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Garrett’s Blog: Very Active Pattern Continues

The extremely active pattern will continue for at least the next week with chances to see more sleet, snow, and thunderstorms. For Northwest Arkansas and the Ri...

The extremely active pattern will continue for at least the next week with chances to see more sleet, snow, and thunderstorms. For Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley none of the systems look as disruptive as the last few; however there are some trouble spots that bear watching.

To organize and make sense out of this messy forecast, I figured it would be best to start chronologically and look at each event one-at-a-time.

1) Wednesday: South Arkansas Winter Storm

The heaviest snow accumulations are going to stay in South Arkansas and N Louisiana with this next system. Our area is located on the NW side of the low pressure which is usually dominated by sinking air (from a process known as negative vorticity advection). This should result in mostly sunny skies in Northwest Arkansas. I am hesitant to thinking we'll see mostly sunny skies in Fort Smith; there should be some clouds on the northern periphery. Right now, I think Waldron and Mena will be overcast with a few snow flurries.

It should be noted that the earlier model runs placed snow farther north but as of Noon today, nearly all models are consistent with a farther south track. Probably a big snow for Texarkana. I still would not be surprised if the low wobbled a tad farther north and brought some snow to at least south Scott Co and South LeFlore Co.


Probabilities for 4" of snow or greater start around Hot Springs and will likely continue east into Pine Bluff. It doesn't look like NWA or Fort Smith will see much of anything. There's at least some small probabilities for snow in Waldron though.


This is the Noon model run from the North American Model. Notice the snow starts right around Mena.

Image 1

Futurecast is even farther south with the heaviest snow placed in South Central Arkansas and more towards the Delta.


This is the snow accumulation Map from the National Weather Service in Little Rock. Nearly all of the accumulating snow will stay south of us.

Image 6

The Winter Storm Warnings follow this trend and Winter Weather Advisories are in effect for Polk County; including Mena.

2) Thursday AM: Arctic Front Passage; Light Snow

Late Wednesday night into Thursday morning another arctic front will arrive. This will cause areas of light snow to develop. Moisture is limited and it appears that any accumulations would be minor; generally in the "less than 1" range"


This image shows the models forecast for some spotty snow across Arkansas (gray areas) around 9am on Thursday.

3) Friday PM: Weak Disturbance: Light Snow Accumulations

Image 7

On Friday afternoon and evening a disturbance in the middle of the atmosphere will move into an already frigid airmass. This will result in light snow (possibly measurable) sometime late Friday afternoon and evening. Right now, it looks like it would be in the "1" or so range." It could possibly be enough to affect travel. It won't be much though.


This is Friday evening at 7pm showing the potential for light snow to spread across the area.

4) Sunday-Monday: Heavy Rain Transitioning To Wintry Mix



Finally, there's this weekend system. Confidence is low and uncertainty is high regarding what this one will do. This image shows the potential for heavy rain on Sunday evening with highs in the 50s.

There is a potential for the rain to change to snow late Sunday night; but it's much too early to go into any kind of detail. Just plan on more active weather late weekend. We'll almost certainly see rain... but wintry weather is still up in the area.

Overall, it appears we'll continue to cram the entire 2014-2015 Winter Season into 2 or 3 weeks. After all, by the time this weekend rolls around: It'll be March.