Thursday Morning Update

Thursday, August 30th 2012, 5:38 am
By: Alan Crone

The afternoon is expected to be another toasty one with highs in the mid 90s along with mostly sunny conditions.  But later this evening, clouds will begin to overrun the region from the southeast to the northwest as the remnant circulation from Isaac begins to draw closer to the area.  Rain and storm chances will be increasing later tonight through Friday with heavier amounts still expected across Western and Central Arkansas.  

The track of the low will continue to hold the key to the forecast.  We continue to side with the mostly Eastward solutions, more of the EURO-GFS blend compared with the westward leaning NAM.  

Regarding 00Z suites:  The NAM is slower and more west with the circulation and has the low positioned near Hugo by 10AM Friday morning and near Atoka by 1pm Friday afternoon.  The GFS has the circulation near Pryor by 1pm tomorrow afternoon as a broad area of low pressure and moving to southern Missouri by early Saturday morning.  The EURO has the low east of Ft. Smith Friday morning, east of Fayetteville by early afternoon and into southern Missouri Saturday morning.  I'm inclined to follow the EURO solution which seems to match up the current position of the tropical storm at this hour even though the timing of the system in the EURO may be slightly fast.  

The moderate to heavy rainfall will continue to be to the east of the low and at this point, the Tulsa metro should be west of the low.  This means rainfall amounts from one half inch to near 1 inch will be possible with any multi inch rains located to our east across Western Arkansas. The rainfall "gradient" will be tight.  This means locations just west of Tulsa (nearing I-35) may receive very little if any precipitation from this event.  

The brief tornado threat should also be located well east of our immediate area based on the current projections from the GFS-EURO blend.   

Temps will be in the lower 80s Friday with cloudy conditions, but should move back to near 90 Saturday, and into the mid and upper 90s by early next week. There's a shot of nearing 100 for Labor Day as the mid-level ridge will crank up for a day or so before beginning to flatten by midday.  This may allow a northern stream system to slide closer to the state Tuesday or Wednesday.  EURO brings a boundary into the state while the GFS stalls the front across northern OK.  I'll back the winds from the east Wednesday and keep a very slight mention of showers or storms in the forecast at this point.  GFS would suggest a complex of storms moving into the state Tuesday on the heels of a developing northwest flow aloft pattern.  We'll wait for a few days before introducing any big changes to this portion of the forecast.  

We do have two additional tropical events of interest in the Atlantic.  Tropical Storm Kirk will become a hurricane in the near future, but will pose no threat to mainland U.S. interests.  Another depression may form later today and could become "Joyce" by this weekend.  This system, will more than likely, also remain away from mainland U.S. interests.  Hurricane Ileana is a pacific basin hurricane but is forecast to remain west of the U.S. coastal areas.  

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