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  • Writer's pictureTodd Yakoubian

Winter Returns

The 1st significant snow of the season will arrive Sunday, but mainly for those higher elevations of northern Arkansas. The mountains of west central Arkansas may see some snow too.

The bigger question is what happens in the lower elevations? This system will be colder with more moisture compared to the previous one. Snow levels will be lower and amounts greater. There are 2 model camps: The warmer models (GFS, Euro, RPM, and GRAF) and the colder models (NAM and HRRR).

The colder models bring a mix of rain, snow, and sleet to the lower elevations as far south as central Arkansas, but any accumulation appear highly unlikely at this time. This is the part of the forecast which is the most uncertain. I feel temperatures will be above freezing, the ground wet, and the ground too warm due to last week. Any snow mixed in would have a difficult time accumulating. I think there's a greater chance this is a cold rain for most. With that said, there could still be adjustments to the forecast, but I highly recommend not getting your hopes up.

Now onto the models and our forecast. Let's first start out with the models in the warm camp.

All of these models have a major underlying theme. Snow will be likely for the northern mountains. The blues indicate amounts of 2 inches or more. In some cases, much more. Also, the higher elevations of west central Arkansas could see a little snow, but not nearly as much as the north. Also, the models do a great job seeing the Arkansas River Valley and the warmer temperatures keeping accumulation away.

Now the cold camp models.

These tell us the areas just west and north of the metro could mix with wet snowflakes late Sunday. I have doubts about accumulation because the temperatures will be too warm, the ground wet, and ground temps too warm from those 70s last week. See the cold and warm camp agreement? The higher elevations of northern Arkansas should see snow and some of it significant.

Our forecast as of Saturday morning. Please understand this is by no means the final forecast and adjustments are likely.

In summary...

The surface winds will be out of the northeast with clouds Sunday and that's a historical indicator of colder air. However, the source region is not cold enough. There is no true arctic air to work with and this system must bring its own. The dynamics of this system will have to provide the air cold enough to support snow. That's why track and intensity will be crucial. The higher up you are, the greater your chance to tap into the colder air. The lower in elevation you are, the greater chance it's a cold rain or a mix. Road trip anyone?

As alway, THANKS FOR TRUSTING CHANNEL 7, THE TEAM WITH THE MOST EXPERIENCE. We'll keep you updated with any changes.