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  • Writer's pictureTodd Yakoubian

Winter Storm Warning


Several counties have been placed under a winter storm warning this Friday afternoon. This goes into effect Saturday. The forecast still appears on track with little changes. You're probably wondering, why the warning now? Confidence is increasing there will be a small area across the warned area with 2-4'' with isolated higher amounts. It's important to note, if you live in a pink shaded area, that does NOT mean you will receive 4'' of snow or more. While 2-4'' could fall in the circled area, 1-3'' will be more common across northern Arkansa

As for central Arkansas, a cold rain is still expected to increase tonight and Saturday. A possible change to sleet, freezing rain, and snow is still possible Saturday evening. We're not expecting much if any accumulation, but it doesn't take much to cause issues on the roads. Two factors going against accumulations in the metro are: temperatures mostly above freezing and a wet ground. However, if we do manage to drop to 32 or colder (it won't take much), some minor amounts will be possible and a few roads could get slick for awhile.

As always the case in Arkansas, northeasterly winds funneling cold air down the east side of the Ozarks into central Arkansas can be underestimated by a couple degrees and that can make all the difference. We continue to monitor, but at this point, most of the precip will be a cold rain for central Arkansas.



When the National Weather Service issues a winter storm watch, they have the option to convert that to a warning (higher winter weather amounts) or convert it to an advisory (lower amounts). As we get closer to the event, it becomes more clearer and that's why we say things always change.

At this time, the watch was changed over to an advisory because the system looks to be moving a bit further south with the highest amounts of moisture across southern Arkansas and the coldest air north. It's not completely coming together.

Even at this late hour, there can still be shifts and we'll continue to monitor. If you're a snow lover, the North American Model (NAM) continues to crank out impressive totals and is an outlier at this point. That's why we continue to say we need to monitor.

What hasn't changed is the fact a cold rain will fall across central and southern Arkansas through Saturday evening. At that time, there might be a transition to a light winter weather briefly across central Arkansas, but the majority of the precip will be rain. Northern Arkansas will have rain change to sleet/freezing rain. Then it should turn to wet snowflakes Saturday afternoon. Freezing rain amounts should be less than .25'' and that's the critical threshold for a warning.

The greatest chance for 2'' or more will be the higher elevations of northwest and north central Arkansas. It becomes unlikely further south.

There's a good chance for at least .1'' of freezing rain in a narrow corridor across northern Arkansas. It becomes unlikely further north and south of the light blue area.

Freezing rain, then snow of 1-3'' possible north. Many will look at that and say, "we're getting 3''. Remember, that's a range. It can be as low as 1'' and as high as 3''. Some of the higher elevations might eek out a bit more. Expect mostly a cold rain in the purple and green area. In the purple area, IF we get a transition late Saturday, it should not be much. We continue to monitor that for any changes.

The highest amount of moisture is across southern Arkansas with 2-4'' possible.

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