Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Rain Tonight. What about Snow?

I think we are all a little uneasy about a forecast that calls for rain to end as snow after last Saturday. On Saturday, we expected MINOR accumulations (until Friday night and Saturday morning), but the colder air plunged in quickly and we saw a few inches of snow in parts of Region 8. I didn't really pick up on that trend until Saturday morning, just a few hours before it got crazy. A little later than I wanted.... but, I'm glad that we were a little above freezing or we would still have covered roads.

With that said, we once again find ourselves in  situation where the rain will end as snow. As you can imagine, I'm a little hesitant to say that there "will not be much accumulation", BUT I'm going to do it anyway. Tomorrow morning does not look like a huge problem. Here are my thoughts right now:

  • Most of the daytime hours will be dry and windy.
  • Rain increases tonight.
  • A squall line moves through between 2:00-4:00 AM.
  • Severe weather threat is very low, but the winds could get gusty.
  • 0.75-1.00" of RAINFALL expected.
  • Briefly ends as snow around mid morning.
So, let's dive into some data. All of the models show a wet night across Region 8. These maps show what radar could look like at 3AM and you can see the heavier squall line that could have some thunder overnight:

We don't need any more rainfall, but it's coming. Most data is showing 0.75-1.00" of rainfall. Here are the model runs in graph form:
This is what it looks like on a map:

Lastly, some of the data still shows the rain ending as snow, but ALL DATA shows little to no accumulation:

So, get ready for a soggy night and a wet drive to work and school on Wednesday morning. Don't panic if you see snowflakes.


Monday, December 31, 2018

Winter Weather This Week? I'm Not Too Worried.

I've had a few people asking about the chance of snow and ice this week, so let me clear up some things. First, it's not looking like a big deal. Yes, we have had the chance of "mix" in our forecast for a few days, but it's mainly going to be a cold rain in Region 8. Here are my bullet points this morning:

  • This will be mainly a cold rain event. 
  • No data is showing enough wintry weather to warrant any watches, warnings, or advisories for Region 8. Therefore, we do not have RED on the 7 Day Forecast beyond today.
  • Yes, we will see some snowflakes and freezing rain in parts of Region 8. I just don't expect huge problems.
  • Timing: Wednesday and Thursday.
  • NW Arkansas may get enough for travel impacts, but I'm not even sold on that.
  • If this changes, we will tell you.
Let's look at some maps to back up my thoughts. First, the Weather Prediction Center agrees with me:

Here's the probability of at least 0.10" of freezing rain from the WPC:

Here's the probability of 1"+ of snowfall. Yes, that shows a 10% chance or less in the Ozarks. Not too concerning at this time.:

Here's the probability of wintry weather for Thursday:

Now, let's look at the GFS and Euro weather models. Here's the output for snowfall:

And here's the output of freezing rain:

Here's the deal. I know there is a lot of social media chatter. We are watching it. We are not too worried. If we DO get worried, we will tell you. Otherwise, enjoy New Year's Eve!


Friday, December 07, 2018

Tricky Forecast!

This might be one of the trickiest forecasts. Many models are backing off on the winter storm, while a couple of models are still ALL IN on wintry weather impacts for tomorrow. Here are my thoughts as of this morning:

  • This storm is going to surprise us... I'm just not sure how... yet.
  • Overall, snow forecasts are being adjusted downward.
  • Overall, freezing rain forecast is not being adjusted yet. Swath of 0.25" still expected.
  • Reminder, freezing rain typically is not "too" bad for roads. Sleet and snow is worse.
  • Greatest threat for travel problems is in Independence, Sharp, Jackson, and Cleburne counties in Region 8. This does not mean we will not see slick spots in other locations.

To give you an idea of the wide range of data this morning. Here's the the snow output from two models:

Here's the range of freezing rain output:

I'm hoping the data comes more in line this afternoon. Stay tuned.


Thursday, December 06, 2018

Could We Get More ICE Than SNOW? Thursday Update.

The above map is my current thinking on accumulations, as of this afternoon (Thursday). This could easily change by tomorrow, so stay tuned.

I'm starting to believe that we may see less snow and more freezing rain (and cold rain). Here are my thoughts right now:

  • Rain starts Friday night into Saturday morning. 
  • Northern and western counties will quickly switch to sleet and freezing rain.
  • By Saturday night, everything west of Highway 49 should switch to snow.
  • If we don't switch to snow and stay as sleet and freezing rain, power issues increase and accumulations decrease. 
  • Counties closer to I40 will see mainly plain rain.
  • If I changed anything in the forecast tonight, it would be to increase the freezing rain numbers and lower the snow numbers. 
So, let's dig into some maps. First, the GFS has been rather consistent. Here's what it shows for freezing rain:
And then here is what is shows for snow on top of that:
Next is the NAM model, which was going a little bonkers, but now starting to get it's act together. First, what it shows for freezing rain:
And now what it shows for snow:
As I said, it is still a little high on amounts! 

Stay tuned. VIDEO update can be found on my Facebook page and on our Region 8 Weather App.


Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Saturday Snow, Sleet, Ice, or Rain! Wednesday Update.

I'm going to try to do an update on the potential for wintry weather each morning until Saturday, here on the blog. I'll also be updating the Region 8 weather app each day with the latest information and on Twitter. Here are my thoughts as of this morning:

  • Friday looks fine. Outside of a few pockets of showers or sleet, Friday is not concerning.
  • Saturday is the main day.
  • All modes of precipitation are possible: Rain, sleet, snow, and freezing rain.
  • Travel impacts are becoming likely for areas NW of Highway 67. Possible for areas SE of Highway 67. 
  • It's still too early to nail down accumulations with accuracy.
When we are 4 days out, it's typically the time to start focusing in on making alternative plans. I do think this storm will impact a large part of Region 8. I do think we will have some travel issues. A lot of the precipitation will be falling during the daytime hours on Saturday, so that may help the roads stay a little more clear. Time will tell.

Let's dive into some maps. First, let me show you the GFS model. This 4-panel shows how much of each precipitation type may fall. My biggest worry right now is that we get more freezing rain (ice glaze) than snow. Now, before anyone says it... NO, not 2009 bad. But, freezing rain is never good. It typically does not mess up the roads too bad, but can be bad for trees and power outages:

Since we are 4 days out, the Weather Prediction Center does not breakdown precipitation type in their probabilities yet, but they are indicating a good chance of wintry weather across Region 8 on Saturday. This map shows the probability of 0.25" liquid equivalent of winter precip on Saturday. This is... if you melted down whatever fell to liquid. For example... 0.25" is roughly 2-3" of snow:
If you breakdown what the GFS is saying for just snow, here is the model output. This matches up well with what we have been showing on air, too:
Now, let's talk about the oddball of the data. This morning, the NAM models comes in and goes bonkers for snow and ice for a large parts of the state. By 6PM on Saturday, look what it shows... with much more to come (look west):
In summary, something is going to happen on Saturday. We will have a much better grasp on the details tomorrow morning. 

Stay tuned!