12:20PM Wednesday Update... This video goes over timing and specifics using the highly regarded European model from Eurowx.com
It's really not a question of "if" we'll have a winter storm, it's "when". The freezing line will slowly drift from north to south today. Sleet and snow will fall across the north this morning with rain elsewhere. The rain should change to a mix of freezing rain and sleet across central sections around mid to late afternoon and southern Arkansas tonight. The sleet should change to snow after 9PM for most of central Arkansas.
The other factor we really need to talk about is the wind. I think gusts could easily exceed 30 mph later today and tonight. Most of the wintry weather will exit by sunrise Thursday and many kids will have yet another snow day. What about Friday? That all depends on what Mother Nature does to the roads Thursday afternoon. I think there will be some melting, but will it be enough? Temperatures Friday morning will drop into the teens and that will challenge record lows. The record low is 19 degrees set in 1899. That's a 116 year old record!!!!!!!!!! WOW! Any moisture on the roads will become ice once again so I think it's entirely possible some schools will be out Friday. That's not my call though.
The following maps are courtesy of EuroWx and Weatherbell Analytics.
Also below is the SCHOOL:CON index for Thursday
|The European model shows a quick transition to ice and snow further south by 6PM. Notice how that area bulges into southeast Arkansas from the north. That's due to the NE winds down the east side of the mountains across north central Arkansas.|
|By midnight, the precipitation types continue to change as the depth of the cold air builds. We have freezing rain south, a mix just north of that, and snow for the northwest half of the state.|
|By 6AM, most of it has changed over to snow due to the arctic air building in strongly at all levels.|
|Between 6AM and Noon Thursday, the winter weather quickly moves away.|
|The HRRR run from early Wednesday shows this at 3PM. Notice the area of frozen precip moving south from NE Arkansas. That's due to the cold air funneling around the Ozarks and spilling south.|
|By 5PM, we are transitioning to wintry weather for much of the northern half of the state with the cold air deep enough across the far north for all snow. Southern Arkansas, that transition will happen later tonight.|
|SCHOOL:CON Index made Wednesday morning for Thursday.|
|POTENTIAL AMOUNTS. FORECAST MADE WEDNESDAY MORNING|