Monday, February 17, 2020

Winter Weather Possible Mid-Week

How awesome has the weather been today? After a nice taste of spring, reality will come crashing back by Tuesday evening. The entire state should be well cooled down due to a cold front that will move in later tonight into tomorrow evening. We should remain in a cooler pattern through Thursday as well. What about winter weather? Yes, it does appear possible this week. For now, this doesn't seem like a winter storm or anything catastrophic.

Per usual, there is some model data differences. This is common in our state and model data tends to struggle with handling moisture, cloud cover and temperatures. Regardless, the likelihood of someone seeing some form of winter precipitation seems plausible late Wednesday/Thursday AM. Let's look at a few model images: **NOT A FORECAST**

The EURO has a pretty good track record this winter in regards to winter weather. So for now, my money is on the European model. If this solution verified, we would likely experience a cold rain with a winter mix Thursday AM. Perhaps some snow showers across northern Arkansas.

Next, we have the snow lovers dream. The North American Model is pretty aggressive with a wide swath of winter weather by Thursday AM. This model is also spitting out some impressive snow totals by Thursday night. Please remember that these are models and not a forecast, the NAM is most certainly the outlier for now.

Lastly, we have the GFS. I'm not a huge fan of the GFS model, as it always tends to let me down. HOWEVER, it does have some winter weather mix Thursday AM. It seems to favor the NAM solution, but isn't as aggressive. Once again, I'm leaning with the EURO with an eye on the GFS.

I'm not a huge fan of a "highlight map" when it comes to winter weather, as it can become so unpredictable. However, I feel comfortable in saying the northern half of Arkansas will likely be favored this week, especially west central (River Valley) and northwest Arkansas.

This will be a fluid round of weather, so expect changes. Remember, snow is never a guarantee in our state. We can only do so much with the data we have at hand, so be patient. I know snow lovers are frustrated, but give it time. One small fluctuation can mean the world, we've all experienced the dreaded 33 degrees and cold rain.

Remember to follow me on Twitter and Facebook for more Arkansas weather related information. I'll include a link below.


-Zachary Hall (@wxzachary on Twitter)

Monday, February 3, 2020

Winter Storm Incoming!

It wouldn't be early February without a classic winter storm to chat about, would it? I know some of you are pretty excited, some maybe not. Regardless, some of you could likely experience a rather intense round of winter weather Tuesday through Thursday. There is a ton to unpack here, so lets dive into some detail. 

Some of you may be scratching your head tonight reading all of these headlines, as many of us across the southern U.S. have experienced well above average temperatures over the last couple of days. However, the cold air is looming and headed south as I type this blog. 

The cold air is currently across much of Kansas, Colorado, western Oklahoma and points north. This air is responsible for the expected winter storm. While it still may be warm now where you live, by Thursday morning most of our followers will be experiencing some VERY cold air. 

So some of you may be reading this blog and curious, am I in or out? This image above depicts the current counties under a winter storm watch. This is a great indicator for your situation. Please understand that even though you aren't under a winter storm watch, it does NOT mean you won't see winter weather this week.

Northwest and northern Arkansas is a great example of this. 

Likely the most intense round of winter weather will occur on Wednesday across regions of Oklahoma and Texas. This band of snow/ice will eventually progress northeast into Missouri/Kansas and beyond. 

We've highlighted the pink shaded region above. The blue region indicates our idea of the most favored region for an accumulating snow. The pink shaded region highlights the area with the best chances for an accumulating snow (over 3 inches). 

BEWARE, these bands can shift east or west. Sometimes this can lead to unexpected snow totals!

A few points to go over to finish the blog

  • Not everyone reading this will see winter weather this week. However, a large majority of you will find something. Lingering snow showers Wednesday night and Thursday AM may surprise a few of you.
  • Travel impacts are expected, especially in the pink shaded region above. Plan accordingly, as winter storm warnings will likely be issued. 
  • PLEASE REMEMBER, there are instances that can cut into snow totals. Heavy pockets of sleet or a lag in cold air could decrease snow totals.
Thanks for reading and if you have any questions, let us know! Remember to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Winter Weather? Snow Way!

Earlier this week I posted on social media that snowfall chances here at home (western Arkansas) didn't look so good for the near future. Mother nature must have heard my complaints, as it appears our next chance of winter weather is on tap tomorrow morning. This will be sort of odd, as it seems we normally experience a cold rain, then a switch to sleet and eventually snowfall. Tomorrow will be the opposite. 

A change from rainfall to a winter mix/snowfall should take place late tonight across regions of central Kansas. As this wave of moisture marches east, it will begin to transform as it interacts with subfreezing air. This should likely take hold as a persistent snowfall, as the mid levels of the atmosphere will support that. 

Simulated Radar (early Wednesday AM)
Snowfall/winter mix continues east 
By mid-morning, temperatures will slowly begin to climb across much of the region. This will cause snowfall to mix with sleet - eventually turning to a cold rain with surface temperatures still freezing (freezing rain). By the lunch hour, most of the frozen precipitation will have stopped across much of the south central U.S (aside from some high elevation regions).

There is always uncertainty when a winter weather event is approaching. Sleet mixing with snow will always reduce snowfall totals. How quick will the rainfall cut into the winter mix? Will temperatures really maintain the freezing mark? These can all have HUGE impacts on the forecast. 

As I'm typing this blog, I've already been made aware of some school closings across the local area. This is a tough call for schools, but I wouldn't be surprised if numerous rural districts close their doors tomorrow. It's very risky to run the morning school commute in conditions we could experience tomorrow morning. 

Thanks for reading, and remember to follow me and the Vortex Crew on Twitter. I'll link those accounts below as we update there often!


Winter Weather Possible Mid-Week

How awesome has the weather been today? After a nice taste of spring, reality will come crashing back by Tuesday evening. The entire state s...