Friday, January 07, 2011

"Snow-Mageddon" ????

9:45 AM Saturday Update... new blog post this afternoon.  In the meantime, here's the data from the 12Z NAM.  Highest snow totals across the south...

12Z NAM
7:30 AM Saturday Update... I will start a new post late this morning or into the afternoon.  I feel very confident this is still a south Arkansas snowstorm.  It's the northward extent I still question due to dry low level air "zapping" precipitation on the northern fringe.  It's the NAM model which I keep hoping will come more in line with the GFS.  The latest version of the Euro is still a big snow for most of central and southern sections of the state.  As of Saturday morning, the timing of this looks like mid to late afternoon for the onset Sunday across southern Arkansas.  It should move into central areas late Sunday afternoon into the evening.  Remember, this too is not set in stone.

We have a lot of plans for the blog Sunday which will cover the storm from A to Z. 

Thanks everyone for getting your information here.  You can always contribute in the comment section and share your thoughts.  Also, send snow pictures to photo@katv.com.  GET CREATIVE!  We'll share a few on the air and on line.


PRELIMINARY snowfall forecast

9:15 PM Friday Update...  The new NAM is drier and delays the onset of precip. in central Arkansas.  It shows the best chance Sunday night into Monday morning with 2 inches or less for the Little Rock area.  On the flip side, the 18Z GFS shows significant snow for central and southern Arkansas beginning Sunday afternoon.  Even though we are within 48 hours of the storm, there are differences in the data that must be sorted out.  As you read the 4:30 post below, you can see how I outline some of the worries and the things that could limit the snowfall.  For some reason today as I thought about the forecast, I kept thinking about dry air in the lower levels "zapping" precipitation.  This will prevent northern Arkansas from getting a good snow, but how far south will this occur?  How about the other side of the equation?  What if the storm tracks further north and we get more than expected?

There is so much to watch this weekend! I like the forecast we put out on the air tonight.   With all the available data, the snowfall accumulation map Ned and I put together is, at this point, the most likely scenario.  This can always change.

Thanks everyone for reading the blog and getting your in depth weather here.  For all of you snow lovers out there, think positive thoughts.  Read Amy's post in the comment section.  Hopefully, we'll all be able to look out our windows Sunday evening and enjoy a fresh blanket of fluffy snow.

4:30 PM Friday Update... Ned and I were talking in the weather center about what COULD go wrong with the forecast.  We both agree the worst case scenario (for snow lovers) is heavy rainfall wrapping up around the low along the Gulf coast robbing the moisture transport to the north.  One more thing which could go wrong...  very dry air from the north could "zap" moisture on the northern fringe.  If the low goes any further south, this could decrease snow amounts on the northern fringe.  While this is not likely to happen, it is within the realm of possibilities.  With that said, there's a much greater chance for significant snowfall Sunday.  Here's the latest run of the GFS which just came out this afternoon.  It shows the highest amount of snowfall along the I-30 corridor in SW Arkansas with 3-5'' there and areas to the east.  The amounts lessen the further north you go.  This has been a very consistent trend with this model . More updates later and all throughout the weekend.

18Z GFS Friday
 Noon Friday Update... check out the video blog discussion and the NEW maps below showing sleet and freezing rain possibilities with the new data...



12Z GFS Snow accumulations
12Z GFS SLEET accumulations

12Z GFS FREEZING RAIN

10:30 AM Friday Update... The 12Z GFS is in and snowfall accumulations look highest across the southern 1/2 of the state including Little Rock.  It indicates significant accumulation along the I-30 corridor from Texarkana to just SW of Little Rock.  This areas extends eastward towards Pine Bluff, Fordyce, and Star City.  This model indicates 3-6 inches or slightly more in that area.  NOT A FORECAST, just one piece of the weather puzzle.

Friday 12Z GFS
10 AM Friday Update... Here's a closer look at the 12Z NAM showing highest amounts across southern Arkansas with just a dusting to 2'' across central sections.  This model has been erratic and should be more reliable along with the GFS later today or Saturday as the storm moves out of the Pacific Ocean and into the western United States.

Closer look at 12Z NAM Friday
9 AM Friday Update... the latest NAM cuts back on snowfall totals drastically.  This model has been very erratic which means it's less reliable at this point.

12Z NAM Friday
The title of this post might be too strong, but I like the way it sounds.  We're now within 60 hours of the onset of wintry weather in Arkansas so let's start talking about accumulations.  The only change I see from yesterdays data is a chance for some sleet across southern Arkansas before changing to all snow.  Typically, we think of northern Arkansas who ALWAYS receives the heaviest snow, but this time will be different.  The highest amounts will be found across southern and central Arkansas with lessening totals the further north you live.  This has to do with the track of the low pressure at the surface/aloft and the available moisture.

The data below is from all of the major models used in the meteorological world.  Even with all this information, this forecast is STILL NOT SET IN STONE.  The track of the storm along with available moisture can drastically change this forecast.  But for fun, here's what the models show. I will continue to update throughout the day here on the blog and on twitter.

6Z GFS
6Z NAM
00Z GFS
00Z NAM
00Z GEM
00Z Euro

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

Man Todd i really dont like the looks of them they all look diff it shows me in sw ark not geting to much on some but i like the 6z nam looks like over 6 inches. what model do you like the best?

Jason H said...

There is no doubt in my mind someone will get over a foot with this system. I am willing to bet on that. I will be heading South this Sunday.

nlrweatherman said...

Well today is going to take forever. Weather events make school longer.

Eric said...

I think little rock will c 3 to 5 inches of snow conway 2 to 4 searcy 2 to 4 lets hope for more

Caleb said...

Hi Everyone,

NWS Memphis is saying that Winter headlines will most likely be issued this afternoon. NWS L.R. aren't saying anything about that but I say they will issue them this afternoon.

snowfreak said...

todd, what do you think is the probability of the NAM being correct??

Anonymous said...

Lonoke will see that 12 inch snow

Jason H said...

Also, if some places do get 5-8 inches, or more. It should be on the ground for a while! Wonder what the longest Central and Southern Arkansas has had snow cover?

dotnetengineer said...

So Todd, is it time for bread and milk sandwiches yet?

besnini said...

I am hoping for some snow. Todd, I do agree that maybe your "title of this post might be too strong". My daughter lives in Maryland and at one point last year they had about 6 feet of snow in their yard... THAT was snow-mageddon!!! :)

tboyce1979 said...

So yeah, I just had more vacation time kick in and so that probably means we won't get snow...sorry to ruin it for everyone...

jimmylee42 said...

Todd-

Enjoyed the show last night with you and all the guys. For some reason I couldn't get connected to the chat stream. Need to get another lesson from my wife. I was able to see everyone's comments though.

I told my brother my prediction after he dragged it out of me. I guess in my "Wish Cast" 3-5" for Little Rock. Somewhere between Fordyce and Helena 8-10" for the biggest dump.

Anonymous said...

If temps r in the 20's when it starts will this increase snow amounts?

Shack said...

Tammy, did Hugh hijack your name? Lol.

You better stop with all that nonsense!

bugg71654 said...

If this is what the calm before the storm is wow can I have more days like this? It is now 67 degrees outside with a warm wind that you would love to just sit in for hours.
A few years ago we had some snow that was predicited to hit 2-4 back to 1-3 then to no snow at all. By the time 12:30 pm came around the kids were getting let out of school early with about an inch of snow on the ground...that night we ended up with 10 inches of snow on the ground..QUESTION: Is this going to be one of those storms?

Anonymous said...

I notice nws always waits to 3 or so for any watches they post. I think pulaski county prob wont b included but jefferson will an then i could b wrong about the whole thing fun to speculateelysyur

ARweatherdude said...

My sweetspot is Star City, AR with 7.4 inches; Little Rock Airport: 2.2 inches; NLR: 1.2 inches. Also note that temps are in the 60s in Southern Ark today so putting high amounts of snow ontop of a warm ground means the snow will melt from the bottom up after accumulation has started. The snow will act as an insulator.

Anonymous said...

the weather channel has lowered it to just a 30% whats up with that?

Anonymous said...

It sure is aggravating to keep reading WeatherFanatic's tweets about how he/she hopes the snow sticks to the roads. Believe it or not there are people that HAVE to drive in this stuff. I enjoy a good snow as well as anyone but I wish the roads would remain clear. What's wrong with hoping we get a good snow & the roads remain clear ?

I know WF is not hoping for folks to get injured driving but if the roads get treacherous, that's exactly what will happen.

Sorry for the rant but that's a sore spot with me.

Zachary Green said...

GFS- Good For Snow!!! LOL I like it! I go to school at Harding, but I am home in Texas for the break. I enjoy your weather blog. There is like one other in Oklahoma, but hardly any guys I know do a blog. Thanks for doing it and showing the maps that show the full US, because I can sort of understand what they mean for me here in North Texas as well.

Anonymous said...

I hope it snows and sticks to EVERYTHING!!!! I love snow!!!! Why did weather channel lower chances to 30% if they just issued a winter storm watch for pulaski county??

tboyce1979 said...

Everything looks to be taking a turn for the worst...which means no snow...sorry Shack...It's just that Murphys Law says that now that I have some paid time off, it won't snow. Weather Channel has backed off, NWS seems to be backing off...especially for Central, and some of the tweets I'm seeing are beginning to downplay it. I'm just starting to get nervous about it. Someone fill me with hope please!!! Or I'm coming in to work on Monday looking like a dummy...

Anonymous said...

is it trending further south?

nlrweatherman said...

I never use the weather channel. The weather channel doesnt forcast for Arkansas. They forcast for Dallas and Memphis and dont even know Arkansas is here. NWS has snow likely for central Arkansas sun/sun night and is forecasting 2-4 inches with 4-6 locally.

Anonymous said...

Well i went to the grocery store it was still stocked with milk and bread. LOL. I feel sorry for my husband tomorrow he's an assistant manager at a grocery store in pine bluff you know he's going to be busy.

Eric said...

Guys relax the system has slowed down. The weather channels 30 percent for little rock is sunday day time they also have a nite forecast when the snow is expected to come. there sun nite forecast has not been on line yet. just calm down ir will be OK.

Anonymous said...

So what does the light pink stand for as far as accumulations? Can anybody tell me?

Matt said...

I went to home depot and bought a shovel, so I'm sure that will guarantee no snow in Sherwood. Last year I didn't have a shovel ( not one suitable for snow anyhow ) and getting the snow off my driveway was a real pain.

The Weather Fanatic said...

Hello all and Happy New Year!

I must say that I'm beginning to get the jitters with this system. We have so many factors that could wrong for Central Arkansas-mainly drier air, storms along the Gulf that could rob the moisture, etc, etc. Todd already hit on this which will make predicting accumulation very tough until we get within 12-24 hours of showtime and that may even be a stretch!

I am a kid at heart and want everyone to be safe have fun if we get something. Yes, some have to travel in this and let me say that if we get snow, that will be fine if you have front wheel drive and good tires. If you don't have either or experience driving in the snow, don't do it. Stay off the roads-plain and simple until they thaw out. This is what causes accidents. Also the worst time to be on the roads is during the event. Hopefully it will happen overnight so that when dawn arrives on Monday, the crews will have time to clear the main roads and make them passable-good luck on the secondary roads.

If it's still snowing like crazy Monday morning and accumulating-STAY OFF THE ROADS unless its an emergency.

I'm not giving up on this system, but it does have some work to do as the upper low pulls out and taps moisture from the Gulf. Where will this occur? We don't know but Mother Nature does...Expect the unexpected..

Amy said...

I'm tellin' ya.....this is when being a weather geek makes me a nervous wreck. Listening to all you guys and watching these models makes me feel like I know too much to really get excited about this impending Winter Storm. We've got a long way to go until Sunday for an "Arkansas" snowstorm to materialize. But thinking back on my childhood in Arkansas, and even over the past 20 years...a set up like this was the perfect one for a fluffy white snow cover! Cold air in place.....moisture arriving from the southwest!!! It just doesn't get any better than that!! I also remember going to bed many nights with a similar scenario, expecting not to have to go to school the next day, only to wake up to NOTHING!! I couldn't imagine where all the moisture had gone! I'm sure it was the whole dry air zapperoo you are worrying about with this storm that often robs us of snow! Oh well....I'm such a child at heart, I sure look forward to any opportunity to enjoy the peacefulness and beauty of a nice snowfall. I'm just going to keep on dreaming, think positive, and hope for the best. And in the words of one of our most famous friends......WE SHALL SEE!!! May the snow angels really lay it on us this time!!

snowfreak said...

any chances of the 18z gfs taking place

Gale said...

I believe that watching this system is as tough as watching the razorbacks. Will we win or will we lose?
Good job weather team!

Daryl Stout said...

No matter the amount of winter precipitation, it likely will result in widespread hazardous driving conditions. Those who do have to be out on the roads during and after the winter weather (any slush will refreeze overnight), should use extreme caution. Travel should be limited to "emergency only"...and those who must be out should be sure their vehicle is winterized, and they should have a winter weather survival kit handy, in case something happens to them. Widespread chain reaction traffic accidents occur when drivers are careless.

Also, for those planning to "sled" down hills, etc., be extremely careful where you "sled", and what you use. Sadly, over the years, some have been injured or killed, as their "sled" (in some cases, nothing more than garbage can lids) went out of control onto a busy street...or it slammed them into things like concrete walls or parked vehicles.

With the slick roads, it may take longer for not only highway department vehicles to clear the roads, but for emergency vehicles to reach you, or to get you to an Emergency Room...where it is likely to be very busy, and you may have a long wait before treatment.

It's best to just sit inside, and watch the beauty of the snowfall.

Lastly, be thankful the majority of the precipitation appears to be snow, instead of a hellacious ice storm...that would mean worse travel conditions, not to mention widespread power outages that would likely last much longer. And, after a brief warm-up late next week, it appears another arctic airmass will arrive later in the month. After all, winter isn't officially over until March 20.

Daryl, AE5WX
Certified Skywarn Storm Spotter

Anonymous said...

What does Hugh have to say about all of this?!?!

snowfreak said...

the 06z gfs makes me happy... but the 06z nam makes me wanna cry....the gfs is my new buddy. nam go find a new friend cuz used to think you cared but i see now you hate me and snow

Jason H said...

Mother Nature is so sharing. She seen the Nothern 3-4 row of counties was going to be left out of the first good snow, so she gave us a Northern storm that could be a surprise storms with ratio aroud 16-1 it "could" lay down 1-3 inches!

Oh yeah my Arkansas Sweet spot is Monticello Ar- 11 inches.

bugg71654 said...

Oh Happy SNOW!! I have lived in the north all my life and was used to getting snow up there..I moved down here and get snow once in a blue moon. Been watching the weather here with all of you and this morning I saw the biggest late Christmas present!! SNOW for me in the department of what almost 10 inches???
And SO IT BEGINS ...SNOW ...and what comes with snow? The long lines at the store where everyone is buying up the bread and milk ..HEY YOU !! Dont forget the TOLIET PAPER! I need some ice salt too ..don't forget that!!! I am sure that the Winter Storm Watch is going to be a Winter Storm Warning shortly ...hummmm

go4snow58 said...

Woe is me! Heber Springs appears to be too far north for the southern storm and too far south for the possible monday-tuesday snow. One thing I've noticed in my years of weather watching (especially winter weather) - if there is still some uncertainty 24 to 36 hours out, then you have equal chances of total bust (i.e. nothing), hitting it on the money, or waaay underestimating. To quote a famous blogger..."We shall see"...

Eric said...

My feeling is after what evryone is saying about the models is little rock will be pulaski county will be dropped from the winter storm watch this afternoon by the nws and be replaced with a winter weather advisory for tomorrow/night south will prob be put in winter storm warning for tomorrow. just my thoughts not what i want if it was up to me the whole state would have a foot of snow on the ground monday morning.

CowgirlKim said...

I can hardly wait until Sunday afternoon! Nothing like wishing the weekend away..but maybe it will be an extended weekend for everyone! COME ON SNOW! Ive got the firewood and the soup ready!
Todd and Weatherninja...I love the blog and reading all your comments! I am a closet WEATHERGEEK!!! Keep up the good work!

snowfreak14 said...

TweatherFanatic is making me feel depressed with his doubtful nature on the twitter conversation

nlrweatherman said...

I think areas north of the metro will be added to a winter storm warning, we sometimes underestimate totals

1. because we don't know exactly where heavy snow will set up

2. we don't always know how long it will last for a certain area

3. Ive seen models go south with storms a day before and come back north with some heavy snow the day of

I think we should all watch and no make assumptions. According to neighboring NWSFO central Arkansas is in a good position, not to mention our own office thinks we are

go4snow58 said...

Can anyone tell me why the current run of "Futurecast" is showing some snow in every county in the state except Cleburne? Is David Bazzel spending the weekend in Heber Springs? The "Bazzel Bubble" seems to have moved directly over us! LOL....