Extended Christmas Break?
Updated: Dec 31, 2018
7:15 PM Sunday Update... January 9th, 2011 has to be the easiest snow forecast of my entire career. I will absolutely NEVER forget that one! We even forecast to the minute when it would start snowing in Little Rock. It started right at 2PM and we ended up with almost exactly what we predicted in terms of amounts. ALL of the computer models were singing the same tune and it was amazing. Why am I bring this up 7 years later? I don't think it has ever happened since and it sure in the heck ain't happening now. It seems like more and more models are being developed, but the accuracy just isn't improving. That's perception. I have no research to back that up.
So where do we stand as of Sunday night with the system arriving Wednesday into Thursday? There are still many unknowns. As I have said, don't get your hopes up. It's interesting to see the GFS go from a flat and suppressed look to what the Euro has maintained over the past couple days. The early Sunday run of the Euro was much warmer with a dry slot across the state, then some wrap around light snow far north. The run-to-run consistency is nonexistent. UGH!
Here's what I can say at this time -
1. A cold rain is likely Wednesday. Models have temperatures in the mid and upper 30s. It could be close to freezing far northern Arkansas. The air aloft will be too warm to support snow. We'll need to watch that area of the state for anything icy.
2. The cold air aloft associated with the upper low arrives late Wednesday night into Thursday morning. This SHOULD cool the entire column of air and support snow. How much moisture and what track this takes is unknown, but northern Arkansas would be favored.
3. Temperatures in the metro will be marginal at the surface. IF there is a change over to snow, IF, that is something to consider. The city typically retains some heat.
4. Temperatures will rebound quickly Thursday. IF there is any wintry weather, IF, it would melt quickly with problems confined to a few hours at most.
Again, this is all subject the change depending on surface temperatures, track of the low, and intensity. We'll continue to follow it for you at Channel 7 and katv.com. I think we'll have a better grasp of the situation by Tuesday. Maybe I'll wake up Monday morning and be reminded of January 2011, but I doubt it.
Sunday morning update...
I might have to release a SCHOOL:CON index map if the guidance continues to trend towards a solution which is indeed wintry. It's Sunday as I write this and we're talking about something down the road on Wednesday/Thursday. It's completely within the forecast range where we can have some sort of confidence something will happen. However, nailing specifics is impossible at this time.
Here's one thing I can promise for snow lovers. Some will be happy and others not. That's Arkansas in the winter.
Over the past few days, the Euro has been the most aggressive with a potent, strong closed low bringing rain, then a wintry mix to the state. The GFS had more of an open and flatter low which would suppress much of the precip south of the state with a small chance for a wintry mix on the northern edge of the precip shield as colder air moved in.
Fast forward to today, ALL of the models seem to be trending towards the Euro solution and this includes the CMC. The NAM is only out to 84 hours. In that time frame, using it as a forecasting tool is dangerous except when looking for trends. At this time, it does look like it wants to trend towards the Euro solution. Let me be clear, the Euro is the snowiest of all the models and I'm NOT going that far at this time.
We typically get our biggest snows when cold air is already in place and that will not be the case this week. Nevertheless, wintry weather is still possible. How significant is the big question and exactly where. Stay with Channel 7 for the newest information and what will happen next.