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12:50 PM Sunday Update... The morning run of the GFS and NAM are complete and they both agree central Arkansas could see 1-2'' of snow before a change over to ice, then rain. I think it will be on the lower end of this scale, but we'll have to watch this very, very carefully. Our model Futurecast insists we'll see around 3'' of snow. I'm still not buying that yet, but I'm considering it. At this point it looks like Little Rock will be on the edge of any accumulating snow. If you go just north or west of town, the ground will whiten up. This may end up being a situation where the metro area gets a dusting to 1'', but the hills in west Little Rock out into western Pulaski county can get up to 2''. If you live at a higher elevation, you stand a much, much better chance for accumulating snowfall. Remember, snow forecasting is difficult and we're doing our best to pinpoint all of this for you. This can still change and I'll keep you updated. The new version of Futurecast is below.
The picture is becoming very clear with the exception of one piece of data that MUST be watched. As I have maintained all along, this is not the ideal set up for a major winter storm across Arkansas. We have definitely seen bigger storms in the past compared to what will happen Monday. It's crucial for an east to northeast wind at the surface to supply us with a cold pump of air. Surface winds will be out of the south and southeast which will lead to warming temperatures during Monday. Also, a push of warm air aloft will spread over the state from the southwest. This will also change the snow over to ice, then rain. I don't want to downplay the fact that there will likely be slick spots on the roads, especially bridges and overpasses. As the warmer air comes in, the afternoon looks like conditions will improve. However, northern Arkansas will stay frozen longer! I continue to think the hardest hit areas will be north and west of Little Rock, especially the higher elevations. Little Rock COULD be on the edge of accumulating snow. This could wind up being a situation where downtown Little Rock maintains enough heat with little if any accumulation, but just go to west Little Rock or Sherwood and the ground whitens up a little. Most of the models agree snow amounts in central Arkansas will range from a dusting to 1.5''. Not much, but considering the mild winter, this will not doubt be a big deal for snow lovers! The heavier amounts will stay north and west. When all is said and done, the forecast will not be perfect. It never is when forecasting winter weather. For some places it will be right on and others not. Remember, by Tuesday, readings will go well into the 40s to near 50 and it will all be a distant memory.
Now, the one piece of data which bothers me a little is our own computer model "Futurecast". The past couple of runs have insisted on higher snowfall amounts for western and central Arkansas. This is an outlier right now, but if the Sunday morning run continues the trend, we will have to take a harder look at it. I'll show that below along with a bunch of weather maps.
Finally, I want to thank each and every one of you for coming to the Arkansas Weather Blog for your in depth and detailed information. This blog is a passion of mine and I love doing it. Thanks for reading it and coming back again and again.
I'll have more updates throughout the day, especially on social media!
|This is the Sunday AM run of Futurecast which continues to insist on around 3'' in Little Rock. Not buying it yet, but watching this carefully!|
|BY 6PM, you can see the lower portion of the atmosphere in central AR is above freezing. This is rain! The warm nose has done its job.|
|By Noon, the snow is across the north with a mix in central sections as the warm nose of air changes the precip. type. All rain across the south. (green)|
|The NAM shows some freezing rain for central and western Arkansas.|
|Total snow amounts from the NAM show minimal amounts for much of central AR. However the higher elevations of western and northern AR could see a few inches.|