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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: Illustration of Wind Shear & Instability

    When severe weather is in the forecast we often look for 3 variables: Moisture, Instability, & Lift. But it’s the shear and the instability which ultimately determine the type of severe weather we see and whether or not we see tornadoes. Too much instability and low¬†shear and the result can be massive hailstones from storms with no tornado risk. Too little instability and high shear occasionally won’t even develop storms and storms that do develop do not evolve into supercell […]

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    Garrett’s Blog: 2015 Rain Totals

    The sunny streak we’re in this week is somewhat unusual for our area at the end of April & start of May. Typically, this is the stormiest time of year. So how is the year-to-date rainfall? And what is the outlook? The rainfall totals are actually better than you might expect Fayetteville Year-to-date: 10.45″ Normal: 14.17″ Last year: 11.09″ Deficit 2015: -3.72″ Fort Smith Year-to-date: 13.40″ Normal: 13.55″ Last year: 8.56″ Deficit 2015: -0.15″ Overall, rainfall has been near average […]

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    Garrett’s Blog: App For Lightning Photography

    While some of the best lightning shots still come from a DSLR camera with the right aperature and shutter speed, the technology has evolved to where anyone can capture lightning pictures if you download the right App on your phone. Amatuer Photographer and 5NEWS Weather Spotter David Lattanzio first brought this App to my attention when severe storms moved in from Oklahoma into Missouri on April 2nd giving most of Bentonville & Fayetteville an unobstruted view into the thunderstorm. Here […]

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    Steel Horse Rally: Fort Smith, AR Weather

    April is typically the most active time of year and usually the weather causes major disruptions to outdoor events. This week the pattern continues to trend towards an usual trend of sunny skies and calm weather. The high pressure ridge will be strongest on Friday and begin to weak by Sunday with more rain chances around the first or middle part of next week. As a result the first Steel Horse Rally for Fort Smith will have excellent weather. 10,000 […]

  • Garrett’s Blog: The Next Severe Weather Chance

    Low pressure responsible for the morning rain continues to swirl away from the region. Expect a gradual clearing in skies into the late evening hours and eventually clear skies by sunrise tomorrow. There is some concern that we may see fog develop towards sunrise. With the recent rain it could become locally dense in the morning hours. The next rain system appears to be around the early/middle part of next week. The active southern branch of the jet stream may […]

  • Garrett’s Blog: Monday & Tuesday Rain

    An area of low pressure is swirling across Oklahoma and will push another area of rain into our area late night into the first part of the day on Tuesday. Here’s the are the highlights: No severe weather Best rain chance south of Fayetteville & best chance for Fort Smith Heaviest rain at midnight, clearing by Tuesday afternoon The next chance for severe weather could hold off until the first of next week around May 4th or 5th. This is […]

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    Garrett’s Blog: Severe Risk Diminishing

    The rain and cloud cover today was even more than I thought it would be. As a result the temperatures are lower and instability is lower which has nearly eliminated the severe weather risk. In fact, the Storm Prediction Center lowered the risk this afternoon to Marginal which means the chance for any severe storms is very low. Here is the latest risk. The strongest storms will be in NE Texas and N Louisiana. 6AM Saturday: A few clouds will […]

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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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