Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Arctic Air Arrives Sooner

5:30PM Wednesday update...  I promised an update so here it is...

I don't want to overlook what is happening now.  We have a couple of very cold days (Thursday and Friday) as some arctic air settles into the state.  Several days ago, it was thought some moisture may meet up with that air, but the subfreezing air will retreat Friday, then the moisture moves into the region.

Will this weekend be wild?  Yes!  These fronts are actually quite typical and these mild to wild swings happen more often than you may think.  By the time you go to bed Friday night, temperatures will likely be in the 40s, then rise overnight into the 50s and 60s with strong southerly winds developing.

Showers will increase Saturday afternoon as a renewed push of arctic air plunges into the state from northwest to southeast.  When will it arrive in your location?  It's too early to pinpoint that, but at this time, I'm thinking mid to late afternoon for the metro.  There will be some instability ahead of the front and we can't rule out a severe storm or two across the SE 1/2 of the state.  This will be one of those fronts where the temperature contrast across the state will be HUGE.  Wind chill values will plummet and northwest Arkansas may go below zero (wind chill) by Sunday morning and an advisory may be issued for that.  

What about moisture?  Yes, this air means business and there will be LIGHT amounts of moisture in the cold air.  Many locations will likely have a brief period of sleet, then a change to light snow Saturday night into Sunday morning.  The most likely areas will be across western, northern, northeastern, and maybe central Arkansas.  Amounts will be around a dusting for most locations north of a line from Mena to Conway to Jonesboro.  There could even be up to 1'' for the mountains of northern Arkansas.  Any precipitation Sunday morning will quickly decrease as cold/dry air moves into Arkansas.

Could any of the above change?  ABSOLUTELY!  It's Wednesday and in the weather world, that's a ton of time for things to get even more interesting.  I'll keep you updated here, social media, and on Channel 7.


Break out the mayo and mustard because the models are playing ketchup.

This is a quick blog video illustrating my point made in previous blog points.  9 out of 10 times, arctic air arrives sooner than the models indicate.  The GFS is catching onto that idea as we get closer to the weekend.

I'll have another blog post later today.  I still expect the threat for some severe weather before the cold air arrives.

Maps courtesy of

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