Elkhart, Indiana to Fayetteville, Arkansas

It’s going to be a one day cross section of middle America. From northern Indiana to northwest Arkansas, we will take a long, 11+ hour day, covering 742 miles, for a pace of nearly 66mph. Indiana and Arkansas are closer than you think!

Elkhart, Indiana

A weakening system over the Great Lakes is getting drawn into the sphere of influence administered by a larger system trekking through the Gulf Stream. The weaker trailer is bringing some light rain to Elkhart tonight, but will be out of the picture by tomorrow morning. The feature is dangling a trough southward before it curls to the west, where it will lie stationary tomorrow. High pressure is building in over the north central US, but it won’t overpower the boundary and send it further south. Instead, the tail of the front will pass through the Ozarks, and while we will probably use our northern route to avoid any visibility issues, we will still enjoy them in their misty glory upon our arrival in Fayetteville.

Fayetteville, Arkansas

A few more clouds, a few more drips, a few less blankets

The middle of October was a fairly quiet time for those interested in all things weather, so a little bit of a disturbance rippling from the southern Plains to the mid-Mississippi Valley qualified as interesting. It certainly added intrigue to our forecast for Fayetteville, as it resulted in a smattering of rain on both days of the forecast period, and even more surprisingly, led to fairly warm overnight lows from the 10th to the 11th. The Weather Channel won because they had warmer lows on the 11th, but also were one of the only two outlets with rain in the forecast on both days of the period.
Actuals: October 10th, .01 inches of rain, High 76, Low 50
October 11th, .02 inches of rain, High 81, Low 68

Grade: C-D

Fayetteville, Arkansas

There are two options for Fayettevilles in the United States. I’ve only been to the one in Arkansas, and it is definitely not what you expect in “Arkansas” given the haven of Fortune 500 companies, University and tourism. What kind of weather is coming their way?

At 853PM, CT, Fayetteville was reporting a temperature of 59 degrees with clear skies. It was a continuation of dry weather, and there were burn bans across most of the region. The Ozarks were seeing cooler temperatures than surrounding regions, owing to the terrain of northwest Arkansas.
Surface high pressure is dropping southward within a complicated jet trough. The nature of the troughing pattern is such that precipitation is being inhibited and moisture is being staunched at the Gulf. This will lead to more quiet weather tomorrow, however as the surface ridge sinks south, baroclinicity will arrive across the region, importing some moisture from the monsoon. This isn’t going to lead to a lot of wet weather, but some rain and clouds are possible overnight Monday into Tuesday. Expect a breezier day on Tuesday.
Tomorrow – Increasing clouds with some late rain, High 79, Low 52
Tuesday – Mostly cloudy, with some early showers, High 79, Low 58

TWC: Tomorrow – Some sun in the morning with increasing clouds during the afternoon. (PM storms), High 78, Low 53
Tuesday – Cloudy. Slight chance of a rain shower. High 81, Low 61

AW: Tomorrow – Some sun, then turning cloudy High 77, Low 54
Tuesday – Beautiful with periods of clouds and sun High 79, Low 61

NWS: Tomorrow РPartly sunny, High 80, Low 54
Tuesday – A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms before 1pm. Mostly cloudy High 80, Low 60

WB: Tomorrow – Partly sunny, High 77, Low 56
Tuesday – Mostly cloudy. A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms in the morning. High 80, Low 63

WN: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy, High 80, Low 53
Tuesday – Mostly cloudy with isolated storms, High 80, Low 60

FIO: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy throughout the day. High 78, Low 56
Tuesday – Possible light rain in the morning. High 79, Low 60

It’s fun when there is a variety to the precipitation forecasts. We’ll see how it plays out! Not much on satellite right now, but it will likely change in the next 48 hours.


I wrote the forecast for Fayetteville before I wrote the post about cold fronts failing to take hold in the center of the country. That should tell you something about how this forecast went. Sure, there was a weak boundary sinking through the area earlier this week, but I thought it would bring a bit of northerly flow and some more comfortable air to northwest Arkansas. Instead, temperatures went up by a couple of degrees as the temperatures simply reflected the amount of rain that was seen in the day. A heavy AM thunderstorm on Sunday helped temperatures stay below 90, while they climbed over that mark on Monday, a drier day. The top forecast was split between Accuweather and the Weather Service.
Actuals: Sunday – .28″ of rain in thunderstorms, High 89, Low 73
Monday – .03″ of rain, High 92, Low 72

Grade: A-C

Laredo, Texas to Fayetteville, Arkansas

It’s time for another road trip. This route takes us from one state to another that borders another, but we are going to cut through a third to get there. The drive covers about a day and a half, and is 762 miles long. There will be an ample amount of time spent on I-35, which will allow for a pace of 62.9mph. Not as fast as you expected? Well, that’s because of some off – interstate driving through Oklahoma. We’ll work out about 503 miles of driving on Tuesday, with the remainder on Wednesday.

DAY ONE (Wednesday)

Laredo, Texas (via Britannica.comdn

Our day will start from the Mexican border, and take us north through Texas on 35. We will abandon 35 as we head through the Dallas Metroplex and head for the Red River. There is a tail of a weak boundary sagging south through Texas that will trigger an isolated shower or thunderstorm generally north of the Austin area. Nothing severe or long lasting, but just enough to dampen the pavement from time to time. Just before we arrive at the Red River crossing, we will stop for the night in Denison.

DAY TWO (Thursday)
As the tail of that boundary drifts further south, it will clear the air in Oklahoma and western Arkansas. Well, not clear it, so much as bottle up the shower and thunderstorm threat to the south of our route. Be prepared, it’s going to be hot and miserable in Fayetteville when we arrive. Find air conditioning.

Fayetteville, Arkansas

Fayetteville, Arkansas

Arkansas has a surprising number of cities that we can drop forecasts for. The Northwestern Arkansas corridor is definitely more lively than one would normally be lead to believe.

At 953PM, CT, Fayetteville was reporting a temperature of 79 degrees with clear skies and dew points also parked in the upper 70s. It is a surely uncomfortable night which will see some haze across the region by morning. There are heat advisories out across the region, except in the Fayetteville area, where terrain and foliage will help blunt the high temperatures.
Low pressure in the Hudson Bay area is the only particularly well organized system in North America, and it is dangling a generally ineffectual boundary through the heart of the country. It is peeling back dew points a bit, and promoting a moist flow through the Lower Mississippi Valley northward, and will continue to do that through the day Sunday. The weak boundary will arrive in town by evening, and may lead to a more comfortable Monday, with isolated thunderstorms a distinct possibility throughout the day on Monday, but also in the evening on Sunday.
Tomorrow – Partly cloudy, afternoon thunderstorms. Humid. High 92, Low 73
Monday – Mostly cloudy, scattered showers and storms, High 89, Low 70

TWC: Tomorrow – Scattered thunderstorms in the morning, then partly cloudy late High 92, Low 72
Monday – Partly to mostly cloudy. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. High 91, Low 71

AW: Tomorrow – Sun and some clouds with a thunderstorm in spots in the afternoon High 92, Low 73
Monday – Humid with more clouds than sun; an afternoon thunderstorm High 91, Low 72

NWS: Tomorrow – A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly before 1pm. Partly sunny, High 93, Low 73
Monday – A 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, High 92, Low 72

WB: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy with chance of showers and thunderstorms in the morning then partly cloudy with slight chance of showers and thunderstorms in the evening. High 90, Low 75
Monday – Partly cloudy with a 50% chance of showers and thunderstorms, High 89, Low 74

WN: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy with a chance of storms, High 93, Low 72
Monday – Partly cloudy with a chance of storms, High 92, Low 71

FIO: Tomorrow – Humid and partly cloudy throughout the day. High 92, Low 73
Monday – Humid and partly cloudy throughout the day. High 89, Low 72

Here is the satellite for the evening, which just shows how clear the skies are to night in the south central US.

Thunder in the Ozarks

Something as a swan song to the persistent trough that had been bringing showers and thunderstorms to the middle of the country, Fayetteville reported showers and thunderstorms on both Sunday and Monday. The wet weather was not nearly as significant as it had been, and it didn’t even show up on Tuesday. The benefit was that temperatures were comfortable in the 80s, and that the forecast was skillful. The Weather Channel, Weather Service and Weathernation all tied at the top spot.
Actuals: Sunday – .15 inches of rain, High 84, Low 70
Monday – .01 inches of rain, High 85, Low 69

Grade: A-B

Columbia, South Carolina to Fayetteville, Arkansas

There are certainly a few different Columbia to Fayetteville options out there, and this was the longest trip possible of any of those combinations. This particular iteration will result in a day and a half drive, covering 921 miles. The pace between these SEC college campuses will be a somewhat tame 61.9mph covering 495 mile on our first day of travel. Let’s just get going, then.

DAY ONE (Sunday)

Columbia, South Carolina

It’s certainly a nuisance for residence from the central Plains to the Great Lakes to have to endure several days of rain and thunderstorms, but as we drive from Columbia through northern Georgia, we will reap the benefits. The moisture being directed further to the north and west will allow the southeast to dry out a bit. A stream of moisture keeps showing up on the various model runs in the late evening over eastern Alabama, so don’t be surprised to see a little rain from the Georgia line to Birmingham. Mostly cloudy, warm and muggy conditions will continue west to Tupelo, Mississippi where we will round out the day.

DAY TWO (Monday)
The five plus hours through northern Mississippi, and across the state of Arkansas will be increasingly cloudy, and the higher terrain in northern Arkansas is likely to see spots of misty fog. Rain should stay clear of our route, but for the very end, when an isolated thunderstorm will certainly be possible along the hilly I-49 stretch, reaching into Fayetteville.

Fayetteville, Arkansas

Fayetteville, Arkansas

The Ozarks are definitely the nicest part of Arkansas, and I think most residents of the other parts of Arkansas would agree with that. Will the weather be just as beautiful?

At 753PM, CT, Fayetteville was reporting a temperature of 81 degrees with overcast skies. A cold front sliced through the Plains, and moisture has been streaming through the region for the last several days. The added rain of the most recent system has led to flash flood watches in northwest Arkansas. Presently, the only band of heavy rain was northwest of Tulsa, with the axis running from Nowata to Guthrie. The narrow band of showers and storms will move very slowly, and perhaps won’t even cross into Arkansas tonight.
There is a trough across the northern US that is particularly strong for late June, and it’s angle is so severe that it is having a difficult time propagating. Further preventing much motion is the pattern is the strong ridge fostering the record heat in the Pacific Northwest. With little structural change, the peak June sun will help weaken the jet flow, but not the curvature of the trough. Showers and storms will be a possibility through the next couple of days, though with less organization. Intensity may not wane, however, as day time heating could lead to more torrential downpours. The boundary will weaken, but the fuel reservoir will deepen.
Tomorrow – Scattered showers and storms, High 84, Low 70
Monday – Isolated thunderstorms, High 86, Low 71

TWC: Tomorrow – Thunderstorms likely. Storms may contain strong gusty winds. High 83, Low 69
Monday – Variable clouds with scattered thunderstorms. High 85, Low 69

AW: Tomorrow – Periods of rain and a thunderstorm High 84, Low 72
Monday – Mostly cloudy and humid; a thunderstorm in the afternoon High 84, Low 69

NWS: Tomorrow – Showers and possibly a thunderstorm, High 84, Low 70
Monday – Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm. Partly sunny, High 84, Low 70

WB: Tomorrow – Showers likely and scattered thunderstorms, High 81, Low 73
Monday – Showers likely and scattered thunderstorms, High 83, Low 71

WN: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy with showers likely, High 84, Low 70
Monday – Partly cloudy with showers likely, High 84, Low 70

FIO: Tomorrow – Rain in the morning. High 82, Low 70
Monday – Possible light rain in the afternoon and evening. High 84, Low 69

Rain isn’t close to Fayetteville at the moment, but more rain is coming, even if they miss this round.

An absolute whirlwind

I am, of course, talking about our recent posting frequency. Whew! This Fayetteville verification is 2 weeks overdue, if that gives you an idea the latency issues we are having. This was a pretty solid forecast from all comers, with Victoria-Weather taking the top spot, after two other outlets incorrectly suspected thunderstorms would bleed into the eastern Carolinas after developing in the shadow of the Appalachians. Nope! V-W gets the win.
Actuals: July 16th, High 93, Low 73
July 17th, High 93, Low 74

Grade: A-B