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Garrett Lewis, KFSM-TV's Chief Meteorologist, can be seen weeknights at 5, 6, & 10 p.m. Garrett's passion for forecasting and weather comes from growing up in the small Arkansas town of Alma. Garrett has witnessed some of the most amazing weather events unfold in our area including the 1996 Van Buren tornado, the crippling ice storms of 2000 & 2009, the flooding of 2004, 2006 Benton County tornado, & the 2011 Altus-Denning EF4 Twister.

"At the end of the day, people just want to know whether or not it's going to rain & how much the weather will impact their life. Snow, tornadoes, rain, sunshine... weather is the only thing that affects everybody... everyday. I love my job. There's nothing in the world better than forecasting weather for Arkansas & Oklahoma."

Some of his most memorable weather moments stem from storm chasing in the Great Plains, including the May 3, 1999 outbreak which spawned several tornadoes in Central Oklahoma. Garrett also reported live in 100mph winds as Hurricane Lili made landfall near New Iberia, Louisiana. In fact, Garrett's passion for weather led to an unusual hobby: collecting hailstones and freezing them in the refrigerator.

Garrett joined 5NEWS in December 1999 and went on-air in July of 2001. Garrett now works as the Chief Meteorologist and can be seen at 5, 6, and 10 p.m. on 5NEWS. Garrett first attended Westark College (Now, University of Arkansas - Fort Smith). His weather credentials come from Mississippi State University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Geosciences with an emphasis in Broadcast Meteorology.

In addition, Garrett has been awarded both the 'National Weather Association's Seal of Approval' Seal #1581 and the American Meteorological Society's Seal of Approval. Seal #0410878. Garrett has been recognized by the Arkansas Associated Press for his weathercasts including the award of 'Best Weathercast' multiple times.

Off camera, Garrett sits on the board of the Benton County Children's Advocacy Center and the State of Arkansas' board for Children's Advocacy Centers of Arkansas. Both advocate for child protection and for the prevention and treatment of sexually or physically abused children. Garrett's hobbies include weight training, bicycling, running, mountain climbing, playing acoustic guitar, and working closely with the local church.

You may hear Garrett on the HAM radio during severe weather. His call sign is KD5OMI. During severe weather the MAX5 Storm Team coordinates with local Skywarn Storm Spotters as well as the National Weather Service in both Little Rock and Tulsa to share emergency information.

Garrett and his wife, Ashley, have been married for 9 years and welcomed their first son, Graham, in the spring of 2011.


Recent Articles
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    Garrett’s Blog: Friday AM Rain To Determine Severity of PM Storms

    Lots if ingredients coming together for severe weather on Friday with the extent of morning rain & cloud cover the “bang or bust” factor for whether we get general thunderstorms or supercells with tornadoes. Here’s a look at what I’m currently evaluating… Forecasts for instability (CAPE values) are low for most of our area with the exception being SW Arkansas and SE Oklahoma. This scenario will play out as long as the atmosphere does not recover from morning storms. If […]

  • Sunday’s Fury: KFSM Coverage of the 1996 Fort Smith, Van Buren Tornado

    On April 21st, 1996 a supercell thunderstorm moved across Eastern Oklahoma and into the Fort Smith & Van Buren area. The tornado was rated an F3 on the Fujita Scale and winds were estimated to be approaching 200mph with the tornado 1/2 mile wide. The tornado struck Fort Smith at 11:12pm damaging or destroying 1,800 homes with 2 fatalities in Fort Smith and later 2 more fatalities 50 miles north as the supercell spawned another tornado in Madison County. A […]

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    Garrett’s Blog: Active Weather This Week

    Active weather will return for much of this week with frequent rain chances which favor the morning/midmorning hours as well as a strong cold front late in the week. Rain on Tuesday will be mostly in the morning, here’s HD Futurecast at 6am. Severe weather is not anticipated. There should be some clearing in the afternoon and some sunshine. Rainfall totals will be light.   On Wednesday, we’ll see more rain develop during the early morning hours and then move […]

  • Garrett’s Blog: Severe Storms Sunday

    Severe storms will be moving across the area from 2pm-8pm. Large Hail over 2″ in diameter is the main risk. The risk includes all of Northwest Arkansas and the Fort Smith area as well as SE Oklahoma. A few isolated tornadoes will be possible but overall wind shear is not supportive of long-track tornadoes; expect rotating storms to be brief. No additional storms will occur later tonight. -Garrett

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    Garrett’s Blog: Saturday’s Forecast

    An upper level low is creeping east today with scattered showers and thunderstorms moving in from out west. Expected areas of rain throughout the day on Saturday with a very small severe risk. There will be breaks in the rain so it won’ t be nonstop all day but generally speaking rain will be a big part of today’s forecast. The upper level low that’s causing the rain is very large and have pulled in moisture from the Pacific Ocean. […]

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    Garrett’s Blog: Timing Weekend Rain Chances

    Another rainy and stormy system is moving in from the west and will bring the chances for rain across much of the area. The best chance for rain will be on Saturday. We may see a few scattered severe storms on Sunday. For Friday evening, most of the region should be remain fairly dry with the exception of a few spotty showers and thunderstorms. Most rain on Friday evening will be brief. The Saturday forecast looks much wetter. It looks […]

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    Garrett’s Blog: Finally Sunshine Thursday, Wet Weekend

    After a series of wet days, we’ll finally see drier weather for Thursday before the next low pressure system moves in from the west. Friday evening into Saturday and Sunday are currently trending overcast and wet. The rain will be out of the area by Noon Thursday with highs climbing up into the 70s. We should see plenty of welcome sunshine during the afternoon. Here’s a snapshot of temperatures on Thursday at 6pm. Notice that many locations in the River […]

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    Garrett’s Blog: Rain Continues, Another Low Arrives

    A large upper low pressure system that is cut-off from the jet stream continues to give us below normal temperatures, cloudy skies, and frequent rain chances. This low will leave the area on Wednesday with a break in the rain on Thursday before another (and similar low) arrives over the weekend. The weekend system will be similar with overcast skies, low severe weather risk, cool temperatures, & occasional heavy rain. This system will exit around Monday of the upcoming week. […]

  • Garrett’s Blog: Special Monday Weather Web Update

    Rain is expected to continue for the rest of the day on Monday with very little breaks. Although thunder will be possible at times the storms will not be severe. Rain totals could top 2″, especially in the River Valley. The rain will slowly decrease in coverage late this evening by 7 or 8pm; however, heavy rain is expected for the drive home. Active weather will continue for the rest of the week with more rain chances and the possibility […]

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    Garrett’s Blog: Thursday Severe Weather Timeline

    Severe storms that developed in Oklahoma and Kansas late on Wednesday will weaken as they move close to Arkansas into the early morning hours on Thursday. There is a chance for a few storms early on Thursday with a minimal hail risk. A line of strong storms will develop in northeast Oklahoma around lunch time. The line should move into Northwest Arkansas between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. and into Fort Smith sometime between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. All […]

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    Garrett’s Blog: Timing Wednesday’s Storms

    Wednesday is shaping up to be an active weather day across the southcentral Plains with a chance for rain early in the day as storms in Kansas fade and then another chance for storms in the afternoon and evening on Wednesday. Here are a few of the highlights. Morning rain Wednesday possible in Northwest Arkansas Widespread severe thunderstorms possible Wednesday afternoon and evening Southcentral Kansas & Northeast Oklahoma. Storms slowly weak as they move east due to a capping inversion which […]

  • Programming Your Weather Radio

    Weather radios are relatively easy to program now since most locations have individual codes for each county in the area and only 7 different frequencies. The task when programming is to make sure you have the right frequency and the right county. Here is a look at the different transmitter locations and their reach so you can find out which site will work best for your location. Here are the county codes. Enter the county code or codes you wish […]

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