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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
  • shelterdoor

    Experts To Analyze Failed Shelter Door

    The storm shelter that failed in the recent Mayflower, Arkansas tornado and resulted in injury and a fatality has been sent to Texas Tech University for analysis. Researchers will be preparing a scientific report on why the door failed, whether or not it was built to FEMA guidelines, & the magnitude of the winds and force which caused the failure. The report could be released as early as the end of this year. Texas Tech and the National Wind Institute […]

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    Incredible Low Precipitation Supercell in Wyoming

    Check out this video from BaseHunters Chasing storm chasers in Wyoming over the weekend. It’s not Photoshop or special effect graphics, it’s a picturesque “low precipitation supercell”. Across Arkansas, we typically get HP Supercells or “High Precipitation” which generally shields most of the internal storm structure from view. LP Supercells can occur this far southeast but it’s typically uncommon due to the close proximity of the Gulf of Mexico & rich Gulf moisture. The tornado that struck Bentonville and Centerton, AR […]

  • Photo: National Weather Service Little Rock

    Garrett’s Blog: Tornado Damage Expert Reviews Mayflower/Vilonia Damage

    The National Weather Service in Little Rock has shared some conclusions reached by meteorologist and structural engineer, Tim Marshall. Tim was on the Fujita Scale Enhancement Project team that developed the “EF Scale” for rating tornadoes; and he is frequently called upon to inspect high-end tornado damage. After reviewing some of the damage and talking with NWS officials, Tim agreed EF4 damage occurred on the night of April 27, 2014. Some have questioned whether or not EF5 damage occurred, NWS Little Rock found that […]

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    Garrett’s Blog: Possible Landspout Tornado Near Ozark

    Several of you have sent pictures of what appears to be a funnel north of Ozark along the leading edge of the squall line. The National Weather Service is looking into this and considering a possible landspout tornado. Tornadoes that occur with supercell thunderstorms are powerful and generally occur from the top-down. A landspout is similar to a water spout that occurs over oceans and develops from the bottom-up. This picture was sent into us by 5NEWS Viewer, Kendra, and appears […]

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    Garrett’s Blog: Flash Flood Risk High This Week

    Flash flooding with be the dominant risk factor for early this week. A widespread 1-3″ of rain will fall across our area with some locations receiving as much as 5″ or more of rainfall. Recent rains have already saturated the ground and excessive runoff will lead to additional flooding. A Flash Flood Watch is in effect for the entire area. The risk of tornadoes, hail, & damaging wind is low and limited due to the tropical airmass in place. The thunderstorms […]

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    EF1 Tornado Confirmed Near Russellville

    The National Weather Service in Little Rock confirmed an EF 1 Tornado occured on May 8th just 2.4 miles north of Russellville, Arkansas at 8:44pm. The tornado had winds of 100-110 miles per hour and was on the ground for 1.7 miles and 50 yards wide. No injuries were reported. The tornado damaged an unoccupied mobile home and several chicken houses.

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    ‘Significant Damage’ From Flooding in Polk County

    Authorities in Mena say there is ‘significant damage’ left behind after flood waters tore through Polk County Thursday (May 8th). “They came in and rescued me out of here,” Aubrey Floyd said. “I can’t walk because I only have one leg.” Mena Police told 5NEWS that they worked more than 40 swift water rescues as the rain poured down. Authorities say they were able to rescue all of the stranded drivers and get them to safety, without any major injuries. […]

  • Photo courtesy of NOAA.

    Garrett’s Blog: Adopt & Shelter a Family Project

    Recent tornadoes have caused widespread destruction across much of Arkansas and there are several ways you can help in the relief effort. 5NEWS has partnered with the Red Cross of Arkansas and will be taking donations to help in the immediate aftermath of the storm. I wanted to propose a grassroots effort via social media for local churches to see if it would be possible to make a lasting long-term impact on those affected by the tornado. Many have expressed interest that […]

  • Debris hangs from a tree after a tornado hit the town of Mayflower, Arkansas

    Garrett’s Blog: How Strong Was Arkansas’ Tornado?

    The National Weather Service – Little Rock – expects to find EF3 Tornado damage in the Mayflower or Vilonia along a damage path some 40 miles long. The damage survey may take several days to be completed but damage they’ve already seen is consistent with winds from 136-165mph. The damage survey uses the Enhanced Fujita Scale to estimate wind speeds with 28 damage indicators. The enhanced version was put into practice in 2007 and reflects changes in wind engineers and how structures or vegetation […]

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    Garrett’s Blog: Tornado Outbreak Today

    Widespread severe thunderstorms with a higher than normal risk of strong to violent tornadoes will develop in the afternoon and evening across Eastern Oklahoma and Western Arkansas. High resolution computer models are showing development around 3-4pm in SE Oklahoma with the threat spreading northeast into Northwest Arkansas with time. These will be discrete, supercell thunderstorms capable of very large hail up to baseball size, wind gusts to 90mph, & risk of strong tornadoes. Storms will begin on a surface dryline […]

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    Garrett’s Blog: Tornado Outbreak Possible This Afternoon

    There is a high-end severe weather event for all of the 5NEWS viewing area as well as most of Arkansas for this afternoon. This is the highest severe weather risk we’ve seen in the last 2 years. (The image above shows the Significant Tornado Parameter for Sunday late Afternoon; all of Arkansas and most of Extreme Eastern Oklahoma are at risk for strong, long-track tornadoes.) Large hail, bigger than golfball; and possibly up to baseball size is possible. Winds within […]

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    Garrett’s Blog: Strong Tornadoes Possible Sunday

    The Storm Prediction Center has upgraded all of our area to a “Moderate Risk” which indicates the likelihood of several severe thunderstorms and an outbreak of Severe Weather on Sunday night. There are two chances to see storms. The 1st chance on Sunday morning looks to feature mostly thunderstorms with only a few strong ones. The 2nd chance for storms will be the strongest on Sunday afternoon and evening. The storms should begin to develop around 4pm with rotating storms […]

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