The period will begin with rainfall exiting the state on Monday afternoon. Some clearing could be underway Monday afternoon and into the overnight. This could last through part of Tuesday but by Tuesday evening I expect mostly cloudy conditions to return in wake of a dynamic system moving in during the Wednesday/Thursday time frame.
Speaking of that system, it is the most interesting piece of the near term. Many different things are in play with this system and we are monitoring it closely. The biggest key to the puzzle is the passage of a 500mb low. If it takes a more Southerly track then Central sections of the state could see wintry weather on Thursday. Most model data is currently pointing to it passing through Northwestern Arkansas or perhaps Northwest of the state entirely. This would keep most of the winter weather in Northwest Arkansas mainly due to the fact that a surface low close to Arkansas to our Southeast would cause surface temps to warm to much to support sustained winter weather across much of the state, excluding the Northwestern and Northern sections. Still thinking that Central sections of the state could see wintry weather, especially if the Upper Level Low tracks further South, which is still entirely in the realm of possibility. Also, even without the passage of the Upper Level Low through Central sections, temperatures overnight in Central Arkansas on Wednesday should cool enough to support some transition to wintry weather given moisture should still be sufficient due to the proximity of the surface low. The more data that is examined though leads to a more grim conclusion for snow lovers, even those in Northern Arkansas. Looks like we may have another long hard struggle with cold air vs warm air with this system. We are use to that here in the state though. Some question as to the speed of the Upper Level low is present. This thing may not depart the state until Friday. This could give the potential for another shot at wintry precip during the overnight on Thursday. This will need to be monitored.
For the first time in what seems like forever, the long-term section will be shorter than the near-term section. On Friday, perhaps earlier, and Upper Level Low will departing from our area. It’s exact position at the start of the extended is still very much in question and very important to the start of the extended forecast. For now, I expect temperatures to moderate on Friday, this will be hampered though if the Upper Level Low is indeed still close to the state on Friday afternoon. The stage is being set for a beautiful weekend where the Southeast sections of the state could see temperatures in the mid 60’s. I expect temperatures to be in the 50’s and 60’s statewide with dry conditions expected.
Looks like another cold front will pass through the state early next week. At this time, rainfall does not look excessive nor does their appear to be a significant chance of winter weather due to a lack of cold air being in place. Highs early next week after the cold front will cool back down so get out and enjoy a more temperate and dry weekend.
~ Forecaster Sidney