Sunday, January 21, 2018

Meat's In The Freezer. Let's Go Skiing

Colorado, Colorado, Colorado!  That's all I hear from my ski friends here in Arkansas. One of the best kept secrets, until now, is just a 2 hour flight north in northwest Montana.  Deep powder, no lift lines, crowd free slopes, and incredibly friendly people make Whitefish, Montana awesome!

You may have heard me talk about living in Montana for 2 and a half years after college.  I wanted my first job to be where it snowed A LOT.  Of course, you can't help but think of Montana as a very snowy place.  I landed a gig in Missoula, which is just a couple hours south of Whitefish.  This southern boys wanted to play in the snow and I found it!  My first winter up there (1997-1998), we had 111 inches and that was in the valley.  The mountains had much, much more.  I skied all the local areas, but then discovered Whitefish and fell in love with the place immediately.

Have you ever heard of "snow ghosts"?  The trees are loaded with frost, snow, and ice in a cement like pyramid sticking out of the ground.  When you see one, you'll be in awe.  They are all over the top of the mountain and they're mesmerizing to look at.  There's nothing like skiing that mountain, then going to The Great Northern at night to relax, drink a Moose Drool, and listen to good music.  It's what I consider THE perfect day!

If you ever hear someone in Little Rock hit the lottery and I suddenly go missing, I think you'll know where you can find me.  Arkansas will always be home to me, but I will retire to the Flathead Valley one day. If you have been there, you know why.

More than a year ago, my wife and I decided to save up and plan a trip up there.  My first in 12 years.  It was a great time to introduce my two boys (8 and 6 years old) to the sport of downhill skiing.    They had 2, half day lessons and are now skiing quite well.  The instructors, staff, and everyone on the mountain were overwhelmingly nice and accommodating.

No, this isn't an ad for Whitefish.  I just want to share with you the place I call my home away from home.  It's a very special place for me.  If you ski or just want to see the great northern Rockies and Glacier National Park, you will not be disappointed.  You fly into a 3 gate airport, rent a car, and walk 20 yards to it with no hassle.

Here's a video I put together of our trip.

Monday, January 15, 2018

1st Widespread Snow Of The Winter

You have seen our forecasts throughout the past couple days evolve and I have a few thoughts and updates I want to share with you.

  • No matter how much snow you get, roads will be slick.  Whether it's 1'' or 3'', that does not matter.  In this situation, it only takes small amounts to cause issues.

  • Power outages should not be a factor.

  • I think it's very reasonable to increase the snowfall amounts for much of southern Arkansas and I think it's possible for amounts to exceed 4 or 5 inches, but not much more than that for most places.  

  • Central Arkansas will be on the northern fringe of the snowfall so I expect a significant gradient in snow amounts across the metro.   Again, it does not matter how much you get.  It takes very little for slick roads to develop.

  • The snow will stay on the ground for a couple days.  This means if your school closes Tuesday, there's a good chance it will close Wednesday too.  I don't make those decisions. 

  • Wind chill values will drop to -20° at times across northern Arkansas.  This is dangerously cold weather!  Wind chill values may drop well below zero across portions of central Arkansas too.  Remember: PEOPLE, PETS, AND PIPES.  Plants are already done.


Courtesy Pivotal weather.  The HRRR ,using the Kuchera algorithm, has amounts close to 5'' just south of the metro near Pine Bluff.  This is a model and not a forecast.  There should be a swath from SW to east central of 2-5''.  Look at the gradient across the metro.  Tough forecast.  Yes, those are lighter amounts north, but remember, it won't take much for slick roads so travel will be messy there too.
Our forecast as of 4PM Monday.  There's the swath of 2-4'' or more from Texarkana to Pine Bluff over to east central AR.  Again, I would not be surprised to see isolated higher amounts.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Snow Way?!

Please forgive me.  I have very limited access to wifi and no cell signal whatsoever where I am right now.  Due to this, I have looked at only limited data.

I expect a weak disturbance to bring areas of flurries and light snow Sunday, especially to northern Arkansas.  While this will NOT be a storm, a few slick roads can be expected.

The bigger issue is the front and moisture late Monday and Tuesday.  This has more impact due to everyone returning to work and school after a long holiday weekend.

Looking at the data, it does not scream big snow potential, but I do think flakes fly and there could very well be some accumulation.  At this time, I do not believe it will reach winter storm warning criteria, but probably a winter weather advisory.

The focus will be central and southern Arkansas!  It does not take much to close schools and I think there's a good chance some will cancel Tuesday based upon two things:  the data I have seen and my past experience on what it takes to close schools.

Stay with Channel 7 for the newest information and I will hopefully have more later.

Thanks for your understanding,