Analogs: 2004-05, 2013-14, 1999-00
Here is the temperature outlook for this upcoming winter. During weak el nino, the jet typically dips down into the eastern US bringing in arctic outbreaks at times. This will not be a very brutal winter however I do think that below normal days will be more than the warm days. Across the west, Near normal to above normal temps looks to dominate as high pressure looks to dominate across the western US.
Analogs: 2004-05, 2013-14, 1999-00
It’s been quite some time since I have written to the good people of this great state. Having a new baby on the way takes up a lot of your time. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t stopped paying attention to the wonderful summer we have had this year, especially the first 13 days of August. We are nearing nearly 5 to 10 degrees below average and have reached or surpassed our average precipitation already this month. Now I have seen a lot of people ask how this will affect our upcoming fall and winter seasons. Our Official Winter Outlook will be out next month, but I will do my best to set you up with some historical information to see where our thoughts are.
First let’s look at the summer thus far. Looking at this summer so far, we have seen more 80s than 90s. Did not hit our first 90 degree reading until around mid-July. We went through a 3 week stretch where it was hot, but not necessarily above average. Overall July was near average for temps as far as summer goes. June was below average as we know with a lot of rain. August has been about as nice as it can be. We have seen rain nearly every day and temps overall in the 70s and 80s with an occasional 90 here and there. More like October, right? This is not the usual summer we have come to know and love. Looking at years past and comparing them to the course of this year thus far, a cooler than normal winter could be in the works. To get this idea, we look at numerical data for the law of averages on temperatures to determine an analog year or years.
To get a summer like this, you won’t have to go too far back. While no 2 years are alike, 2013 was the most recent year where we had a summer this nice. We saw a share of 90-degree days with a few 100 but overall it was below average. As we went into the fall, September saw a warmup but then we headed on a downward trend by the end of the fall. By Thanksgiving week, we were seeing snow flurries and temps nearly 20 below average and that lasted into the winter, where it started early and lasted a while. As you can see, we spent that summer below average and it lasted into the winter months and through most of that spring of 2014. Arkansas saw several arctic intrusions that year with precip in place. One of those being early December when we saw snow and sleet for nearly the entire week. Getting married outside that week, it was cold, I would know. Another analog year is 2011. Looking at the pathway of temps from that summer into the winter months, you can see a trend of cool summers leading to colder winters. That year also saw several rounds of winter precip in-between the warmer days. Taking it a bit further back, the year 2000. Anyone remember those record ice storms? How about the lengthy cold snaps? Anyone remember that summer? COOLER than Average. We also saw a wet year that year as well. So, as I stated while no 2 years are alike, just comparing the previous years to the current summer we are in, we could be in for an interesting winter. Every winter has its warm days, but it’s where we finish that will tell the tale. Below is the chart from the Climate Prediction Center that we can compare temps, look for yourself, and see how the warmer summers are somewhat a killer of winter.
So how about precipitation trends Derek? How does that look for us? Well we went back and looked at the previous 10 years. In both of the analog years, 2010-2011 and 2013-2014 we saw above average precipitation for both the summer and then again, the following winter. As you can see the amounts differed, but overall trends were for above average precipitation in the early summer and then again, the following winter. Now talking precipitation for winter does not necessarily mean snow. We are talking at the overall idea of above average precipitation and below average temps. You can’t get the wintry stuff without the temps in place but below average is a good place to start in the temp column and above average in the precip column. Looking at this summer currently, especially with the August we have had, there is confidence that the same could hold true for the upcoming winter season in the precip department. How much of that will be snow is the question but this is a good place to start. Below you can see the graphical trends for each of the years dating back to 08. Notice 2010 and 2013. What will the winter of 2017-2018 hold?
Now let’s dig into the temperatures at a closer scale on the temperature department now that you have the analog years I have looked at. Remember when looking at the winter graph, the average would end in the following year since winter starts in one year ends in another. Looking at the summer vs winter temperature trends, you can see the similarities between the two. Notice how we are on a downward trend this summer thus far? How about the winter of 2013/14 and 2010/2011? See the below average trends there? Only exception would be the 2010 summer but this doesn’t reflect previous chart above. Overall you can see we have had more warm years than cold as of late, BUT for each of those cooler summers, winter was just as nice to us. Will that trend hold in 2017/18? Time will tell.
So how does August play into all of this? Well for each of the summers listed, August was below average. We saw 90-degree days, but overall the temps stayed generally below average. Remember the average high in August is 94 so if its 93 it is below average. So far, this August we are about 5 degrees below average. We still have half of the month left. Will there be 90-degree days? Yes. Will there be 100-degree days? Questionable. Will we see more of this weather we have had? At least for a few more days. One thing about it is, the more rain you get, the more moisture stays in the ground. That moisture may make it humid but it keeps the temps from getting out of hand. When we hit those upper 90s in July, we were drying out before the rain kicked in again, I do believe summer goes out with a bang and fall comes in with one but I don’t believe it’ll last much past mid-September. We are setup for an earlier fall than usual and looking at the card we have been dealt, and the historically averages, I fully feel we will see a switch by the start of October. So, does this cool August and cool summer mean an active, colder winter? Based on the info provided above, yes. To what extent no-one knows this far out but I do believe we could be in for a wild ride.
Let’s enjoy the cool while it’s here and get through one last summer heat battle, then get ready for a very colorful fall! What will the winter hold? Winter outlook due out Early September. Have a great rest of your Sunday.
~Chief Forecaster Derek
Welcome! Welcome to another blog from Arkansas Weather Watcher's main blogger, Michael Modica. This evening's topic will be about a first look at tropical activity.
First things first, I will go ahead and say that any maps below are courtesy of Tropical Tidbits. Now, onto the official blog. Well...we have been watching it for quite a while, and now I have finally decided to say something as I have been waiting for enough reason to mention the tropics. The tropics have been pretty quiet earlier this summer...with hardly any tropical related threats, besides Cindy that went through southern Arkansas as a tropical depression that of which produced heavy rainfall near the center over N. Louisiana and S. Arkansas. Farther away from its core, tornado warnings were noted as broken bands of shower and thunderstorm activity swung around the center, these were short-lived and the main threat was damaging winds. Aside from Cindy being the only tropical system that was an actual threat to Arkansas, it remained pretty quiet. That, could change as we head towards later this month though. I will say now that there is NO REASON TO BE ALARMED, THERE ARE CURRENTLY NO IMMINENT THREATS TO THE STATE! There are signals that there could be tropical activity picking up in the next few weeks. I will show that and explain it below.
The model currently shown is the CFSv2, remember I gave courtesy to all tropical tidbits pictures in the first paragraph. The model currently shown is the CFSv2, the areas that are circled or boxed in red are the areas that are being monitored. This is merely a signal and can change easily. But, at this current moment, this is showing 15-21 days out so change is obvious, but seeing above average rainfall amounts lead to a little concern due to the increased chances of tropical development. The yellow area in between also indicate an area of below average rainfall amounts, that COULD mean that this specific area is not conducive to tropical development. That does not have to mean that it is an unfavorable area, but due to the lack of average or below average precipitation within this area, will assume that the environment will not be conducive to tropical development in this area. I will continue to monitor this but given this alone, tropical activity may ramp up within a few weeks.
The following model is the CMC model, ignoring everything else, look at the two circled systems, these are the systems I will be watching, it is far out but I will continue to monitor the potential for any tropical cyclones within the next 10 days. Tropical cyclones meaning, tropical depression, tropical storm, hurricane, or major hurricane. The CMC does appear to like the tropics this far out. These two systems are in the Atlantic MDR (Main Development Region) This is typically where tropical waves coming off of Africa develop into something even more worth watching. This is only a first look blog so I will only feature one of the global models, which in this blog, will be the CMC, and a couple of other environmental models such as the CFSv2 and the EPS which I will show here in a second. The EPS model forecast hour will correspond with the CMC model, the forecast hour is 240, so 10 days out. The EPS is the reason I am watching the CMC model outputs regarding tropical activity.
This is the EPS model, this is the 240 hour, like I said it would be whenever I mentioned the CMC and the EPS models. The reason I am monitoring the CMC model outputs is because the EPS model has put out this solution for the same forecast hour. The same general set up idea anyway. What the CMC and EPS have in common is that the CMC follows the possible paths that I have drawn out on the EPS model solution. Of course, all of this can change, but this blog was mainly to point out that tropical activity may be ramping up over the next few weeks. This will all be monitored, but it is only a first look and of course this will certainly change. A full blog with all the global models will be put in, I will let you guys know whenever the full blog will come out. The tracks that I put in the EPS model solution are NOT certain, these are only POSSIBLE tracks, these can/will shift around as well, don't take any of this to heart except the fact that we may see an increase in tropical activity in the next few weeks like I've said many times before. I really appreciate you guys for reading, and as always, I will update you guys on when to expect the full blog with more model input. Until then, more research for us here at Arkansas Weather Watchers! Thank you guys for reading and have an awesome Saturday!
~Forecaster Michael Modica
Analogs: The fall season of 2013. This fall and The fall of 2013 share a lot of similarities.
Temperatures: The subtropical ridge looks to dominate across the eastern coastline of the United States. With this, look for temps to be slightly above normal temperatures across the eastern & southern half of the united states. Across the north, the storm track will be most dominate there with it dropping south as we move deeper into fall. So as a result, look for near normal temps across the northern plains. Across the west, High pressure (The heat ridge) looks to dominate as well, so as a result, look for well above normal temps to dominate across the western half of the United States.
Tropics: The tropical season has been on a active start with 5 storms already named even before the month of August. Even though it is quiet at the moment across the Atlantic (besides Emily), I fully expect that the tropics will ramp up in activity going into the months of August, September and even into October before the season ends as the Cape Verde season looks to take over.
Precip: To start off fall, the storm track looks to remain to the north but as we move deeper into the fall months, the storm track will come down into the southern part of the united states. With this, I have added a red area for the potential of a couple of severe weather events across the Southern Plains as the very warm moisture from the gulf collides with the dry, cool air from Canada. As far as precip goes across the southern & eastern half, I have added slightly above normal precip across this area. As for the northern half, I will keep it near normal as the storm track will be back and forth. Across the west, Under the heat ridge, Precip looks to be well below normal across this region, However I do expect this area to get a couple of storm systems at times.