Monday, April 14, 2008

Why Didn't The Severe Weather Pan Out?

Last week's potentially huge severe weather outbreak didn't quite pan out -- THANKFULLY! But why?

The night before, a squall line of severe thunderstorms developed from north-central Texas into Oklahoma and pushed east into Arkansas.

The storms did a few things -- they created a large shield of clouds that covered much of then moderate to high risk area that was expecting severe storms. The cloud cover didn't break for much of the day and kept daytime heating down.

As you probably know, daytime heating is a key element to "cook" up the atmosphere and create instability.

The storms also made the atmosphere more stable -- and without that daytime heating, there wasn't enough dynamics to make a large outbreak.

The negative was southern Missouri, northern Arkansas and the Ohio River Valley still saw copious amounts of moisture fall.

Did you know a large chunk of northern Arkansas has seen anywhere from 14 to 18 inches of rainfall since March 1?

That is so hard to imagine for climates in the west where they see less than that in an entire year (and that is accounting for both rain and melted snow!)


  1. The dam system on the White River in Northern Arkansas and Southern Missouri is being pushed to their limits. At Table Rock dam the water is so high the it is splashing over the top of the flood gates. The area below there is flooded because Table Rock is having to let out so much water. The release runs into Lake Taneycomo which runs into Bull Shoals Lake. All of the lakes are at record levels. With several days of dry weather predicted maybe some much needed relief will come.

  2. Thank you Chris! I live in Mid-Missouri, and was anxiously waiting for someone to explain why the weather didn't pan out.

  3. From the NWS Green Bay.

    Brown Snow and Dirty Rain - Mystery Solved

    The large spring storm that produced heavy snow and rain in Wisconsin on April 10 and 11 also brought dirt and dust from the southwest U.S. Strong southwest winds ahead of the storm system produced a large dust plume which was drawn into the storm. The "dirty air" caused brown snow to fall in northern Wisconsin and the U.P. of Michigan, and dirty rain across central and eastern Wisconsin.

    For a detailed discussion on the journey of the dust and dirt, click here to visit our friends at the University of Wisconsin CIMMS.

  4. Another subject - How do I get the ° symbol on my laptop?
    Or can I? Best regards - John Cook in Silverton, Colorado

  5. That makes sense! I still feel fortunate to live in a protective bubble. Seems like all the severe weather dies out before it hits my area or develops just past us. So for weather science its the daytime heating element, but for my 'fairie' sense then my bubble works just fine!

  6. I understand the reasoning for the disintegration of the storm but it could've spared a few inches on us. The drought map doesn't show us in it but believe me We Are Dry!.
    Prayers and thoughts with the families of this week's storms.

  7. It's quite interesting how it seems that a pattern develops over the southern states. Im not sure about the duration but I do remember back in 97-99 how when I lived in georgia we couldn't even make rain. We were in a severe drought while places like arkansas and even into mississippi were constantly getting rain. Texas was flooding all over the place. Then within a few years we had alsmot 90 inches of precip at my house in west georgia. I believe that was 01. The opposite was true for those affore mentioned states. In 02 a friend I went out for the evneing while we watched a thunderstorm develop back over my place. It was june so this wasn't uncommon. What was uncommon was that it didn't move and we got over 8 inches rain out of the storm. The morning before we got 4.5 inches of precip. It's surpsiing that a place can get 12-14 inches of rain since march one. Try 30 inches in three months in the southeast.

  8. this is a upoc thing

  9. hello off topic but u asked me when i was in upoc to send u a e card or pic 4give me that i 4got ur name anyway thot i.d say hey...