• Todd Yakoubian

Tropical Storm Beta and Arkansas


ANOTHER tropical system will likely impact Arkansas this week. This is the 3rd and possibly the 4th to do so this season and I'm not sure if that's a record, but I've never seen it. We had Cristobal, Laura, Marco, and now Beta.


Marco is the one I'm not completely sure if it can be technically considered. A couple days prior to Laura arriving, some of the moisture from Marco was thrown into western Arkansas and that area of the state did have some flooding, but the actual remnant low did not pass through Arkansas.


Also, since it's rare for the National Hurricane Center to use the Greek alphabet, I wondered what would happen if a storm caused enough problems how the name would be retired? For example, the names, Katrina, Andrew, Camille, Michael, and many others caused so much human suffering, the names will never be used again. What happens if a storm with a Greek alphabet name needs to be retired? I posed that question to the Public Affairs Officer at the National Hurricane Center and this is the response I received.


"There is currently no procedure in place by the WMO RA-IV regarding how it would handle a tropical cyclone with a Greek name that would need to be retired. Should the issue arise, it will be addressed at its next meeting in 2021. "


At this time, I do not think Beta will be a candidate for retirement. However, it's an interesting question if that ever happens. Hope we never have to consider that though.


Beta may be a little different than previous tropical systems this year. It will mainly track south of the state, but throw moisture into Arkansas with a relatively dry air mass in place. We will moisten up, but temperatures may be stuck in the 60s to near 70 while it's raining. Not much of a tropical feel. Also, I think our chance for severe weather with Beta is very low. This will mainly be a rain event, IMO. If that changes, we'll let you know.


The forecast track as of late Sunday.


The following are models and NOT FORECASTS. PLEASE remember that when you look at the NAM. Use this as guidance as to whom will have the best chance for rainfall starting late Monday into the middle of the week.


NAM- It's saying much of the southern 2/3 of the state will see rain, but the amounts are likely too high.

Euro singing the same tune, but not with outrageous amounts. These are still significant.

The GFS hitting on southern and western Arkansas too.

The Weather Prediction Center going with a few inches for the southern 2/3 of the state.


In summary, a cool rain is expected starting late Monday south, then overspreading the rest of the state Tuesday into Wednesday. The severe threat is very low. Also, these systems have had a tendency to move more quickly than models suggest and that may help cut down on crazy rainfall amounts.


Beyond, Beta, signs point towards a strong trough of low pressure digging through the central and eastern United States next weekend. This could bring another shot of cool air.




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Copyright by Meteorologist Todd Yakoubian 2020

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