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  • Writer's pictureTodd Yakoubian

Tracking A Winter Storm

It still looks like ice and snow will be an issue for portions of Arkansas. At this time, our confidence level is very high northern Arkansas will be affected. The further south, the confidence drops.

Models continue to contradict what has happened in the past. They are saying the subfreezing air stays over northern and western Arkansas. Past events similar to this, the cold air goes further south and ice/snow is an issue for eastern, central, and portions of southern Arkansas. Could the models be right? It's only Monday and I'm sure we are going to see more swings with the guidance. We do NOT want the freezing rain. That's absolutely terrible as it coats everything with a glaze of ice. I'd rather have 33 and rain!

For those that experience freezing rain with temperatures around 32 degrees, please keep this in mind. You might look outside and say, "it's just rain". Watch the trees! They may have a glaze in them. Where this sets up is very questionable right now. As of Monday morning, models show areas north of the metro with the greatest threat.

Let's go to model land now.

The first wave of moisture Tuesday and Wednesday is rain. Look at late Wednesday. There's a little lull with another batch of moisture coming in from the west. The place for concern at this point is northwest Arkansas.

Cold air builds south with a wintry mix north. It's too warm early Thursday morning, according to the Euro, for anything frozen except northern Arkansas. I caution you though. If this model is wrong by 7 degrees or more, it's a different story. That's one of my concerns.

Later Thursday afternoon, we see temperatures drop to near freezing over much of central Arkansas. If this is just 1 or more degrees too warm, we have freezing rain/sleet. With this 4 days away, it could easily go either direction. However, past events have usually trended colder. Does this seem later compared to previous model runs? YES! The system has slowed down a bit. That's yet one of many twists and turns to expect.

By 7PM Thursday, we have a wintry mix for much of central and northeastern Arkansas as this wave of moisture leaves. HOWEVER, what's that over Oklahoma? That's an area of snow! It COULD be a 3rd wave of moisture.

Late Thursday into early Friday, light snow could affect northern Arkansas as the cold air will be deep enough by that time.

That should say "Euro" by the way. It's further north with the placement of the ice compared to previous runs. The deep red areas is at least .25''. Not good.

Heavy amounts of snow likely from Oklahoma northeastward. This does graze northwest Arkansas.

Winter storm watches already in effect north and east. Northern Arkansas will likely be included soon.

Bottom line summary, the trend is warmer and slower. I'm not sold on the warmer solution. If the models are right, it's mostly northern Arkansas getting the ice and snow. The typical model error this far out is not understanding the strength and magnitude of the cold, arctic air. Data used for model input across Canada is lacking. We won't have a firm grasp until it enters the United States. Could the models be right? Yes. That's why I'm drinking Pepto this week. :)

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