Friday, December 16, 2016

Warm, Wind, Cold, Storms, Snow, Lions, Tigers, and Bear

Oh my!  We'll shove 2 seasons into 1 day.  This isn't unusual for Arkansas this time of year, but it will be a shock as mother nature throws us "weather whiplash".

Typically, temperatures fall at night.  However, that will not be the case tonight into Saturday morning.  We could jump at least 10° from the time you go to bed to the time you wake up Saturday morning.  Also, the winds will be howling and I have a few maps below with the potential wind gusts from the overnight run of the North American Model (NAM).  I expect the arctic front will move into northwest Arkansas Saturday morning.  The initial surge of cold, shallow air will slow as it tries to seep through the Ozarks.  It's very typical for those mountains to slow down the progress of arctic air initially.  Ahead of it, temperatures could rise into the 70s and be within a few degrees of daily record highs!  Once it does push through, it will march rapidly southward.  The front will move through central Arkansas sometime between 3-6PM Saturday.  You will notice the winds changing direction and a rush of colder air.  Temperatures could fall 10-20° within an hour or two very easily.  As the front moves into southeastern Arkansas, there will be a low threat for some severe weather.  I'm not expecting any outbreak at this time.

Yes, the chance for light snow continues late Saturday evening into early Sunday morning.  If there are any accumulations, it will likely be confined to northwestern areas with a dusting to 1''.  Across the rest of the state, it would not be surprising to have a changeover to light sleet.  This will be brief as the cold air will get deep enough to change it over to light snow.  These areas of light snow will be scattered with little to no accumulation.  The chance for this will only be confined to a few short hours.

The BIGGER weather story will be the brutally cold wind chills early Sunday and again Monday morning.  This will be pipe busting weather so remember the 3 P's: pets, pipes, and people.  We'll slowly crawl out of the deep freeze later next week.

Now onto Christmas weekend.  There appears to be some system trying to move through.  How this affects Arkansas weather is still unknown due to it being in the long range.

Slight risk for severe weather Saturday afternoon and early evening.  The main threat will be high winds mainly across southeastern Arkansas.
Winds will howl tonight with gusts above 30mph in some locations.  I'm not sure I buy the model showing 40+ mph for some locations tonight, but this needs to be watched.
Sunday morning around 1AM, wind gusts will be close to 30mph with arctic air over the entire state at this time.  This will reduce wind chill factors significantly.
Wind gusts Sunday at 2PM will decrease, but any wind with arctic air in place will drop wind chills to brutal levels.
Only a model, but here are NAM forecast snow amounts late Saturday into Sunday morning.
The Euro is very similar
And the GFS looks very similar as well.
With good agreement with the models, it looks like NW Arkansas has the best chance for a dusting to 1''.  Other areas could still see a little light sleet to light snow, but little to no accumulation is expected.
The NAM forecast wind chills might be a little overdone Sunday morning, but it will be brutal and I expect wind chill advisories for NW Arkansas.
Even though the wind  will decrease Monday morning, temperatures will be so cold, the wind will drop wind chill readings down into the single digits to near 0 for many locations.

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