Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Meteorological March Madness

12:20PM Wednesday Update... This video goes over timing and specifics using the highly regarded European model from

It's really not a question of "if" we'll have a winter storm, it's "when".  The freezing line will slowly drift from north to south today.  Sleet and snow will fall across the north this morning with rain elsewhere.  The rain should change to a mix of freezing rain and sleet across central sections around mid to late afternoon and southern Arkansas tonight. The sleet should change to snow after 9PM for most of central Arkansas.

The other factor we really need to talk about is the wind.  I think gusts could easily exceed 30 mph later today and tonight.  Most of the wintry weather will exit by sunrise Thursday and many kids will have yet another snow day.  What about Friday?  That all depends on what Mother Nature does to the roads Thursday afternoon.  I think there will be some melting, but will it be enough?  Temperatures Friday morning will drop into the teens and that will challenge record lows.  The record low is 19 degrees set in 1899.  That's a 116 year old record!!!!!!!!!! WOW! Any moisture on the roads will become ice once again so I think it's entirely possible some schools will be out Friday.  That's not my call though.

The following maps are courtesy of EuroWx and Weatherbell Analytics.

Also below is the SCHOOL:CON index for Thursday

By noon Wednesday, all the frozen precipitation is across northern Arkansas.  Green is rain, purple is freezing rain, pink is mix of freezing rain and sleet, and blue is snow.  It will take some time for the subfreezing air to get around the Ozarks and funnel into the rest of the state on a northeast wind.
The European model shows a quick transition to ice and snow further south by 6PM.  Notice how that area bulges into southeast Arkansas from the north.  That's due to the NE winds down the east side of the mountains across north central Arkansas.
By midnight, the precipitation types continue to change as the depth of the cold air builds.  We have freezing rain south, a mix just north of that, and snow for the northwest half of the state.
By 6AM, most of it has changed over to snow due to the arctic air building in strongly at all levels.
Between 6AM and Noon Thursday, the winter weather quickly moves away.
The HRRR run from early Wednesday shows this at 3PM.  Notice the area of frozen precip moving south from NE Arkansas.  That's due to the cold air funneling around the Ozarks and spilling south.
By 5PM, we are transitioning to wintry weather for much of the northern half of the state with the cold air deep enough across the far north for all snow.  Southern Arkansas, that transition will happen later tonight.
SCHOOL:CON Index made Wednesday morning for Thursday.


Anonymous said...

Terrible forecast for portions of southwest Arkansas. Freezing rain with a little sleet and no accumulations over .25 inch? Really? Let's see how that turns out Thursday morning. Bust.

jimmylee42 said...

Todd-It happened very close to what was predicted. Good Job! As a weather geek I was interested to see if we would get that measureable March snow. Here in St Charles we got over 5 inches total with almost 2 inches of that sleet. LR has now had two Marches in a row with measureable snow which hadn't happened since the late 1890's. Will see if more snow is in our future after the "false" spring next week.

Todd Yakoubian said...

Thanks Jimmylee. I'm researching that too.

NOAA Winter Guidance