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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: Strong Winds, Uprooted Trees, Power Outages, Tornado Risk Monday Evening

    More active weather is expected on Monday evening with a complex of thunderstorms moving in during the late afternoon and early evening hours. Unlike the last few storms, this complex will be moving into a highly unstable atomosphere. The risk of severe weather is much higher. The complex of storms will arrive from Texas & Oklahoma sometime after 3pm and the severe threat will be over by 9pm. Here are the main threats Spin-Up Tornadoes along the leading edge of […]

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    Arkansas River Flood Prone Areas

    Many of you have asked about flooding risk in the Fort Smith/Van Buren area. The shaded and the hatched area on these maps are most prone to flooding. Zone A, AE that are shaded are at greatest risk for flooding. West Fort Smith areas prone to flooding along Arkansas River Northeast Fort Smith areas prone to flooding Van Buren areas prone to flooding Lee Creek/West Van Buren flooding areas. Flooding prone areas near Arkhoma   Enter your address here to […]

  • Austin Pearcy Tweeted This picture to @5NEWSGarrett showing the flooding in West-Central Arkansas

    Garrett’s Blog: Major Flooding Occurring

    A major flooding event is underway across much of our area. Numerous roads and low water bridges are impassable. Most creeks, rivers, & streams are swollen and at capacity. The severe weather threat from tornadoes and damaging winds is over. The worst of the flooding on the Arkansas River will happen on Monday night into Tuesday. There is a lot of cover. Here are some of the need-to-knows… Current Forecast The area of low pressure causing some of the heavy […]

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    Garrett’s Blog: Saturday Rain

    **Friday evening’s rain will end around 7pm In Northwest Arkansas and closer to 9pm in the Fort Smith/SE Oklahoma area** The chance that it will rain on Saturday is high, but it’s important to point out it won’t rain all day. The bulk of the soaking rain and the thunderstorms will arrive in the evening and overnight. Here’s a look at rain chances hour-by-hour and also a better look at the timing with HD Futurecast. Rain is possible all day […]

  • A weak wave in the jet stream will cause showers on Friday.

    Garrett’s Blog: Rain Returns Friday

    After a small break from the rain, showers and a few thunderstorms will once again move across the area on Friday. This system is moving a bit faster without much instability so flash flooding is a possibility but it won’t be as high as the flooding threat later this weekend. The weak instability means the storms are unlikely to be severe. Friday’s Rain: Rain moves in mid-morning Heaviest around Noon Rain exiting around 6-8pm Not a heavy rain; expect light showers. Limited […]

  • Recent rain has caused flooding in the River Valley. This photo is from Kimberly Boyd.

    Garrett’s Blog: More Rain This Weekend

    Rain has moved out of the area for the next day or so before another round of rain affects us over the Memorial Day weekend. We should be mostly dry for the remainder of Wednesday and most of Thursday. Expect more rain on Friday, Saturday and Sunday with a minimal severe weather risk. Rain totals in the last 48 hours have been nearly 4″ in the Fort Smith area. The measurements are from local airports but I know many of […]

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    Garrett’s Blog: Rainy Tonight; Wednesday Morning

    Yet another round of showers and thunderstorms will affect the area midweek with an additional 1-3″ of rainfall possible. The rain will be heaviest in the morning on Wednesday with showers continuing into the mid-morning before tapering off in the afternoon. Severe weather is unlikely as the upper level winds remain weak; however, the weak upper level winds will also cause slow moving storms and higher than normal rainfall totals. Wednesday’s Weather Rain arrives after 2am with thunderstorms Rain continues […]

  • Flooding on Horsehead Creek in Johnson Co taken by Billie Nichols.

    Garrett’s Blog: Wet May

    The wettest May in years continues with more rainfall expected later this week on Wednesday followed by another soaking this weekend. This could end up being on the Top 10 wettest May’s on record for the Fort Smith area. Here are the totals as of Monday May 18th: Typically May is one of the wetter months of the year but rain totals are already 100-200% of normal this year. This is a map that shows the accumulated rainfall for the […]


    Garrett’s Blog: Weekend Forecast

    Oh, what a mess. The challenge in an extremely active pattern like this is to provide a forecast that can help you make decisions and prepare/plan. There will be several chances to see rain all weekend but the weekend will not be a nonstop rain. There will be breaks in the rain and you may be able to attend the kid’s games, hold the garage sale, or mow the yard at some point. In this post, I’ll try to narrow down […]

  • Garrett’s Blog: Heavier Rain Wednesday PM/Thursday AM

    Showers with a few embedded thunderstorms will move across the area Wednesday night into the first half of the day on Thursday. The heaviest rainfall totals will be just to the SW of our area in Oklahoma with our rainfall totals in the .50″-1″ range. Limited instability and shear will prevent widespread severe weather with this round of rain. The rainfall is not expected to be excessive so widespread flash flooding does not appear likely; however the grounds remain saturated […]

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    Flooding Risk Remains High

    The bulk of the overnight storms will have moved out the eat by mid morning on Saturday with partly cloudy skies prevailing in the afternoon. Yet another round of thunderstorms is expected to affect the area on Saturday night with another 1-2″ of rainfall on top of an already saturated ground. Flash flooding will be a concern all weekend into Monday morning. The latest data continues to point to a higher-end flood event for SE Oklahoma and potentially SW Arkansas […]

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    Now: Thunderstorms Arriving

    A complex of thunderstorms has arrived from Oklahoma with very heavy rain possible and a limited risk of severe weather. Over 2-3″ of rain is possible tonight and flash flooding will be a major concern. As far as severe weather is concerned, line segments has developed NW of McAlester with numerous reports of wind damage. The northern edge of the line has shown rotation at times and has prompted tornado warnings for parts of SE Oklahoma. Rain and storms may […]


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