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  • Writer's pictureTodd Yakoubian

Late Week Problems. Arkansas Slushie?

We have a significant weather maker which could affect much of Arkansas mid to late week with a variety of weather.

I want to point something out before I get into the guts of this post. We have been pointing to this potential on Channel 7 since early last week. This is exactly why we have a 10 day forecast. All of you understand accuracy decreases in the very long range, but we wanted to be able to show you trends and potential well ahead of time. I think this system coming through illustrates that quite well.

Once again, this is all about track and how much cold air will be available. Doesn't it always come down to that? Also, this is a high impact forecast since it will happen around New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.

The models have consistently indicated a strong front moving through the state Wednesday with heavy rainfall and a few thunderstorms. Now, it's holding the front back a little as energy hangs to the west. That energy pulls out and develops a wave of low pressure along the front allowing rain to stick around longer and drawing the cold air in at the same time. The question is where does the low form and will the air be supportive of wintry weather. Forgive me if you've heard this before, but it will be northern and western Arkansas with the best chance, IMO. At this time, that makes sense, but could still change. The models were showing eastern Arkansas yesterday, but it keeps pulling the storm system back to the southwest. I fully expect changes and adjustments to the forecast.

The European ensembles have 50 members. This is where each individual member thinks the surface low will be located late Thursday December 31st. There's great agreement there will be a low in our area, but we must be able to find the right path to know exactly how it will impact you. If the low goes just east of Arkansas, that would enhance the probabilities for wintry weather. If it goes west, it opens up the chance for more heavy rain and thunderstorms.

The differences are glaring when looking at the operational runs of the Euro and GFS. THESE ARE NOT FORECASTS WHATSOEVER

The operational run of the Euro has the track favorable for wintry weather over northern and western Arkansas and especially Oklahoma. I promise you, the next run of the model will be different. As a matter of fact, the next several runs will be different.

It appears the GFS wants to track the low a bit to the east with the chance for wintry weather further into Arkansas. I promise you, this is not going to verify and neither will the Euro. These are pieces to a puzzle. It's guidance and NOT a forecast.

The Weather Prediction Center has a 10 to 30% chance for .25'' liquid equivalent of snow/sleet from Thursday morning into Friday morning in the green shaded area. This is sort of a broad brushed area given the uncertainty surrounding the storm system in the long range.

Bottom line, there's something to watch late this week. We will receive a cold rain, but will it transition into something else and exactly where? Those are completely unknown, but the chance is increasing in the region. None of the models above will verify exactly. They are telling us something. We'll keep you updated.

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