Weather Center

Monday, January 31, 2011

Monster Storm






Thanks for a fun day on the blog and on twitter.  Stay warm. We have experienced more than a 50 degree swing from Saturday to today.  You gotta love Arkansas weather.


Catch my drift?  Huge snow drifts after a record snow in Tulsa.  This is from our sister station in Tulsa...

Snowbirdbob chased in Bentonville.  He has 8'' with a temperature of 12 degrees.  He said visibility dropped to about 100 yards.  Enjoy the pics. and THANKS BOB!

7:30 AM Tuesday Update...  It's here and absolutely fascinating to watch.  You don't get to experience a system so dynamic very many times in your life.  Already this morning we have had hail covering the ground in Fordyce while just a short drive to the west in Mena... THUNDERSNOW!  If you think it's wild now, it only gets crazier throughout the day.  The cold air will begin pouring into central Arkansas late this morning into the early afternoon.  At this time it still appears any frozen precipitation will be brief and light, but northern Arkansas will get smacked by this.  Our winds will howl out of the west and north as our temperatures TANK!

I'm still watching for the possibility of some light frozen precipitation late this week, especially for southern Arkansas.  Some models say no, while others say yes.  Not clear how that next system will evolve.  I'll keep you updated throughout the day here on the blog and on TWITTER!  check out the picture from Fordyce this morning below of hail covering the ground.
Fordyce hail shortly before 7AM Tuesday sent in by Stephanie Garner
There really is no other way of putting it.  This storm will be a monster for much of the central and eastern United States.  We have been tracking this here on the Arkansas Weather Blog for more than a week now and I'm just about to switch gears and talk about the potential for another storm, but I want to share more thoughts about this "Tuesday Trouble".

Most of the models are now showing a track of the surface low a little further south and east.  This will still place far western and northwestern Arkansas in a position for ice, then snow.  There will be a very sharp gradient in the snowfall amounts with more than a foot possible in the northwest corner to just a few inches about 30-50 miles southeast.  The Ozarks will be the target for a major winter storm.  Further south into central Arkansas, if the low does track a little further east and south, we will stay cold with rain only.  Any further northward adjustment will bring a severe thunderstorm threat into central Arkansas.  Right now, it appears the southeastern corner could have a few severe thunderstorms and the storm prediction center has that portion of the state under a slight risk.

The arctic air will begin to arrive in central Arkansas around 1 PM to 4 PM Tuesday afternoon.  At that time, temperatures will TANK and winds will become very, very strong reaching speeds of 20-30 mph sustained with higher gusts.  A strong punch of dry air will cut off the precipitation as this happens, but there could be a very brief period of LIGHT sleet and snow as it comes to an end.  While all this is happening, northern Arkansas will be getting some snow.

Now what about temperatures?  This is going to be a huge story as some of the coldest air so far this season moves into the state.  Look for lows across snow covered northern Arkansas Thursday and Friday morning around 0 or even below.  Highs will not get above freezing across much of the state Wednesday and Thursday.  As a matter of fact, it may take several days to get above freezing across the north with all the snow on the ground.  Any wind on those cold nights will send wind chill factors anywhere from -10 to -20 degrees up north.

Here's the 12Z GFS snowfall accumulation map for this first storm.

NW Arkansas gets smacked.  Notice much of the country gets snow from this ONE storm... MONSTER!
Snow totals from our exclusive "Futurecast"  More than 7'' in Fayetteville.  It's literally off the chart in NE Oklahoma and southwest Missouri.  The color palette ran out of colors. LOL
CMC model for Friday below.

Also, Snowbirdbob is snow chasing and on his way to northwest Arkansas where he will keep us updated right here with his twitter feed.  He came through Little Rock and we had lunch with him (WeatherNinja, Erich, his brother, Andria, and Blake.)  We even got a soundbite from him for the evening news on Channel 7.  You've heard of storm chasers, but what about snow chasers?  Snowbirdbob is one of them and we wish him all the luck finding that deep powdery snow!

12Z CMC for Friday afternoon showing light and moderate snow across the southern half of the state.  This is basically the only model showing this scenario.  I'll keep you updated.
Snowbirdbob in the LSU shirt.  We need to work on that Bob.


Shack said...

With seeing the blizzard warnings just accross the border, has a county in AR been under one? If so, does anyone remember when and which ones?

Sorry I had to miss the chat, had to be somewhere tonight.

Stay safe up there SBB (saw Ninja post it on Twitter today and sure is easier to type :)


Shack said...

Great update on the video blog, c'mon wrap around!

Where did everyone go?

Anonymous said...

I'm going to have to take a break! I feel like I'm watching my favorite team losing by 2 touchdowns with 3 minutes left in the game. Can we score twice in 3 minutes? Maybe. Is it likely? No. I think that sums up our chances of any winter precipitation in Central Arkansas. Here in Heber Springs we are too far north for the "southern" systems, too far south for the "northern' systems, too far east for the "western" systems, and too far "west" for the eastern systems! I'm not going to complain about the rain because we really need it, but it would be nice to get more than the "almost" 3 inches we've gotten a couple of times! Oh well, maybe next time. It is fasciniting to watch this system. Good job Todd! Good luck Snowbird Bob!


tboyce1979 said...

I'm here Shack!
So I'm hoping it just keeps snowing and snowing and snowing...and that it makes it's way here. I saw Snowbobs tweet last night that LR could see 1-2 inches...what are the odds of that really? And what do we see in the next few days. I've been telling everyone that we're supposed to have my daughters birthday Friday and we're going to Oaklawn and then head home to a Winter Wonderland themed party....I bet we get 5-6 inches just when I really don't need it!!
NWS now has snow chances in all the way From Thurs. thru Sun!! Can anyone elaborate on this?? And unfortunately up here at City Hall they have twitter blocked and I can't watch video (since I'm out in the open and all and I'd get in trouble) I need some blog updates Todd!! Here's to being jealous that everyone else always gets the big snow and we get left out in the cold!! (yes pun intended!)

Shack said...

Whew, I thought it was going to be the blog comments of "me". How boring that would be, lol.

Tammy, you need to get yourself a great DROID phone so you can follow Twitter on it (for you Chad :) )at work, I'm blocked too on work computer.

I still have faith we will get another decent snow this year!


tboyce1979 said...

This is going to be the Shack and Tammy show I think!

I get my iphone in May and I'm really excited about that. But a little to late for he season I guess.

So we just rec'd an update here at work from John Robinson and I'm guess besides the wind, nothing else major is going to be happening for the LR area? :( Boo! I can't help but think this is the storm to end all winter storms this season. Sorry Shack, I'm just not as positive as you...I am however, positively jealous!

Come on Todd! Talk to us who can't communicate through twitter!!

Anonymous said...

What in the world is going on with the NAM 84 hour snowfall totals? Snow showing up in south AR?

cb6000 said...

Great job on nailing the forecast, Todd. This was definitely some storm. Too bad this wasn't our storm for snow. This really could have been something, had the track/movement been different. I'm glad we got much-needed precipitation; I just wish it was snowfall. Glad it wasn't ice, though. As for the late week storm, we'll see. I'm not nearly as excited (I got the feeling it will be too light and move too far to the south). Supposedly, another storm will hit early next week. Until we get closer to next week, I can't get too excited. I mean, look what happened with this storm. Models went from snow (which was during the long-range) to just rain (3-4 days before it hit).

I'm still hoping for more snow, but I feel like most of us will probably not see anymore winter storms this season. Of course, I could be wrong.

J.Betnar said...

Well, North Central Ark gets dry slotted again... I hate it! I wish that low would've set up near Baton Rouge or Monroe, LA. We could've had the blizzard! Will Ark ever get another truly great snowstorm?

Anonymous said...

This is for cb6000. Ive lived here for ten years and i know that when we miss out on a majority of winter events. We sometimes get a good snow or ice before winter comes to a complete close. Was the winter weather a tease for mtn home? Why yes it was. Am i gonna give up hope? No cause we have had some of our best snow and ice storms in march. So im sure well get something big before winter is over. We still got a month and a half ahead of us here. :)

jimmylee42 said...

Accuweather is predicting 7 above for Dallas Thurs am. The all time record for Feb is 7 degrees. Not surprised if they get to 7, but it surprises me that thats the all time record for Feb according to the weather channel.

biminibutterfly said...

Hey boys! We need details about next weeks storm! Pretty Please! Again thanks for all yall do!

CumulusMaximus said...

That was one kick in gut storm when you consider how close we were to an awesome snowstorm. The only thing worse would be that of those in southern st. louis that were hyped with a foot or more of snow and got a good ole sleet storm. Our time is coming and it is sooner than you think. While next weeks storm will be similar, we wont begin the process with temps in the 70s and the trough should axis further east. That could mean good things for those that were so close this time.

I know its a select group, but im gonna try and represent us casual posters and get on the twitter circuit with the AR Weather Bloggers. They may not let me in the circle, but I think I can add value to the group and im sure i can hold my own in the meteorological department. maybe some day i can snow chase with snowbird bob and give that dude some proper attire prior to the next chase. dont think there was not some correlation between bayou bengal apparel and the largest dry slot in recent memory. he clearly brought that with him to north arkansas and with that a busted prediction for a major storm from dallas to little rock down to I20. that probably wont help me get in the cirlce, but its all in fun and im gonna give it a go.

todd, post after your wednesday blog post if you will. its late and i dont want to waste my 30 words a minute typing skill:-) im headed to Utah for some snow skiing this weekend and will need the twitter updates on model runs.