Thursday, January 5, 2017

Increasing the Friday snow totals a bit...

Thought we had a pretty solid forecast going last night with a dusting to possibly an inch of snow on Friday. That was until the Thursday morning model data started coming in... It appears now like earlier snow totals were conservative. Multiple models, including the American GFS, European, 2 of 3 flavors of the North American, and now the first high resolution model to start seeing the event (the Rapid Refresh model), are all indicating higher totals than first anticipated.

I'll cut to the chase: the MWN Forecast, which you can find on our website or mobile app, has been updated to include snow totals of 1-2". A couple of these models actually indicate that 2-3" is possible in a narrow east-west band that will likely end up somewhere in the metro - between Tipton County, TN and Tate County, MS. There will likely be a tight gradient between the heaviest snow and very little - perhaps a county. Unfortunately, that small scale type feature is very hard to pinpoint until the event is in progress. So the safe bet, which yesterday would've been an outlier, is 1-2" on average for most of the metro area.

The GFS model from 12Z (6am) Thursday morning shows the east-west band of heavier snow across AR and into the metro. The exact position of this band (either as shown or perhaps a bit further north or south) will play a role in the exact snow totals. Those directly under that band have the POTENTIAL for up to 3" of snow.  The MWN Forecast has 1-2" average across the metro. (PivotalWx)
A few things to know:

A band of snow will move rapidly east across AR after midnight with snow starting in the metro between 3-5am. The steadiest snow is expected between sunrise and late morning with flurries or light snow continuing into the afternoon. Flurries should be done by early evening at the latest. Most accumulation would occur between 6am-noon.

The snow will not be wet enough to build a snowman. Darn! Actually, that is part of what contributes to higher amounts. A dry, fluffy snow accumulates more quickly as it doesn't get packed down, or settle, much. However, wind will be blowing at 10-15 mph from the north, so the snow will be blown around quite a bit as well.

Temperatures will be very cold, about 23-26° all day. Combined with the wind, it'll feel like 10-15° out. Not pleasant!

Given the new information, we don't really now how school systems and other organized institutions will handle the situation. My guess is we may not know until morning. As quickly as the forecast ramped up, it COULD go back down.

Stay tuned to our social media feeds for the latest information. We'll keep you updated throughout the event as well.

Happy Snow Day!

Erik Proseus
MWN Meteorologist

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1 comment:

Julia Baker Bell said...

I made my liquor store run yesterday in anticipation of a DUSTING. I'm good so send it on.