Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Significant Winter Storm Wednesday Into Thursday AM

3:30PM Tuesday Update... We finally have enough agreement with the models!  It's not perfect, but our confidence level is above average at this point.  School administrators will have a tough decision Wednesday morning for central Arkansas.  I think it's possible to get a few hours in, then an early dismissal, but that's not my decision.  School for much of the state Thursday does not look likely.

Northern and northeastern Arkansas will be hit the hardest with several inches of sleet and snow.  I think amounts could reach 8'' and maybe more in spots.  For central Arkansas, we're going with 2-5'' of sleet and snow with isolated higher amounts.  I tend to side with the higher range of that scale, but not completely sold on that at this time.  Southern Arkansas could see ice and up to 2'' of sleet and a little snow.

What about timing?  I think we'll wake up to plain rain Wednesday morning, then the subfreezing air arrives in the metro around 1-4PM.  We'll have freezing rain change to sleet, then we'll change to snow between 9 and midnight.  The following weather maps are the GFS from Weatherbell Analytics.

Remember, green is rain, pink is freezing rain, orange is sleet, and blue is snow.  I have drawn a black line to show you the 32 degree line according to this model.  Everyone along and north of it is 32 degrees or colder.

For more information, scroll down.  There's a video which goes over everything as well.  I also have a SCHOOL:CON index for Wednesday and Thursday down there too.

Noon Wednesday

6PM Wednesday.  The freezing line is well south of the metro.  We feel the subfreezing air will arrive between 1-4PM

By midnight Thursday AM, everyone is below freezing

Early Thursday morning, the precipitation is decreasing from NW to SE

By late Thursday morning, it should be gone

This is our forecast at this point, but is still subject to change.  As I stated above, I would not doubt isolated higher amounts north.  I feel it's possible we'll be in the upper portion of the 2-5'' scale, but not completely sold yet.


We are within 1-2 days of this and there are still model uncertainties in regards to precipitation type and the duration of each.  What we do feel confident in at this point is the timing.  Northern Arkansas will first be affected by this Wednesday morning, then it will spread southward into central Arkansas during Wednesday afternoon, then southern Arkansas late in the day and Wednesday night.

All types of winter precipitation will be likely creating what I call an "Arkansas Slushie".  Once this decreases, we'll have a chance to challenge near record low temperatures.  With the higher sun angle in March, roads should clear up rapidly Thursday afternoon and again Friday afternoon.  Tired of all this?  I think we'll really begin to warm up next week.  Let's just get through this!

The video below is loaded with information and specifics.  Below the video is the SCHOOL:CON index for Wednesday and Thursday.  I really think the main impact for school closings Wednesday will be northern Arkansas, then other ares Thursday.  Hope the kids like school in June.

Thanks for making the Arkansas Weather Blog your choice for information.


Monday, March 02, 2015

Mother Nature Throws Another Winter Storm At Us

1PM Monday Update... for a more detailed discussion, please watch the video below.

There are still uncertainties regarding the winter storm Wednesday.  When will it cool to 32 degrees or colder is a one of those concerns.  Also, precip. type is uncertain.  There should be a transition from rain to freezing rain to sleet to snow at many locations.  How long you have a certain type is quite debatable.  I'm going to show you three models below and how different they are with respect to the 32 degree line.  Also below is the first SCHOOL:CON index issued.  I'll update that again Tuesday.

The GFS is quickest with bringing subfreezing air south.  At noon Wednesday, everyone along and north of that white line is 32 degree or colder.

The European model at noon Wednesday has that line further north and slower moving towards the south.

At 5PM, the NAM still has much of the state ABOVE freezing.  So you see the uncertainties here!  At this time, I'm leaning towards the middle of the road approach, Euro.
The first SCHOOL:CON index shows the highest chance for no school Wednesday will be north and less likely south due to the uncertainties of the freezing line.  Is it possible to get school in across south Arkansas, then have the winter weather later in the afternoon? sure!  I will update this Tuesday.


It's looking more and more likely another winter storm will affect the state.  The worst of this may be over northern, central, and eastern Arkansas, but the details can still change.  All forms of precipitation will be possible starting Wednesday morning.  We'll go from plain rain, to freezing rain, then to sleet and snow.

Having a snow storm in March is NOT unusual, especially early March.  IF this storm comes together, roads may be rotten Wednesday, but should improve by Thursday afternoon due to the higher sun angle in March.  You can have temperatures in the upper 20s and the roads will melt off.  So at this time, I think travel will be difficult, but not for days.

One other aspect to the end of the week, we'll have the potential to break record low temperatures IF there is snow and ice on the ground.   Those records are in the mid and upper teens and we could  challenge that.

This video is loaded with specifics and my thoughts about this possible winter storm.  Thanks for coming to the Arkansas Weather Blog for your information.

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Wintry Wednesday

We just can't shake off winter even though we are officially in meteorological spring now.  This video is a very in-depth look at the models and differences that exist for the Wednesday event.  Also, I discuss the potential winner in the Arkansas Weather Blog winter contest.