 1 foot are reported across southeast Arkansas as of early Thursday morning and we still have a day or two of this left.  However, the intensity should begin to diminish soon.  Nevertheless, the damage has been done and we are completely saturated and flooded.  Any additional rain will cause problems.

If you have been following on Facebook or Twitter, I have been talking about another storm system which will follow quickly on the heels of the one on top of us.  This was also discussed last week.  This is what I call a "bowling ball" low.  It's a very compact area of low pressure aloft.  The air above our heads will be very cold and will help contribute to destabilization of the atmosphere.  I expect this to arrive Sunday afternoon and evening.  Showers and storms will become likely.  Some of those storms may become severe.  Due to the cold air aloft, severe hail is the main threat.  Can I rule tornadoes out?  No, However, that threat is low, but it is there.

Is winter over?  NO!  While I can't promise winter weather, it will get cold again later this month.  Once again, it's too far away for specifics, but it's on the radar.  Pun intended.

Viewer rainfall totals are highest over the southeast corner of the state.  As I write this (9:30AM Thursday, March 10th), a rare FLASH FLOOD EMERGENCY has been issued for Ashley and Chicot counties in southeast Arkansas with more than a foot of rain over the past 2 days and 2-4'' more possible.
This is the upper level flow at 500mb showing the intense, but small area of low pressure moving through Sunday afternoon and evening.  This will lead to areas of rain and storms with hail the main threat.  Can this cause additional flooding?  Yes, but additional amounts will not be anything like we have seen over the past 2 days due to the quick moving nature of this storm system.
The Storm Prediction Center has already outlined much of the southern half of the state, including the metro for a severe weather threat Sunday.

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