Monday, January 04, 2016

You Want Winter? Here We Go!

Back in September and October, we went into a short term drought and everyone wanted rainfall.  I remember what I said then and I'll say it again now, be careful with what you ask for!  Yes, we needed the rain, but I think we got wayyyyy more than what we wanted.

Fast forward to December.  I was in complete shock getting phone calls, emails, tweets, and facebook comments saying winter was a dud and we wouldn't get any snow.  IT WAS ONLY DECEMBER!!!!!!!!!!  Again, be careful with what you ask for.

I love snow and cold weather as much as anyone else here and we all need to remember, the best of winter usually waits until January into the first of March.  Anything else is gravy as far as I'm concerned.

All the indications are there now for a very cold pattern to emerge starting next weekend into the following week and possibly beyond.  An enormous ridge will poke up into Alaska.  Whenever we see that, look out!  With the arctic oscillation (AO) going well negative, everything is lining up for a very cold period.  As I said on twitter, starting next weekend, January may be every bit as cold as December was mild.  

Now, what about snow or ice chances?  This Wednesday into Thursday, a weak system will bring a good chance for rain.  It COULD briefly start as a little light sleet over far western and northern Arkansas, but this will be no big deal.  99.9999999999999999% of this will be rain.  I really don't think amounts will be that heavy so the river situation should not be affected.

Fast forward to Saturday night and Sunday morning.  With arctic air oozing in, the GFS and the Euro both indicate a wave of moisture as low pressure develops along the boundary.  There may be enough cold air in place for light snow over western and northern Arkansas.  Again, at this time, the key word is "LIGHT".  I don't expect any big amounts, but it will be winter's way of saying, "hey, I'm back!"

More cold air will move into Arkansas next week and I would not be surprised to have highs in the 20s and 30s with single digit lows for some locations.

As Meteorologist Barry Brandt always says, "with arctic air in place, anything can happen."  Just the smallest disturbance can spark off precipitation.  So the fun and games for winter weather lovers are about to kick off!  I hope you make the Arkansas Weather Blog the place to go for your info.

The Euro valid the 10th at midnight (Sunday morning) indicates a wave of low pressure southeast of the state.  That's the black circle you see.  In the cold air behind it, you see I have outlined an area where light snow COULD fall... COULD.

The GFS is sort of similar with some moisture in the cold air, but it places the surface low in the Gulf of Mexico.  IMO, that's too far south and is a model error.  We'll see.


1 comment:

Jessica Smith said...

Ugh. I would be perfectly happy with the 70 degree winter that we've been having. I hate, hate, HATE the cold!!! ❄ #heatmizer