Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Significant Winter Storm Wednesday Into Thursday AM



3:30PM Tuesday Update... We finally have enough agreement with the models!  It's not perfect, but our confidence level is above average at this point.  School administrators will have a tough decision Wednesday morning for central Arkansas.  I think it's possible to get a few hours in, then an early dismissal, but that's not my decision.  School for much of the state Thursday does not look likely.

Northern and northeastern Arkansas will be hit the hardest with several inches of sleet and snow.  I think amounts could reach 8'' and maybe more in spots.  For central Arkansas, we're going with 2-5'' of sleet and snow with isolated higher amounts.  I tend to side with the higher range of that scale, but not completely sold on that at this time.  Southern Arkansas could see ice and up to 2'' of sleet and a little snow.

What about timing?  I think we'll wake up to plain rain Wednesday morning, then the subfreezing air arrives in the metro around 1-4PM.  We'll have freezing rain change to sleet, then we'll change to snow between 9 and midnight.  The following weather maps are the GFS from Weatherbell Analytics.

Remember, green is rain, pink is freezing rain, orange is sleet, and blue is snow.  I have drawn a black line to show you the 32 degree line according to this model.  Everyone along and north of it is 32 degrees or colder.

For more information, scroll down.  There's a video which goes over everything as well.  I also have a SCHOOL:CON index for Wednesday and Thursday down there too.

Noon Wednesday

6PM Wednesday.  The freezing line is well south of the metro.  We feel the subfreezing air will arrive between 1-4PM

By midnight Thursday AM, everyone is below freezing



Early Thursday morning, the precipitation is decreasing from NW to SE


By late Thursday morning, it should be gone



This is our forecast at this point, but is still subject to change.  As I stated above, I would not doubt isolated higher amounts north.  I feel it's possible we'll be in the upper portion of the 2-5'' scale, but not completely sold yet.

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We are within 1-2 days of this and there are still model uncertainties in regards to precipitation type and the duration of each.  What we do feel confident in at this point is the timing.  Northern Arkansas will first be affected by this Wednesday morning, then it will spread southward into central Arkansas during Wednesday afternoon, then southern Arkansas late in the day and Wednesday night.

All types of winter precipitation will be likely creating what I call an "Arkansas Slushie".  Once this decreases, we'll have a chance to challenge near record low temperatures.  With the higher sun angle in March, roads should clear up rapidly Thursday afternoon and again Friday afternoon.  Tired of all this?  I think we'll really begin to warm up next week.  Let's just get through this!

The video below is loaded with information and specifics.  Below the video is the SCHOOL:CON index for Wednesday and Thursday.  I really think the main impact for school closings Wednesday will be northern Arkansas, then other ares Thursday.  Hope the kids like school in June.

Thanks for making the Arkansas Weather Blog your choice for information.





SCHOOL:CON INDEX FOR WEDNESDAY.  LIKE I SAID ABOVE, CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN ARKANSAS MIGHT BE ABLE TO GET A FULL DAY IN DUE TO THE SUBFREEZING AIR ARRIVING LATER IN THE DAY.  THIS IS STILL SUBJECT TO CHANGE
SCHOOL:CON INDEX FOR THURSDAY, MARCH 5TH

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