I expect rain to change to sleet/freezing rain, then to snow. The amount of sleet may cut into snow totals. Regardless, travel will be messy.
Winds will also become very strong as this system wraps up tonight and that raises the concern for power outages. The most likely area for this will be eastern Arkansas.
It's completely possible to have thundersleet and thundersnow. Where convection and banding occurs, higher snow and sleet amounts will be likely. It's extremely difficult to pinpoint where that will happen, but the most likely area will be eastern Arkansas.
I want to quote Meteorologist Ryan Vaughan at our sister station in Jonesboro. This really sums up what we're dealing with. NO snow/ice forecast will be perfect.
"This is like predicting what a bull will do when it comes into the arena. We know it is coming in... but what it does when it gets here is questionable! Giddy up!"
Below are maps from the HRRR (High Resolution Rapid Refresh) off of WeatherBell.com. This will not be perfect, but it goes over timing.
- The worst will move in tonight and early Friday morning
- Rain will change to sleet/freezing rain then to snow
- Highest amounts likely on the eastern side of the metro into eastern Arkansas
- Winds will be very strong and power outages will be possible, especially east
- Roads will become slick and hazardous
- Many schools will likely close Friday.
GREEN = RAIN
PURPLE = SLEET/FREEZING RAIN
BLUE = SNOW