Monday, February 8, 2010

"Surprise" snow begins early, falls heavy

With each forecast over the past 24 hours, the possibility of accumulating snowfall has increased. Once it began falling over northeast AR and critical low-level surface temps were better analyzed, the NWS upgraded a Winter Weather Advisory to a Winter Storm Warning early this morning, which will continue until 4pm. The snow began around 3:30-4:00am in the city and has piled up quickly along the TN/MS state line since then, with most places blanketed by 1"+ as of 6:30am. The airport area, southern Germantown, Collierville, Olive Branch, and Southaven are already at 2-4"!

As for the rest of the day, it looks like snow will continue through mid-afternoon before transitioning to rain. Some sleet could mix in during the transition this afternoon. Snowfall rates could continue near 1"/hr. at times, with some heavier bands producing more. Thus, the predicted totals of 4-8"+ are well within reason. The rain late this afternoon and evening should help the traffic situations somewhat, but rain will transition back to light snow after midnight as temps drop back into the upper 20s, possibly making Tuesday morning's commute a tricky one. The toughest remaining part of this forecast is when exactly the rain changeover will take place. If it is delayed, look for snow totals to increase further.

As for the rest of the week, another storm system will move in Thursday night and Friday. Once again, the atmosphere will be cold enough to support snow, so this one will also bear watching.

Enjoy your snow day kids!

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