Monday, February 22, 2016

One Heck Of A Storm System

With a storm like this, it can throw curve balls (and snowballs).  While I still think the majority of the precipitation will fall in the form of rain, snow will be possible across the HIGHER ELEVATIONS OF NORTHERN AND WEST CENTRAL ARKANSAS.  Conditions aloft will be ideal for snow production, but surface temperatures should be above freezing.  What could go wrong with this forecast?   I always ask that when something like this comes along.  With a powerful area of low pressure like this, it can create enough lift and enough dynamics get involved to cool the atmosphere for big, wet snowflakes to reach the ground.  The most likely area for this to occur will be those higher elevations for western and northern Arkansas, but I'm watching elsewhere.  Otherwise, rain and wind will be the biggest issue for the majority of the state.  This is one heck of a storm system and there's a small chance for a strong to severe thunderstorm across southeastern Arkansas.  Late Tuesday into early Wednesday, winds may gust from 40-50 mph across the eastern half of the state and I expect wind advisories to be issued.  You might want to tie down the patio furniture!

You must keep this in mind, any snow that does accumulate north and west should QUICKLY melt due to the warm ground and a quick rebound in temperatures as soon as the precipitation exits Wednesday afternoon.

As of Monday morning, the blue areas have the best chances for snowfall.  The white areas may see a mix of rain and snow as soon as the upper dynamics swing into the area. 

Estimated wind gusts Tuesday night into Wednesday evening could be very strong

Again, most of us will see only rainfall with widespread 2-3'' possible.  Do not take each amount literally, but it's safe to say the recent dry conditions will be a thing of the past.

With a big storm system like this, a severe weather outbreak will be very possible southeast of Arkansas, but there's a small chance for a strong/severe storm over southeast Arkansas

The following maps are the GFS from Weatherbell.com.  This is late Tuesday afternoon with widespread rain across much of the state.  Winds are strong and out of the northeast.  Most of the temperatures should be above freezing by 6PM Tuesday, but should begin to fall over northwest AR around this time.

Between 6PM Tuesday and midnight Wednesday, the low pulls into Mississippi.  The counterclockwise flow around it into the low will create high winds out of the north and northwest.  The black lines are isobars.  They are tightly packed together indicating a strong pressure gradient.  High winds will be the result.  Notice the blue area showing up over the Ozarks.  That's the snow we're expecting up there.  I think this model could be under doing that area a bit.

Between midnight Wednesday and 6AM Wednesday, notice the area of snow (blue) over northern Arkansas with rain elsewhere.  I agree with this. However, what could go wrong with the forecast at this time?  Snow could be a bit more expansive than what the model is indicating, but right now, I agree with this scenario above.

Between 6AM Wednesday and noon, everything is moving way and if there is snow, it's already quickly melting.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hype or truth? Some are saying this storm is just a taste of what spring will be like across the country. Severe weather will dominate the headlines on this storm and the ones to follow. Severe weather will migrate further north during the spring. It will be a rough severe season for most. Let's hope they are wrong.

NOAA Winter Guidance