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Thursday, August 03, 2017

Remembering August 3, 2011

It has been awhile since I have blogged and I'm sorry.  Not much happens in the summer around here PLUS, I'm spending time with the kiddos.  

As for this August, I have more towards the bottom of this post.  I have HUGE doubts we hit 100° this summer as we should go into a very unsettled weather pattern next week with plenty of rain chances.  For now, onto 2011...

The obvious forecast was for a hot day, but I don't think anyone in their right mind saw what was coming.  After all, who forecasts an all-time record high temperature?  Some of you know we have the ability to communicate with the NWS through a chat room.  It's main use is in times of severe thunderstorms, but I thought I would log in as the heat was getting out of hand.  Former NWS meteorologist John Robinson was also logged in at his NWS desk.  He kept giving a temperature update every few minutes.  For temperatures to get up to 114 degrees, the dew point value must not be elevated.  To start the day, those dew point values were crazy high, but started to slowly come down throughout the day most likely due to a process called "mixing".  Drier air was mixing down to the surface causing the dew point value to drop significantly.  In the chart below, you can see that happening.  As the dew point dropped, the temperature soared.  I remember seeing John type: 110 degrees,  111 degrees, 112 degrees. I thought we were done and we maxed out, but he kept typing as the temperature rose to an astounding 114 degrees just before 3 PM.  With the temperature that high, moisture started to build once again and the heat index sky rocketed up to 120 degrees.

Misery all over the place that day in 2011
An hourly look at that day.  We hit 114° shortly before 3PM, but look at that heat index around 4PM when it shot up to almost 120°.  That'll leave a mark, Clark.
Here are a few charts that day in 2011.  Look at the bottom left.  That upper level high was parked over us and that's a pressure cooker!


Now onto next week (August 2017).  Looks much different than 6 years ago, huh?  7 day rainfall amounts could exceed 4 inches in spots as we see rain chances increase.  Temperatures should range at or below average over the next 14 days and with more moisture in the ground from expected rainfall, this should dampen out the chance we hit 100 degrees.  I have learned to "never say never to Arkansas weather".   I think the latest we have ever hit 100 is September 6, 1922.  If we can get close to that date, I'll gladly throw in the towel! 

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