Sunday, November 30, 2014

Winter Returns

I guess it's only appropriate the first day of meteorological winter (December 1) will bring wintry weather.  After near record highs Saturday and Sunday, we're heading into MUCH colder weather.  If you take the difference between the high Sunday and the wind chill temperature late Monday, the difference could be as much as 50 degrees.  I had to turn on my A/C this weekend and now the heater will get a work out again.

It's amazing how poor the models have been handling the mid to long range.  If you remember last week, I talked about this arctic boundary, but none of the models had it going this far south.  This just proves the point I always make this time of year.  Arctic air is always stronger and surges further south than the models project.  That air is heavy and dense.  It's like pouring a big glass of water on a slope.  It spreads out and there isn't much that will stop it.  The Ozarks impede its progress, but eventually, it finds its way around and engulfs everyone in the deep freeze.

This is a typical arctic air mass in that it's shallow.  The air just a few thousand feet above our heads will be well above freezing so snow will not be an issue.  It's ice.  Anything that falls should be light and confined to the northern 1/3 of the state Monday.   The remainder of us will have a chilly rain.  Since the ground is warm across northern Arkansas, accumulations should not be significant and only confined to exposed and elevated objects.  This DOES include bridges and overpasses so if you're traveling up there Monday, please keep that in mind.  Even though we are NOT expecting heavy amounts, it only takes a little to cause problems.

I really don't think this cold air will stick around as long as the arctic air mass earlier in November.  However, the models continue to show the cold air lingering around the central United States just north of the state.  While I do think temperatures will moderate  by the middle of the week, I have very little trust in the data right now.  Where will that boundary situate itself is not going to be easy to pin down.

Most of the maps below are courtesy of

Our high temperature in Little Rock will be set very early in the day.  The exact timing of the frontal passage through the metro should be between 5 and 8 AM.  Temperatures will fall all day long with strong northeasterly winds developing.  Wind chills should be in the 20s by afternoon with areas of light showers.
This is the GFS run from Sunday morning.  This is valid at 6AM Monday and shows light rain in the area.  Remember, this indicates the amount of precip over the previous 6 hours.  The red line is the freezing line at the surface.  It's cold enough at this point for light freezing rain and sleet over northwest Arkansas.
The cold air is getting firmly entrenched by noon Monday with light freezing rain and sleet across the northern 2 rows of counties.  It's a cold rain elsewhere with lots of wind!
By 6PM, the precipitation is decreasing, but there could be some light icing over northeastern Arkansas.
Total sleet amounts will be light and confined to areas near the Missouri border.
Total freezing rain amounts should generally be under a tenth of an inch.  Not much, but enough to cause a few problems.  There could be an area with slightly more than .1'' from north central into NE Arkansas.  Remember, I only expect a very light amount on exposed objects and elevated surfaces.  BE CAREFUL up there!!!!!!  I think there's a good chance a winter weather advisory will be issued for northern Arkansas Monday.


Anonymous said...

It appears El-Nino has arrived. The pineapple express is becoming active. What does all this mean for Arkansas? More Tornadoes?

Stephanie said...

I, for one am LOVING the cold air!! Here's to hoping for a dry and beautiful snow soon in LR!! :-)

Stephanie said...

I, for one, am LOVING the cold blast!! Here's to hoping for a dry and beautiful snowfall soon here in LR! :-)

NOAA Winter Guidance