A big pattern change is on the way for later next week, that much is certain. The culprit will be a cold front along with a developing low pressure center that will move through the area on Wednesday. After this point, the forecast gets very complicated with all the details.
The Super Doppler Storm Team relies on several computer models to help with forecasting the weather several days out. At this point there are three computer models we are keeping our eye on, and they don’t agree at this point. Here is the latest data and the different possibilities that could take hold on Wednesday and Thursday.
Model #1 GFS:
The GFS keeps us dry at this point with temperatures in the mid to upper 40s on Wednesday and highs in the mid 40s on Thursday. It is forecasting the arctic air moving in very slowly and mostly to our northeast. It then develops a low pressure center and tracks it up the east coast. If this solution is correct we will most likely stay dry while the east coast braces for its first major Nor’ Easter of the year. One thing to note is that the GFS has a bias predicting winter storms tracking to far to the south about 7 times out of 10 looking 3 to 6 days out.
Model #2 European:
The European develops the low much further west and north, it also has more cold air on the backside of the storm system. If this solution is correct we could see a mix of rain and snow across the area with a very cold day on Thursday.
Model #3 Canadian:
The Canadian develops the low pressure further north and west, it also brings in the cold air very quickly on the storms northwest side. If this solution is correct it could provide rain late Tuesday night switching over to some snow in northwest Arkansas on Wednesday. The model is indicating approximately 0.60″ of precipitation near the Arkansas/Missouri border. However, the model is even more bold on Thursday with the arctic blast.
If the model is correct it could keep some areas of the viewing at or below freezing for the entire day on Thursday with morning lows possibly in the upper teens.
At this time it appears that the most likely scenario would be something in the middle and close to the European computer model’s output with temperatures dropping through the day on Wednesday with rain mixing with some snow in northwest Arkansas and rain for the river valley. Thursday will likely be cold with highs in the upper 30s to mid 40s. However, as you can see above there is still quite a bit of uncertainty in exactly how much cold air arrives mid to late week and how much if any rain and snow falls.