Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Wintry Weather and Near Record Lows

There are 3 guarantees in life: taxes, death, and severe weather the first week of April in Arkansas.  Now that we got the severe weather out of the way, let's talk about the potential for a cold rain, some wintry weather, and near record low temperatures this weekend.

While this is still considered a long range forecast, there is growing confidence a very chilly air mass will dive into the state.  Specifics will change, but here is what we know according to the guidance.

  • A strong cold front will cross the state from north to south Friday with rain
  • We'll have a cold rain Friday evening into early Saturday morning.
  • Some of the rain COULD change over to a wintry mix of sleet/snow across northern Arkansas
  • Near record low temperatures will be possible Saturday and Sunday morning.
As far as the wintry weather is concerned, I would not get too excited about it, but it is possible.  I remember the models went gangbusters over the chances a week ago for Easter Sunday and we know that didn't pan out, except for the far north.  For that reason, I'm hesitant.  At this time, I think any threat will stay across the north.  Could it get into central areas?  It's possible, but I have doubts at this time.

The spring game will be played at War Memorial Saturday afternoon.  I think most of the precip will be gone, BUT it will NOT feel like spring.  It will be cool with some wind blowing.

What about records?

As of Tuesday evening, here are the model forecast lows for Saturday and Sunday morning in Little Rock.  Also included are the record lows each morning.

Saturday AM (RECORD LOW 28° 1971)

GFS 36°
Euro 31°

Sunday AM  (RECORD LOW 28° 2007)

GFS 33°
Euro 33°

Again, this is in the long range and can change.  Also, daytime highs will only be in the 40s and 50s most likely.

The following maps are from WeatherBell.com using the 18Z Tuesday run of the GFS.

6 hour precip from 1PM Friday to 7PM Friday.  It's rain with cold air moving from north to south across the state.  See the black lines?  Those are isobars and they are packed together throughout Arkansas meaning there's a strong pressure gradient.  This means it will be quite windy behind the front.  Look at the sleet and snow north of the state! WOW!

From 1AM to 7AM Saturday, it's possible to see a wintry mix across northern Arkansas.  The European model is quite similar!

From 7AM to 1PM Saturday, maybe a few lingering AM showers.

Saturday afternoon looks dry and cool.
In summary, I'm confident we'll have well below average temperatures this weekend with rain Friday PM.  The wintry weather aspect is not so certain, but it's possible!  If we do have wintry weather, I would not expect much and if there is accumulation, it would melt rapidly. 

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