Monday, February 10, 2014

Snow Still In The Forecast

4PM Monday Update... This will be a quick update.  If you haven't read the in depth post below, I think you will find some good information.  The 18Z model runs are out now and I really have no changes.  I still expect a narrow band of snow to push through the state tonight from west central to central to east central Arkansas.  Also, some moisture may get drawn into southeastern areas for some sleet and snow accumulations. 

We can already see the wave of moisture coming out of Colorado and Kansas and it looks "healthy".  There's banding seen on the radar.  If this continues, those localized areas of higher amounts COULD be realized.  There should still be a 2nd wave Tuesday night into Wednesday morning for southeast Arkansas.   More on that later. 

This is the new 18Z Monday GFS showing a light streak of accumulating snow in that corridor I have been talking about.  This model shows generally 1'' or less.  HOWEVER, I think it's possible for more because of enhancement with some heavier bands that's already showing up on radar upstream.
This is 3:45 PM radar out of Dodge City, Kansas.  That's the area of snow which will make a run at Arkansas tonight.  I have circled areas where very narrow areas of heavier snow bands are setting up.  So while most amounts will be generally under 2'', the worry is there could be higher amounts where those small bands go over.  Again, that's IF that banding continues IF!!!!!!!

10 AM Monday Update... The latest runs of the NAM and GFS are in and both are still having problems.  However, they do indicate the chance for accumulating snow, but much less than thought just a couple days ago.  When it does show snow, the GFS has been consistent with a very narrow corridor from west central into central and east central Arkansas.  The NAM on the other hand is extremely inconsistent.  I was talking to Ryan Vaughan Sunday.  He's the chief Meteorologist at KAIT in Jonesboro.  We both talked about how poor the NAM has performed lately and he's not even really using it.  With all that said, PLEASE READ the morning post below for more specific information.  Here's the NAM and GFS morning run from

The morning run of the GFS continues to show a swath of light snow accumulations from west central to east central Arkansas.  This is indicating amounts 2'' or less.  Notice the system picks up its intensity as it moves east of Arkansas.
The NAM indicates snow, but it's mainly across southeast Arkansas and there's very little evidence of that narrow band the GFS has shown.  There's even a little as far north as Little Rock.  Still, there are many uncertainties and this is a low confidence forecast.  Stay tuned.  More later.  Please read below a more in depth post.

First of all, that wave of energy for Monday morning is here and producing some light snow and sleet across central and northern Arkansas as we discussed Sunday.  This should move through this morning and we'll get a break.  Then the more significant potential for winter weather will enter the forecast.

As I said on the air Sunday, this is one of the toughest snow forecasts in a long, long time.  Two runs of the GFS and NAM came back Sunday with less moisture for the situation Monday night into Tuesday morning.  As a matter of  fact, it came back with almost no moisture.  I cautioned on the air the winter storm watch could be adjusted and indeed it has.  A winter storm watch means there's the potential for a winter storm with accumulations greater than 3''.  A winter weather advisory means there's the potential for accumulations of 3'' or less.  

I also cautioned and said the data could come back with the moisture in future runs and that is exactly what happened this morning.  The NAM continues to be ho hum about this, but the GFS is back with it again.  In all honesty, the NAM has not been a good model this winter.  I usually make fun of the GFS when compared to the European model, but it has performed far better recently (GFS).

In a blog post a few days ago, it looked like this may come out in a couple pieces (energy).  One coming through the state tonight and the other one Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.  For the longest time, the 2nd piece Tuesday night looked like it would stay south of the state, but recent trends bring it further north into southern Arkansas.  This was my worry.

So where are we now?  The guidance has been all over the place from run to run.  Since the GFS has performed better this winter, I think it's wise to watch this even though it has disagreed with itself from run to run.  EXHAUSTING!

There still appears to be a piece of energy coming through tonight which will bring a chance for accumulating snow from Fort Smith to Little Rock to east central Arkansas.  It's a narrow corridor.  The features moisture levels appear to be less compared to the data last week.  With that said and all the model variability, let's keep an eye on this thing!  I think 1-3 inches would be a good forecast, but we will need to watch if any "banding occurs" which could enhance that in local areas.

Another piece of energy will fly out of the west and bring a mixed bag of precipitation Tuesday night into early Wednesday morning.  The target area for the best chance will be southern and southeast Arkansas.

The following maps of the GFS are from

Between midnight and 6AM Tuesday, it has the band of snow again and it shows enhancement from central Arkansas eastward.  Sleet would be possible (orange) over the SE.
This should rapidly come to an end Tuesday morning after 6AM as this wave moves away.
Tuesday night into Wednesday morning the next wave could push moisture into southern Arkansas in the form of sleet and freezing rain... maybe some snow.  The worry here is that the precipitation shield comes further north. Stay tuned.
The overnight run of the GFS really shows those two shortwaves coming through and what it could lay down.  See the accumulations of snow from NW through central into eastern AR?  That's the 1st wave Monday night/Tuesday morning. The GFS indicates amounts 2'' or less with more east of Little Rock and that could be 2-3'' or a little more.  Again, this is still subject to change.  Now look over southeast Arkansas.  That's the 2nd wave of moisture Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.  That's accumulations of sleet and snow with the final wave.
In Summary, I can't apologize enough if it appears I'm flip flopping the forecast here.  I love snow and wish we could have a little more (without the traffic nightmare).  But what's more important to me is GETTING IT RIGHT!!!!!!!  It was rattling seeing the data Sunday night basically showing little if any snowfall.   I  cautioned this forecast was by no means set in stone and further adjustments would be needed and indeed they have been.  Now, is what I told you in this blog post etched in stone? NO.  I wish I could say with 100% certainty that is the case.  Thanks everyone for coming to the Arkansas Weather Blog.  Let's get to that warmer weather by the end of the week.  WE ALL NEED A BREAK!


Anonymous said...

NO we do not need a break, north east Arkansas is missing out on seeing any snow very sorely!! I think I speak for everyone when we would like the warm up to go away ASAP!

Anonymous said...

Why is it, that in winter there's guaranteed to be warm ups but in summer, it's guaranteed to always be hot with no cool downs?

Anonymous said...

got an updated SCHOOL:CON index based on the most recent data??

Anonymous said...

Umm...the sun is shinging now, lol!

Anonymous said...

I keep waiting for the flop to flip back to more snow!

Anonymous said...

Looks like we're in for a depressing second half of the month. Time to hibernate until it cools off. Or maybe R.I.P. Winter 2013-14? And we didn't even get one good snow in.

Anonymous said...

I don;t know. Radar (as of 5:18 CST) around the Kansas/Oklahoma pan handle area is looking pretty well organized and more massive than models predict. If it holds up while traveling another few hundred miles, could be a socker for NWA down a southeastwardly direction for the state. I really think this is going to affect NWA as much as any other part of the state.

Anonymous said...

As I wrote in an e-mail, everyone I called starting Friday and including Sunday and Monday to pray for NO more ice, rain, sleet, and snow for Hot Springs Village area....Todd, you are a great weather man...just happened that God took over for the viewers.

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