Friday, March 06, 2015

2014-2015 Winter Contest Winner

The numbers have verified and we have a winner for the winter contest.  That person is STEVE ROBINSON with his guess of 24.6''.

Steven wins the grand prize which is a Davis home weather station, a download of the best radar app, RadarScope, and 4 tickets to the Golden Corral in North Little Rock.

Let's say, hypothetically, the contest included the snow in November through the present (March 6th).  The combined snow at all 4 locations is 44.2'' and that's exactly what Ruben Keisler guessed.  Sorry Ruben, the contest only went December 1 through February 28th, but it was a darn good guess!

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Meteorological March Madness

12:20PM Wednesday Update... This video goes over timing and specifics using the highly regarded European model from

It's really not a question of "if" we'll have a winter storm, it's "when".  The freezing line will slowly drift from north to south today.  Sleet and snow will fall across the north this morning with rain elsewhere.  The rain should change to a mix of freezing rain and sleet across central sections around mid to late afternoon and southern Arkansas tonight. The sleet should change to snow after 9PM for most of central Arkansas.

The other factor we really need to talk about is the wind.  I think gusts could easily exceed 30 mph later today and tonight.  Most of the wintry weather will exit by sunrise Thursday and many kids will have yet another snow day.  What about Friday?  That all depends on what Mother Nature does to the roads Thursday afternoon.  I think there will be some melting, but will it be enough?  Temperatures Friday morning will drop into the teens and that will challenge record lows.  The record low is 19 degrees set in 1899.  That's a 116 year old record!!!!!!!!!! WOW! Any moisture on the roads will become ice once again so I think it's entirely possible some schools will be out Friday.  That's not my call though.

The following maps are courtesy of EuroWx and Weatherbell Analytics.

Also below is the SCHOOL:CON index for Thursday

By noon Wednesday, all the frozen precipitation is across northern Arkansas.  Green is rain, purple is freezing rain, pink is mix of freezing rain and sleet, and blue is snow.  It will take some time for the subfreezing air to get around the Ozarks and funnel into the rest of the state on a northeast wind.
The European model shows a quick transition to ice and snow further south by 6PM.  Notice how that area bulges into southeast Arkansas from the north.  That's due to the NE winds down the east side of the mountains across north central Arkansas.
By midnight, the precipitation types continue to change as the depth of the cold air builds.  We have freezing rain south, a mix just north of that, and snow for the northwest half of the state.
By 6AM, most of it has changed over to snow due to the arctic air building in strongly at all levels.
Between 6AM and Noon Thursday, the winter weather quickly moves away.
The HRRR run from early Wednesday shows this at 3PM.  Notice the area of frozen precip moving south from NE Arkansas.  That's due to the cold air funneling around the Ozarks and spilling south.
By 5PM, we are transitioning to wintry weather for much of the northern half of the state with the cold air deep enough across the far north for all snow.  Southern Arkansas, that transition will happen later tonight.
SCHOOL:CON Index made Wednesday morning for Thursday.

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.

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