Monday, January 17, 2011

Wintry Thursday? In Depth Discussion

8:30 AM Tuesday Update... Meteorologist Barry Brandt has put together a preliminary snowfall accumulation forecast.  Remember, we are still a couple of days away from the onset of wintry weather and this could still change.  But based on the current data, this is the latest thinking.

Prelim. Snowfall potential for Thursday.
 8:15 AM Tuesday Update...I have no changes.  I still think it's the northern 1/3 of the state that has the best chance for accumulating snow.  Draw a line from Fort Smith to near Heber Springs to Blytheville and northward.  These areas will see 1-3 inches with locally higher amounts in the mountains. In central Arkansas... rain which could change to sleet during the afternoon.  If there's a changeover to snow, it will be on the back end of the system and the moisture will be limited at that time so I only expect less than an inch at best.

I'll have more later this morning. 

3:30 PM Monday Update... WOW, the blog is getting very active again with the possibilities for winter weather.  I encourage you to watch the video discussion below if you haven't.  I really lay out the situation and what could go wrong with the forecast.  I have looked at the data this afternoon and I have no changes.  This will be a light and quick event, but enough to cause travel headaches, especially across northern Arkansas.

The European model has two more winter weather possibilities over the next 10 days.  Besides the one Thursday, there is some concern Monday (January 24th) and again Thursday (January 27th).  We're talking about the long term here so don't get too excited, but at least we have something to watch for awhile.  It's rare in Arkansas to get hit after hit after hit with winter weather events, but if you get locked into a pattern, anything can happen.  As my bio says on twitter... "following this crazy Arkansas weather".  There's nothing normal about it and that's what makes us the weather geeks we are!

During the 10 o'clock newscasts Sunday night I showed how far behind the average we are in terms of temperature.  For the month of December, we were 2.2 degrees below average.  This month, we are 3.8 degrees below average so far.  You may remember the forecast from NOAA and from Accuweather indicated above average temperatures for this winter.  You can also watch Accuweather meteorologist Joe Bastardi's prediction by clicking "winter forecast" in the white bar above.  The reasoning behind this was a strong La Nina.  While that is occurring, there may be other factors dominating our weather.  It's only the middle of January so a big flip to warm could still take place in February.  I'm not a big believer in long term forecasts.  The meteorologist who specialize in this do tremendous work, but it's extremely difficult trying to predict the  weather several months down the road.

]Stay with us here on the Arkansas Weather Blog, I'll keep you updated with the latest!
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This system coming in poses different forecast challenges compared to the big Sunday snow a week ago.  We're going to be dealing with a variety of precipitation across Arkansas and it all depends on the depth of the cold air and how far south the intrusion sets up.  I still firmly believe the northern portion of the state sees the worst of it.  There are two key points I need to hit on: the system will not have heavy precipitation like the last storm did and it's a quick mover.  As you will see in the video blog discussion, there is much to consider when trying to pin down the details and it will be a challenge for forecasters to stay one step ahead of the models.  Check it out!



9 AM Thursday GFS.  Mostly Rain with frozen precip. north
Noon Thursday.  Rain with frozen precip still across the north
Colder air moves south with snow across the NW portions of the state at 3 PM
The rain begins to transition to frozen precipitation for the northern 1/2 of the state at 6 PM
All precipitation changes to snow before ending by 9 PM Thursday (Light)

17 comments:

Shack said...

Never boring Todd, thanks!

Anonymous said...

Todd i have been looking at some stuff i see one more shot of cold air around next tus and wed but i cant ever tell how cold it will be you might could help me there. Then also it looks like we will start warming up on past that, Iv also heard talk about the AOpositive and negitive and how brings cold air in here.

Snowbird Bob said...

Hello Everyone, Just a few more thoughts on the possible winter weather event later this week, you all know me by now, I tend to go with details maybe a little quicker than what I probably should lol..That's just how I do it..Regarding precip types & amounts here are my first thoughts..I beleive 2-4 Inches of snow could fall on a Fayetteville to Harrison line,Some spots could see amounts up to 6 Inches..Lighter amounts in Northeast Ark..Areas such as Marshall,Clinton,Mountain Home,Mountain View could see a little more of a mix with 1-2 Inches of snow in those locations..Areas such as the Conway,Little Rock,Russellville area..This is what is the most tricky..As of now I see a mixture of freezing rain & sleet, Only light precip amounts. With the possibility of those area changing over to some snow with around a dusting to an inch..Further south for the Pine Bluff,Fordyce,Camden,Monticella area, I beleive yall we see mostly very light amounts of freezing rain..With a possible change over for some light snow..There looks to be another chance of Winter Precip by early next week also for part of Ark,,As far as a Thaw here's your Thaw right enjoy it,If you can call it that lol..Looking ahead I have been fine tuning to what I beleive will be the coldest air mass of this winter season is in the Feb.1-15 time-frame, Iam now thinking this time-frame will be in the Feb.1-7 time-frame,I look back to the fall & see one of the strongest low pressure systems ever recorded in the Lower 48, Since then there have been a few very strong low pressure systems, The AO has been negative for almost 6 weeks now..1st the very cold arctic airmass was suppose to be much colder during last week, It didn't turn out,2nd the Arctic Airmass this week was projected to be colder, but models has backed off, sure these air masses are pretty cold & last 3rd No we have not had the 3rd. This is were I beleive the Feb.1-7 could have the coldest air of the season with that Arctic airmass..Very Cold Arctic air & High Pressures looks to build in North & Northwest Canada, Hopefully we can get a Major Winter Storm or a few good winter weather events with all this cold air talk.. This is just my opinions, Anything can happen..But I beleive over the next 3 weeks or beyond will be very active,Just gives us all hope that Winters worst could still be in front of us..Again, Thanks to Todd for letting me be apart of this blog & Thanks to all you out there that enjoys reading my post.. Thats what it is all about, for the Winter weather lovers..Including ME :) As always We Shall See..

Anonymous said...

snowbirdbob great job again i enjoy reading your posts on here as much as anyone. lets hope that you hit it right on with your predictions. this is TWEATHERGUY if anyone wants to follow me on twitter i love winter weather and snow.

nlrweatherman said...

Anyone check out the NWS in little rock forcassts? They are jumping on board for winter weather thursday/thursday night. They also have pretty good chances for central sections

Amy said...

Thanks, Snowbird, for keeping hopeS alive and HIGH!! What a fun winter this is turning out to be!!

tboyce1979 said...

NWS has a 30% chance of sleet frzng rain Wed and 70% chance of rain and snow Thurs and a 50% chance of snow Thurs. night. It has the high for Thurs. at 42. Do you think that will change if this does in fact ring true? Snowbob, I hope your right :) Now...the REAL question is...when are we all going to meet up at Golden Corral???!!! We should do a live blog cast from there!!

tboyce1979 said...

Oh, and except for during the summer shack....you can hear crickets in here...

nlrweatherman said...

Dont pay any attention to high temps right now. Our high thursday may end up being 35. The temp 42 is on the warm side. It will only go down as we get closer to the event

Jason H said...

Ill be happy with 2-3 inches up here in Pocahontas. I hope your Long-Range pans out Bob. Ive never looked at or believed in Long range at all, but I will give you a shot to change my mind.:-)

Jason H said...

Ill say my sweet spot in N.E.A will beat out NWA totals. I am picking Hardy Ar as my sweet spot with 5 inches.

jimmylee42 said...

More than 48 hours out again with a wishcast. I predict the high driving the cold down will strengthen more than forecast thus sending the Arctic air deeper into Arkansas. Going with the same amount for the LR area as I predicted last time,3-5 inches. Sweet spot further north this time-Calico Rock to Piggott 8-10 inches. Lucky on my last try and maybe will be again.

tboyce1979 said...

Is it just me, or are you being very bold Jimmylee42???!!! I gotta get paid Friday and if I'm not at work, I can't get my check!

Eric said...

From what i can gather on this upcoming storm little rock an cen ark will be lucky to see a couple flakes mixed in with the rain. These systems never pan out very well for snow in the central part of the state. The moisture will be gone b 4 the cold air arrives or a dry slot etc etc. Our best snows are like a couple weeks back when the precip is all snow from the start. This storm thurs is a north ark snow an i mean the north two rows of counties. Fir cen ark if we want more snow we best be looking to next week or in feb sometime. Lets hope the cold air gets here faster b 4 thw precip leaves.

Amy said...

I like the way you are thinking, Jimmy Lee!! It could happen!! But.... I am afraid this set up is more likely to graze North Arkansas and leave us high and dry after the cold air arrives. Hopefully, Jimmy is right, and that cold air will drive in here vigorously overnight Wednesday! Interestingly enough...the almanac is hinting at winter precip. over the next few days for our region, and they have been right on so far this winter. (They are the ones who predicted this colder than normal winter for us!) I am becoming more and more impressed with whatever methods they must use to predict weather.....and what exactly would that be....Luck?? Whatever it is, it's winter time in Arkansas, so LET IT SNOW!!

jimmylee42 said...

tboyce-

Not just you, but of course I did use the term "wishcast". Things that the weather forecasting experts look at will have to change between now and Thursday for my 3-5 in LR to happen. Hope you get your paycheck in full regardless. I know how it is when I was on the road for 43 years and bad weather could put a dent into a full commission sales rep's paycheck.

Kevin Conant (weatherman15) said...

Yeah...I agree with amy that the Cold Air will get here a tad to late with the dry air to overspread the area so accumulations will significantly limited...

The best shot of 1-3" is across Northern Portions of Arkansas with 2-4" with an isolated amount to 5" in extreme Northwest Arkansas.

There is a chance of 1 to 2" just north of Little Rock, AR...1"is possible for the Hot Springs to Mena to Stuaggart line...A dusting further south from Ashdown to Magnolia northward...No accumulations expected south of that line...