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Posts Tagged ‘climate’

Its May folks; not February !!! An inch of heavy snow on top of Cave Moumtain.

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Here it is:

 

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Information just released by NOAA on 3/7/13. This appears to also be a La Nina Year; years when Arkansas has large numbers of TORNADOES.

Saturday night to Monday morning there may be a state wide soaker, with heavy showers and Thunderstorms across the state of Arkansas. Heaviest rain will be southeast.

30 day and 90 days forecasts:

30 Day

Temperatures and Precipitation – near normal

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90 Day

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Miserably cold March, so far !!!

After on full year with the Davis Weather Station and a member of Weather Underground, they have found that I have one of the coldest reporting stations in all of Arkansas. I not only have the coldest year-round low temperatures but some of the hottest readings in the summer. The Arkansas town of Deer is in the center point of this micro-climate. See temperature maps with 1F increments in morning lows:

My home is located in the Murray Valley, south of the Little Buffalo River at about 1,200 feet altitude. I am surrounded by mountains but the home is actually on a plateau (bench) about 250 feet above the river. The mountains around my home and the Davis Weather Station, are all 1,200 – 1,400 feet above my gauge. In the  mornings all year around, I am shaded by the shadow of Henderson Mountain until mid-morning (later in the winter). The winter’s prevailing NW winds have a straight shot at my place on a true downslope (very cold) flow. Reynolds mountain is N and NW of the gauge and Beckham Hollow (holds Beckham Cave) is due west with Shiloh Mountain directly behind. On the other side of Shiloh Mountain is Boxley, AR. and Cave Mountain (Upper Buffalo Wilderness); also a fairly cold area. At Beckham Creek, the Little Buffalo River turns south and encircles Taylor Mountain; which lies south of the gauge.

NW Arkansas has always been the cool spot in Arkansas, with a corresponding drop in on the USDA Planting Zone maps; placing it in the same zone a between Joplin and Kansas City, MO. See maps.

I have high humidity and fog in the summers and fall about half the mornings of the week. It lifts by 8 AM to 8:30 AM most mornings and leads to a fairly quick warm up. However, the low has already been reached near dawn and directly after. The fog forms on the Little Buffalo River and moves southeast towards Taylor Mountain.

My gauged temperatures typically run about 10F below the readings at Harrison to the NE on the other side of the Boston Mountains. This is wonderful in the summer.

It is extremely pleasant every morning May-August until 8-9 AM; sometimes 10:00 AM. A great time to do yard or garden work ! I love the climate; except the 110F summer readings.

 

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I took the picture last winter in January after leaf-off but it was so warm that many of the under-shrubery and especially the Beeches still had some color in the leave patterns. Last February was warm and I did a March 1-4 last year (2012) comparison of low-high temperatures to this year (2013):

March 1, 2012 — Hi 80F Low 42F________ March 1, 2013 — Hi 33F Low 23F

March 2, 2012 — Hi 76F Low 40F________ March 2, 2013 — Hi 38F Low 20F

March 3, 2012 — Hi 75F Low 39F________ March 3, 2013 — Hi 52F Low 19F

March 4, 2012 — Hi 80F Low 39F________March 4, 2013 — tomorrow

Photo of Murray Road near Creeks End (Thomas Creek):

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(CNSNews.com) – Almost 62 percent (61.8%) of the continental United States experienced drought in July 2012, making it the largest drought-affected area since the end of the “Dust Bowl” era in December 1939, when 62.1 percent of the U.S. was drought-stricken, the USDA said.

According to the Palmer Drought Index – which covers 113 years and is used for historical comparison purposes — the worst drought ever recorded was in July 1934, when 79.9 percent of the continental U.S. was affected.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, since 1999, has used a new Drought Monitor to determine the extent of agricultural drought.

As of Jan. 1, the Drought Monitor showed that 61.09 percent of the continental U.S. was experiencing drought – down from the September 2012 peak of 65.45 percent.

Despite the slight decline in overall U.S. drought coverage, the central portion of the nation experiencing the worst drought category – D4, or exceptional drought – has been slowly rising. Exceptional drought covered 6.75 percent of the nation on January 1, the greatest coverage since November 2011. (See map)

In the past week, there has been “above-normal precipitation” in the southeastern U.S., but drought conditions expanded in southwestern and central areas that didn’t get any rain.

“The cumulative impact of precipitation during this week and previous weeks resulted in contraction of drought areas in the West, South, and East,” according to the National Drought Summary for Jan 1, 2013. “But drought expanded in those areas which missed out on the beneficial precipitation.”

The Associated Press reported on Jan. 2 that climatologists predict it will take as much as 8 feet or more of snow during the winter months to restore farmland soil to pre-drought conditions.

On Wednesday, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack designated 597 counties in 14 states as primary natural disaster areas because of drought and heat, making all qualified farm operators in the areas eligible for low-interest emergency loans. These are the first disaster designations made by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2013.

In 2012, USDA designated 2,245 counties in 39 states as disaster areas due to drought, or 71 percent of the United States.

At the height of the 2012 drought, USDA announced a series of actions to help to farmers, ranchers and businesses impacted by the 2012 drought, including lowering the interest rate for emergency loans, working with crop insurance companies to provide flexibility to farmers, and expanding the use of set-aside conservation acreage for haying and grazing.

Those same actions continue to bring relief to producers ahead of the 2013 planting season, USDA said on Wednesday.

 

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… Winter Storm Warning remains in effect from noon Tuesday to
midnight CST Tuesday night…

A Winter Storm Warning remains in effect from noon Tuesday to
midnight CST Tuesday night.

* Event… a developing storm system will approach Arkansas from
the west on Christmas day. A mixture of mainly snow and sleet
will develop over the area Christmas day… eventually changing
to all snow as the day progresses. The snow will taper off
late Tuesday evening.

* Snow accumulations… three to six inches of snow accumulation
are expected. Some locally higher amounts will be possible in
the higher elevations.

* Impact… travel conditions will be treacherous… as roadways
become ice and snow covered.

Precautionary/preparedness actions…

A Winter Storm Warning means significant amounts of snow…
sleet… and ice are expected or occurring. Strong winds are also
possible. This will make travel very hazardous or impossible.

 

White = Winter Storm Warning:

 

 

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Was so good to see this bird today. The frost was heavy, the skies were clear, and the temperature was 29F and the air still. Dark-eyed Juncos are neat, even flashy little sparrows that flit about forest floors of the western mountains and Canada, then flood the rest of North America for winter. They’re easy to recognize by their crisp (though extremely variable) markings and the bright white tail feathers they habitually flash in flight. One of the most abundant forest birds of North America, you’ll see juncos on woodland walks as well as in flocks at your feeders or on the ground beneath them. Taken with a Canon 7D and a Canon EF 300L f/2.8 IS Lens.

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Cool Facts

  • Juncos are the “snowbirds” of the middle latitudes. Over most of the eastern United States, they appear as winter sets in and then retreat northward each spring. Some juncos in the Appalachian Mountains remain there all year round, breeding at the higher elevations. These residents have shorter wings than the migrants that join them each winter. Longer wings are better suited to flying long distances, a pattern commonly noted among other studies of migratory vs. resident species.
  • The Dark-eyed Junco is one of the most common birds in North America and can be found across the continent, from Alaska to Mexico, from California to New York. A recent estimate set the junco’s total population at approximately 630 million individuals.
  • The oldest recorded Dark-eyed Junco was 11 years 4 months old.
  • Dark-eyed Juncos breed in forests across much of North America and at elevations ranging from sea level to more than 11,000 feet. They are often found in coniferous forests incuding pine, Douglas-fir, spruce, and fir, but also in deciduous forests such as aspen, cottonwood, oak, maple, and hickory. During winter and on migration they use a wider variety of habitats including open woodlands, fields, roadsides, parks, and gardens.
  • Dark-eyed Juncos are primarily seed-eaters, with seeds of chickweed, buckwheat, lamb’s quarters, sorrel, and the like making up about 75% of their year-round diet. At feeders they seem to prefer millet over sunflower seeds. During the breeding season, Dark-eyed Juncos also eat insects including beetles, moths, butterflies, caterpillars, ants, wasps, and flies.

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