I Don't Like What I See
We have to remember, it's still February and arctic air can easily get into Arkansas. It's becoming increasingly likely we'll have to deal with more cold air by the middle to end of next week.
Moisture? Yes, the storm track will be quite active with waves of precipitation moving through the region. While this is a similar situation to what happened a couple weeks ago, there are key differences. One of those will be a significant ridge of high pressure over the southeastern United States. This will bring resistance to the cold AND keep a warm layer aloft with a moist southwest flow aloft. At this time, it appears the cold, arctic air will be too shallow for any snow so we must watch for ice. If the layer of cold is too shallow, we're looking at freezing rain. If it's a little deeper, then we are looking at sleet. Just going off what the models are presenting today, I think both will be possible and mainly over northern Arkansas.
Could it be further south? Yes. It's just too early to know. The southeast ridge will play a big role in this. If it's not as strong or is further displaced from Arkansas, that's more troubling. However, it could be strong and centered more towards Arkansas which means a cold rain. It could go either way in my opinion. This is still in the long range and we will let you know how this unfolds.
The Euro ensemble has the ridge going up in Alaska dislodging the cold air. Look at the ridge of high pressure over the SE United States. The resistance between these 2 features will set up a battle zone over our area. The flow from the southwest will be warm and moist keeping the chance for snow down and ice up, but where exactly and how much is not known at this time.
Near surface temperature anomalies from Wednesday the 23rd through Sunday the 28th... COLD! Arctic air will dive south, but it meets resistance southeast due to the ridge
Precipitation anomalies for that same time period. The battle zone shows up well here from east Texas through Arkansas and up to the Middle Atlantic.
Bottom line summary... The cold is coming, but how far south will the subfreezing air make it with that southeast ridge in place. Rain will be likely to kick off next week, but by the middle to end of it, icing will be possible, especially north. Plenty of time to sort this out.
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