Watching For Winter Weather

Michael HookArkansas WeatherLeave a Comment

It’s a rather gray morning across the state with patchy fog and drizzle seen especially in the eastern and central part of the state. Warmer air is moving over a cold ground, thus we get cloudy skies and the drizzle and fog. High temperatures will be warmer today with the 50s seen over most of the state with some low 60s possible in the west.
Skies will be cloudy tonight and it’ll be warmer with lows in the 50s. Rain chances will slowly increase and by Thursday rain chances will be in the 60-70% range. Highs will be warm (compared to the last couple of weeks) with the upper 50s and 60s across the state. An arctic cold front will move into the state as a storm system develops to the east of the state. This front will bring much colder air to the state.
While there remains a risk of some winter precipitation late Thursday and into Friday morning, the overall impacts look low at this time. Rain will be ongoing Thursday as a storm system and arctic cold front affects the state. The colder air will begin to move into this area Thursday afternoon or evening with a transition of the rain to a period of sleet and possibly freezing rain depending on how fast the cold air gets here. By late Thursday night, most of the precipitation will transition to a mixture of rain and sleet or to sleet and light snow as the colder air deepens.
This is not a normal set up when looking for a major winter weather event in Arkansas but there could some slick spots especially on bridges and overpasses late Thursday night and early Friday morning and enough to cause some travel issues. Most of the impacts with this system will be felt to the east and NE of the Little Rock Metro. Lows are forecast to drop into the upper 20s Friday morning so any remaining precipitation would be the frozen variety. Overall amounts of accumulation are forecast to be less than one inch at this time with some higher totals possible in the NE section of the state.

NAM snowfall map


GFS snowfall map

EURO snowfall map

NAM sleet map

This system is still in the development stage and any shifts in the track or strength could alter the forecast.
After a cold weekend, another shot of arctic air will move in to start next week at the same time another storm system coming out of the western U.S. may present another chance of winter weather for Arkansas. Models are once again not aligned with this system so we’ll have to watch it for any impacts to our area.
I’ll continue to update the forecast and the overall effects of the Thursday night/Friday system will be much clearer later this afternoon and early tomorrow in regards to precipitation type, amounts and timing.

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