Sunday, March 17, 2013

Spring Break Gone Wild Part Deux

About a week ago I mentioned winter wasn't over by a long shot.  The European model warned us at that point in time what would happen today.  While wrong with the specifics, it showed the cold coming back with a swath of snow just north of the state and that's what happened.  

If you were watching the news Saturday morning and evening, I told ya Sunday's forecast was a tough one depending on where the boundary was located.  It should be noted some of the models were completely off within 24 hours!  However, I did notice the NAM and our model, Futurecast, did a very good job handling the situation.

So is winter over with yet?  No.  I'm not declaring it due to what will happen late this week into the weekend.  While there is NO guarantee wintry precipitation returns, there will be a chill in the air.  What a spring break week!  I know it's not what the kids wanted on their time off, but it's going to be interesting to track!  On a positive note, Tuesday and Wednesday should be fine, but temperatures will not be warm.  Look for upper 50s to mid 60s across the state.

The interesting weather starts Thursday and goes into Friday.   However, the latest GFS has fun and games Sunday too.  I want to be crystal clear right now when I tell you I don't think the models have a good handle on how this will exactly unfold.  While there is agreement a cold rain will affect the state,  I'm sure how this plays out will change until we get closer to Thursday and Friday.

What about the chance for wintry weather?  Yes, it's there for northern Arkansas.  It's wayyyyyyyy too early to get specific about this, but it can't be ruled out.  Since we're going into late March, any wintry weather episode is very, very brief and IF it happens, road conditions are not bad for a long period of time whatsoever.  The higher sun angle does an efficient job at melting.  

Please always remember, the purpose of this blog is not to make an official forecast, but show you the things I'm watching.  Also, I will use maps from  It's subscription only, but if you're a weathergeek, we'll worth it.  Fantastic job they have done with that site!

This is the Euro valid late Thursday.   Look at the dark blue line running through northern Arkansas.  That's the freezing line at 2 meters.  The green and blue blobs are precipitation amounts over the previous 6 hours.  That's frozen up north according to that.  Again, don't panic.  Look below.
The GFS at the same time looks slower and warmer.  The green is rain, blue and purple frozen.  There's disagreement here, but it does show a chilly rain in the state.
Here's the Euro valid late Friday.  Still more waves of rain and look at the 35 degree line over western and northern Arkansas.  COLD!!!!!!
AND JUST FOR FUN.  DON'T TAKE THIS TO THE BANK!!!!!!!!! Here's the Euro snowfall accumulation.
The 18Z Sunday GFS valid next Sunday.  I think it's having trouble handling different waves of energy, but you can't write off winter looking at this map.
Back to late next Thursday.  Here are temperatures from the Euro.  The frontal boundary sticks out like a sore thumb.  Look how cold it is across the state.  It's my gut feeling this is overdone and it's not quite as cold.  We'll see.
And on Friday evening, it's still cold
In summary, our forecast at this point does indicate a mix with snow across the north late this week, but generally a cold rain for most of us.  Can this change?  You bet!  It's not uncommon to get winter weather even into late March.  It has happened before and it can happen again.  Many wonder what's going on with such variability in the weather.  This too is very typical this time of the year as spring and winter fight it out.

With all this said, spring break so far has been wild and it looks to turn wild again late in the week.


Anonymous said...

I'm happy to hear this! Only 6 more months after miserable weather returns until we can have this nice weather again...

Bugs/insects have been absent - how long will that last? I'm not looking forward to their return..

Anonymous said...

NOOO the snow mustn't be confined to northern Arkansas! Let central get in on the fun too!!

Mark said...

Hi Todd,
I am a student forecaster from Atlanta, GA, and I am 11 years old.
I really love your work on this site, so keep up the great work.
I also have a blog of my own, which is just getting started:
Please visit the site, and comment how you like it. Also, comment on the blog if you would like to bceoma apart of its team, and forecast on it too.
Thank you,

Anonymous said...

I don't understand all the hate on Twitter. The longer spring is delayed, the better!

Anonymous said...

This is the best March weather ever!

Anonymous said...

Hope we get a freeze in April like we did in 2007.

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