Monday, February 07, 2011

Snow-Plosion 2011???


9:20 PM Monday Update...  Both of the major short term models agree where the heaviest snow SHOULD fall, but disagree about how much.  Don't you just love forecasting?!  In one camp we have the GFS showing some good snow across far western Arkansas, but amounts decrease rapidly the further east you go into Little Rock.  In the other camp is the NAM, it's the most aggressive with amounts for most of the state with the highest again over western Arkansas.  So right now it's still a very tough forecast.  I think the middle of the road is the best approach until there's some agreement.  Below is the NAM snowfall through 6 PM Wednesday.  Remember, we will have an Arkansas Weather Live at 7 PM Tuesday and we may give away one or two blog t-shirts.  Hope to see you then.  Thanks for reading the Arkansas Weather Blog...Your Ticket To BIG Weather Events.

00Z NAM snowfall amounts through Wed. at 6 PM. Click to enlarge
12:30 PM Monday Update... Our exclusive Futurecast model  is taking the middle of the road approach between the NAM and the GFS.  Remember, ONLY a model you're looking at, but I do think this will be a big one for western AR especially.   Read below what all the other models are saying.  Thanks for reading the Arkansas Weather Blog... Your Ticket To BIG Weather Events.

12Z Futurecast... our exclusive model at Ch. 7

11:45 AM Monday Update... If the NAM is on "snow-roids" then the GFS took a chill pill.  You can see the differences are really showing up on the snow amounts for Wednesday, but there is some agreement that western Arkansas will be the target for the highest snow amounts, especially the higher elevations.  The GFS run this morning only shows around 4'' in central Arkansas while the NAM is much higher.  Hopefully there will be some agreement with these two models soon.  Usually it's best to take a compromise and a middle of the road approach.  Even 48 hours away from the onset, the forecast is still literally "up in the air."  Read the rest of the blog post below for more on this possible Arkansas snow Wednesday.

12Z GFS showing much lower snow amounts than the NAM
10:30 AM Monday Update... Let's just say it, the NAM is on "snow-roids".  It's showing huge amounts of snow, but the GFS isn't.  The new GFS which is coming out at the time I'm writing this is colder with a bit more moisture which will translate into higher amounts than what it has been showing.  Those numbers won't be out until late this morning.  The new GFS has a high Wednesday of 26 and a low Thursday AM of 11.  I completely agree with that aspect of the model.  Both models indicate winds speeds will be around 10-20 mph which would cause some blowing and drifting of the snow.  These winds are well under any criteria for a blizzard.  This is looking more and more like a classic snow for much of Arkansas.  Look at the NAM below.  Like I said, it's on snow-roids and is the most extreme model out there.  Read the morning post below for more information and check back with us here on the Arkansas Weather Blog... we are your ticket to BIG weather events.

Don't take this as a forecast.  This is one model showing an extreme scenario. 

The Monday morning system is winding down and amounts have ranged from around 1'' on grassy surfaces in Little Rock to as much as 5.5'' at Mountain View.  Quitman and Drasco both reported in with 3'' while Heber Springs reported almost 3'' as well.  According to Jimmylee42 in the comment section, we have not had 3 significant weather events within one week since January 1978.  It looks like with Wednesday's system, we'll do it for the first time in 33 years.

Even 48 hours from the onset of potential snow, I still have questions that need to be answered as the models are not clear on the forecast.  Let's look at how EVERY system has behaved this winter.  They outperform what the models say as they are stronger and wetter!  That must play a part in our forecasting.  Most of the models show a disturbing trend of fading precipitation amounts once east of central Arkansas.  However, the higher snowfall ratios COULD compensate for that and still bring healthy snows.  Basically, the colder the air, the more snow that can be produced even by smaller amounts of moisture.  At one point the Euro showed .6'' of water for Little Rock.  It's now down to .3''.  That would still produce a good snow.  The NAM is very aggressive with amounts while the GFS shows only a few inches.  Hopefully, once we get into Tuesday afternoon, the picture is clearer.

Here's what I'm thinking right now for PRELIMINARY amounts.  Southwest into west central Arkansas and even northwestern areas could easily see more than 6'' and I would not be surprised to see the higher elevations get 10'' or more.

Further east into central Arkansas, I would say 2-6'' will be possible.  I would favor the upper end of that scale due to the fact these systems outperform what the data shows.  This is only a preliminary look and is still subject to change.

If we get the snow and have clear skies and calm winds, the possibility is there Friday morning for temperatures to drop into the single digits in Little Rock for the first time in 15 years.

The massive warm up is still on starting next weekend.  While there is no severe weather in the forecast, we must start looking for that in the warm up.  La Nina's typically bring an early start to the severe weather season.  Let's not get too ahead of ourselves yet as we still have plenty of winter to go this week.

By the way, the winter contest numbers are going to be fun to watch as there are only a few people left in it!


Overnight run of the GFS showing high amounts for western AR.  Remember, this is taking into account two storms... today and Wednesday.

This is the overnight NAM which is by far the most aggressive with snowfall amounts.  This may come down to to a compromise between the two models.  This too is taking into account two storms... Monday and Wednesday.


Jason H said...

Well we tied our season high this morning with 2.75 inches of heavy/wet/pretty snow in Pocahontas. It brings my total for the year around 7 inches. I really dont see any reason why we shouldn't get at least 4-6 with the mid-week storm. Sure seems like the models are under-shooting here latly which could mean a HUGE snow from Mena-Little Rock! Mena would be my sweet spot if I chose one right now. 13-16 inches? Cant wait to see how this one plays out with the COLD air in place.

Anonymous said...

Sun. night/Mon. morning's snow was a strange one. I was awakened by a "no school" call around 5:20 am, but had a very light dusting at my house (not enough to even cover the leaves). Checked facebook and saw pics from just a few miles away where it snowed 3+ inches. CRAZY!

I'm tired of these piddly little dustings. I want a real SNOW! Bring on the Snow-roids! I hope the NAM verifies.

raishaw said...

Forget the Snowtorious B.I.G. This is starting to look like Snowpacalypse Now!

Snowbird Bob said...

Hello Everyone, I dont want to ruin anybodys am not buying the "NAM" At least not completely..Why you may ask, Yes, The NAM has been very consistent, But so has the GFS,Canadian,& Euro..I think alot of people including the NWS out you know where is buying into the NAM alot.. Maybe its just me on this one.. Here is where I stand, I'll take the middle of the road approach unless the other major models start trending with the NAM..As far as Snowfall totals..I like what I posted a few days ago..Little Rock area 4-6.. South & Western Ark 6-10..With a few spots recieving over a foot..I am starting to like the Camden,El Dorado,Texarkana,Crossett,Magnolia, Hope areas for possible 6-10 Also, This sytem looks to drag its feet a little once reaching the Wens night time frame, This is where I think someone could get smashed...One thing good for the Little Rock area is the snow-ratios will be pretty high for yall, So it want take as much liquid to produce the higher snowfall totals... I am sticking with the Sweet Spot of Hope,Ark for 8-10 Inches,, Ouachitas 10-15 Inches... We Shall See..

Aaron Leggett said...

Thanks Snowbirdbob! I live just north of Eldorado and was beginning to think that maybe we might get left out of this for the most part! You sir have given me hope!

Shack said...

SnowBirdBob = Antithesis of Hugh

I love it! Just read your last tweet, "Y'all are about to be buried!!"

C'mon on up Bob and join the party, I think Chad said he was buying! (Probably pillows and comforters, but nonetheless) ;)

Kroger on Chenal wasn't any busier than usual, but everyone in line was talking about the snow coming and the cashier was dreading the rest of the day, poor lady.

I hope everyone is getting ready, I did buy my snow shovel today and an inflatable snow tube for our 7 year old daughter.

If we get smacked good along with cold temperatures during and after, I will be ready for a permanent warm-up.

Tomorrow should have a lot of people in the chat and watching live.

See ya then!


snowfreak12 said...

I hope you all haven't forgotten feb 8 2010. All I remember is that the nam was coming in with insane snow totals. Not like now but they were still high. I just remember that the nam did well with that system and, to me, does better with high snowfall amounts than low. The GFS is always calm and cool. And is almost always around 3 to 4 inches when it comes to major storms. I think this is gunna b one storm to remember. For a good reason.

nlrweatherman said...

Should we pay attention to the GFS. Its forecasting what I was afraid of.

Anonymous said...

I have a couple of questions I hope someone can answer. Are the models (i.e. GFS/NAM)ever this wildly different 36 to 48 hours out or is this unusual? If this continues up to the event, what in the world will the forecast be? Also, Todd, tell Ninja that Arkansas Weather Live starts at 6:50 pm sharp! LOL....


Mitchell McDill said...

Arkansnow? The Snowy State? The Land of Snowportunity?

Anonymous said...

Snoly cow!It's Snowpocalypse!or Snowmaggedon!

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