Where do I start? There's just so much going on with our weather over the next couple of weeks using the words "active" and "challenge" doesn't do it justice. Heavy rain, near record highs, snow, ice, and arctic air... there's so much on our plate it's like Thanksgiving dinner and we're all going back for seconds and thirds whether we like it or not.
First of all, the rain is here and it's going to be heavy at times. This should end Thursday and temperatures COULD get out of hand and challenge daily record highs. Read the post below for those numbers. Then all eyes will turn to Saturday and an arctic boundary moving into the state.
All the data points to multiple rounds of rainfall through next week as the flow aloft is conducive to bringing several disturbances overhead. This southwest flow aloft (I'll show you below) is warm and moist, while at the surface, heavy and dense arctic air settles into the state.
There's good news and bad news. The good, all of the data points to subfreezing air at the surface staying across north central and northwest Arkansas (not good if you're reading this from there). Remember, the flow aloft is warm and moist so this will be more ice than snow up there. The data also suggests that while it's much colder for central and southern Arkansas, temperatures will hold just above freezing.
The bad... I don't trust the data right now. It could always be right, but we have seen time and time again the modeling underestimating low level arctic air. It underestimates its intensity and its extent to the south. 99 out of 100 times ( a little exaggeration) that's what happens. If you get dry, low level arctic air in here, evaportative cooling can take temperatures down even further than what the models say. So that's what concerns me, the ice could go further south than the models project. Remember, this isn't our forecast right now, but I use this blog to express my thoughts about upcoming big weather events.
Here are the maps below showing what I'm looking at...
|This is 10 day rainfall from the 00Z GFS. That's more than 6 inches across much of the mid south.|
|The next run of the GFS, 6Z, shows basically the same thing.|
|HPC rainfall amounts for the next 7 days shows 6''+ over the southeastern half of the state.|