9:20 PM Monday Update... Both of the major short term models agree where the heaviest snow SHOULD fall, but disagree about how much. Don't you just love forecasting?! In one camp we have the GFS showing some good snow across far western Arkansas, but amounts decrease rapidly the further east you go into Little Rock. In the other camp is the NAM, it's the most aggressive with amounts for most of the state with the highest again over western Arkansas. So right now it's still a very tough forecast. I think the middle of the road is the best approach until there's some agreement. Below is the NAM snowfall through 6 PM Wednesday. Remember, we will have an Arkansas Weather Live at 7 PM Tuesday and we may give away one or two blog t-shirts. Hope to see you then. Thanks for reading the Arkansas Weather Blog...Your Ticket To BIG Weather Events.
|00Z NAM snowfall amounts through Wed. at 6 PM. Click to enlarge|
|12Z Futurecast... our exclusive model at Ch. 7|
11:45 AM Monday Update... If the NAM is on "snow-roids" then the GFS took a chill pill. You can see the differences are really showing up on the snow amounts for Wednesday, but there is some agreement that western Arkansas will be the target for the highest snow amounts, especially the higher elevations. The GFS run this morning only shows around 4'' in central Arkansas while the NAM is much higher. Hopefully there will be some agreement with these two models soon. Usually it's best to take a compromise and a middle of the road approach. Even 48 hours away from the onset, the forecast is still literally "up in the air." Read the rest of the blog post below for more on this possible Arkansas snow Wednesday.
|12Z GFS showing much lower snow amounts than the NAM|
|Don't take this as a forecast. This is one model showing an extreme scenario.|
The Monday morning system is winding down and amounts have ranged from around 1'' on grassy surfaces in Little Rock to as much as 5.5'' at Mountain View. Quitman and Drasco both reported in with 3'' while Heber Springs reported almost 3'' as well. According to Jimmylee42 in the comment section, we have not had 3 significant weather events within one week since January 1978. It looks like with Wednesday's system, we'll do it for the first time in 33 years.
Even 48 hours from the onset of potential snow, I still have questions that need to be answered as the models are not clear on the forecast. Let's look at how EVERY system has behaved this winter. They outperform what the models say as they are stronger and wetter! That must play a part in our forecasting. Most of the models show a disturbing trend of fading precipitation amounts once east of central Arkansas. However, the higher snowfall ratios COULD compensate for that and still bring healthy snows. Basically, the colder the air, the more snow that can be produced even by smaller amounts of moisture. At one point the Euro showed .6'' of water for Little Rock. It's now down to .3''. That would still produce a good snow. The NAM is very aggressive with amounts while the GFS shows only a few inches. Hopefully, once we get into Tuesday afternoon, the picture is clearer.
Here's what I'm thinking right now for PRELIMINARY amounts. Southwest into west central Arkansas and even northwestern areas could easily see more than 6'' and I would not be surprised to see the higher elevations get 10'' or more.
Further east into central Arkansas, I would say 2-6'' will be possible. I would favor the upper end of that scale due to the fact these systems outperform what the data shows. This is only a preliminary look and is still subject to change.
If we get the snow and have clear skies and calm winds, the possibility is there Friday morning for temperatures to drop into the single digits in Little Rock for the first time in 15 years.
The massive warm up is still on starting next weekend. While there is no severe weather in the forecast, we must start looking for that in the warm up. La Nina's typically bring an early start to the severe weather season. Let's not get too ahead of ourselves yet as we still have plenty of winter to go this week.
By the way, the winter contest numbers are going to be fun to watch as there are only a few people left in it!
WHEN LOOKING AT THE MODEL SNOWFALL MAPS BELOW YOU MUST REMEMBER THEY ARE TAKING INTO ACCOUNT BOTH THE MONDAY AND WEDNESDAY SNOW. REMEMBER THE SNOW MONDAY WAS 1-5 INCHES FROM CENTRAL ARKANSAS INTO NORTHEASTERN AREAS.
|Overnight run of the GFS showing high amounts for western AR. Remember, this is taking into account two storms... today and Wednesday.|
|This is the overnight NAM which is by far the most aggressive with snowfall amounts. This may come down to to a compromise between the two models. This too is taking into account two storms... Monday and Wednesday.|