Thursday, February 23, 2012

Leap Year Day Model Madness


Friday morning update... The winter contest will come to an end next week.  Here are the latest numbers for contest #2

As of Friday February 24th.... 3280


Before I get into the model madness for next week, don't forget the winter weather contest is in its final stretch.  I talked to the "WeatherNinja" this morning and he says the contest is down to 4 people right now as he calculates some preliminary numbers.  Those contestants are Paula Cunningham, Amy Braswell, Joey Langston, and Ninja.  However, Ninja is NOT eligible to win so it's technically down to 3 people.  I'll keep you updated and good luck as we go into the final stretch of the contest.

We told you to hold on tight because we are going on a wild ride over the next week or so.  If you are familiar with Arkansas weather, you know this is very typical this time of year.  We can get major swings in the temperature from day to day as winter and spring fight it out.  We'll be near 80 Thursday, but struggle to get out of the 50s Friday.  Then another warm up will start as we await our next storm system next week.

Once again, there will be a major clash in air masses across the United States next week.  Determining where this sets up is the big question.  For several model runs, the GFS and Euro once indicated low level arctic air would find its way into Arkansas with the chance for some frozen precipitation as an area of low pressure tracked south of Arkansas.  I was very hesitant buying into this scenario!  Now, the data suggests the low could track north of the state.  This is a possibility that's worth more consideration.  This would keep the cold air locked up further north and place Arkansas in the warm sector opening the door to the possibility for thunderstorms.  While this could still go either way, I would place my bets on the low tracking further north.  Time will tell, but one thing looks likely, Leap Year Day will be quite unsettled for Arkansas and many locations across the central United States.

Check out the model maps below and see all the disagreement between the various runs.

This is the 00Z run of the GFS valid early next Wednesday morning.  The low pressure is located near Chicago, IL with a cold front extending from that low into Louisiana.  This solution would bring storm Tuesday into early Wednesday with cooler air moving in behind the front Wednesday afternoon.
The next run of the GFS made just 6 hours later shows the area of low pressure southeast of Arkansas over Mississippi!  That's a difference of 700 miles and would have HUGE implications as to what happens.  See why the models are fighting and this forecast is tough!!!  This shows cold air and a chilly rain over the state.  You have to keep an eye on any low level arctic air.  IF that gets involved, then you have to worry about something frozen.
This is the 00Z Euro valid late Wednesday.  This is showing the area of low pressure over western Ohio!  This means Arkansas would be in the warm sector with rain and storms possible.
And this is the Canadian valid early Wednesday morning on the 29th.  The area of low pressure is over northern Kansas with a trailing cold front through Oklahoma and Texas.  This would place Arkansas in the warm sector with the threat for rain and storms.

So you can see how much disagreement there is with all the data next week.  Most of the models are trending north with the system and the Storm Prediction Center has even mentioned our area of the country will be monitored for a severe weather threat.  I'll keep you updated!


jimmylee42 said...

Heard the guys on the "Buzz" this morning asking if and when we had a winter as mild for as long a time as this. I looked at the winter of 97-98. It was very similar and the only winter in the last 30 or so that had only two days with highs under 40. One of those happened in March. This winter we have had only two days so far with high below 40.

As far as the prospect today of a record high temperature. I looked back at the winter of 81-82 when this record was set for the daily high of Feb23rd. It was interesting to see that two days later we had highs in the 30's with snow on Feb 25th and 26th. Two day total was 7 inches with a record 5 inches on February 26. Rollercoaster effect was in full force then.

Michael Hook said...

Great info Jimmy Lee. I know we've had a several mild winters. I remember several years back looking up the fact that LR has never gone 3 straight years with no winter precipitation. At the time I looked it up we were finishing up year two and the next year we had snow. I'll have to see if I can recall when that was.

jimmylee42 said...

Ninja, thanks for the shout out on 103.7 THE BUZZ this morning. My wife and I were startled WIDE awake when we heard you refer to my post of yesterday. We know that when Melinda does her part our feet better hit the floor.

NOAA Winter Guidance