Wednesday’s Storm Track


The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch for most of the area including northwest Arkansas and the river valley. Snow and snow accumulations are likely, the question is how much snow will fall? The 00z (Sunday 6pm) and 06z (Monday Midnight) computer models didn’t help our confidence levels on possible totals. The GFS computer model has weakened the storm and shifted it farther south. The Canadian and the European computer models have taken a slight shift farther south while the NAM is keeping the storm on its original track while ramping up the precipitation totals.

Breakdown of the Models

Model #1 (GFS)

The GFS only had about 0.20 to 0.30″ of total precipitation which would lead to about 2-4″ through the area.

Model #2 (European)

The European had about 0.30 to 0.40″ of total precipitation which would lead to about 4-5″ through the area.

Model #3 (Canadian)

The Canadian had about 0.25 to 0.40″ of total precipitation which would lead to about 3-5″ through the area.

Model #4 (NAM)

The NAM was the big outlier with about 0.80 to 1.1″ of total precipitation which would lead to about 10-14″+ through the area.

Our Thoughts

The one thing that the models agree with is that the storm’s track will be critical to snow totals around the area. I think the NAM is overdoing things and it is the outlier at this time, however the GFS appears to weak with the wave moving into the area. Odds are the end result will be something in between the GFS and NAM. Given the latest data, I think most areas stand a very good chance at getting at least 3″ of snow, but it is very possible to get over 6″ as well. Here is a look of how the difference in the storm’s track will impact the area.

Given the more southern track the best potential for heavy snowfall will be across the river valley and Ouachitas versus northwest Arkansas. While everybody will likely see significant snow, areas in southeast Oklahoma and the river valley, especially for areas from Fort Smith to the west, have the best potential of seeing 6″ or more. We will have another update on the snow potential after the morning model data comes in and we have an opportunity to analyze it later today.

Ross Ellet

Follow us on twitter “4029weather”


86 Responses

  1. I’m gonna be so upset if this storm wusses out on us by the time it gets here.

    • Jeremy, we know you’re gonna be upset. All of us know.

      Be thankful you’re a young’un in this day and age. In my day, we had school rain or shine, twice on Sundays, uphill in the snow both ways home…eh, where’s my cane? Dagnabbit.

      • P.
        I love you take on this. My kids 4 out of 5 are very mad to see school in session today. They were under the impression if snow is on the ground and covering some streets and only limited bus service running that meant NO SCHOOL…I on the other hand am thankfull for a quiet house. . I will get a few errands done … then kick back and say let it snow …let it snow…. but this better be the last one. then bring on the spring weather…

  2. I’m trying to get to Lake Charles, LA for Thursday PM or Friday AM. Think XNA will be open and running Thursday for a 6:00AM flight? Or should I book a flight for Friday morning? Also, think South LA will get any frozen precip that may shut down their airport? Thank you for any info you can give me! I’m a religious follower of your blog! Y’all do a wonderful job!

    • Slatch,

      Wednesday and early Thursday may be a slow go but I would think things will be much better by late Thursday night.

      Ross Ellet

      • SO maybe i can hope for School on Friday???

  3. Blaaah…I’ve been trying to make it to my audiologist appointment now for the past 3 weeks. Old man winter keeps dumping snow and ice either in Ft/ Smith or Rogers…Any chance the roads will be drivable from Rogers to Ft Smith and back on Friday? Like will there be a “ton of snow” on Friday?
    Thanks in advance,
    Patti M

    • Patti,

      I am not sure what the road conditions will be like at that point and the snow totals are dependent on how the storm will track.

      Ross Ellet

      • I rather be deaf and safe than trying to get to my audiologist appointment and be in the hospital from the wreck.

      • Roger, I AM DEAF! I’m having issues with my cochlear implant! Hence why I want to get to my audiologist soooooo bad so I can get it fixed!!!
        It’s kind of frustrating watching the news on [closed caption] since whoever does it(typist for the [closed caption] translations) is soooooooooooo slow and inaccurate!!!!!
        If the roads are impassable I won’t be going though.

  4. the nam is right on i bet buddy thats what the nws things to 10-14+ its a very furious storm we will just have to wait and see but i dont see it being an exagerration the entire area seeing up to a foot very possible

  5. this time the nws went with the canadian and nam and saying 5-10 inches possible with some areas receiving what the nam says+

  6. sumwhere there will be a bullseye of 12-16 or more i think will set up somewhere in oklahoma

  7. NAM looks almost identical to the 6z so far 🙂

  8. Hi guys. My first time posting here, but I always use your blog to keep up to date. You guys have been doing a fantastic job during all this winter weather. I was just wondering if you had an idea of what the totals are looking like around the Bentonville area at this time.

    • Tim,

      It all depends on the storm track, I think at least 3″ will fall and maybe much more but we are waiting to see how the storm will track. We should know more late today.

      Ross Ellet

  9. Its Snowing In Siloam Springs.

    • fairly heavy and windy.

  10. I Think 40/29 created this storm to defeat Al Gore and global warming. These “storms” are a hoax put on by the national and local media. Nasa then turns on the snow maker. Its all controlled by George Sorros in his bid to destroy Gores theory. We are all just puppets in the play. I have intercepted information that tells me Al will be getting 27 inches at his home. Word is he is furious. He will not stand for this. build your snow bunkers now as the global warming war continues………..

    • This was a cleverly-woven fabrication, Mr. Smith. It took us a short while to see through your misdirections, since all of it is so thoroughly plausible. However, there’s one little detail that throws off your carefully-constructed web of deceit: Obama cut off NASA’s budget at the ankles, so they’re incapable of employing the technology needed to effect 40/29’s dastardly revenge plot.

      No, really. That’s the only unbelievable part. I can totally imagine Ross sitting in the control room, tapping his fingers against each other as he contemplates Mr. Gore’s misery.

  11. Snowing in Madison County, as well.

  12. Ross,

    As the models are updated, what are your thoughts on the impact for Wilburton, OK (time of arrival, accumulation)?


  13. patti, I can see the frustration. I am HOH and my wife is Deaf too. It’s not easy to watch something on tv when closed captions are not accurate. I sure wish the audiologist would allow clients to have a walk in because of the weather. At the same time, it’s better to be safe than sorry. I have missed my appointment because of the weather. I am going tomorrow to Muskogee for my audiologist appointment to get my new hearing aids.

    Pastor Sanchez Jr.
    Bethel Deaf Fellowship.

    • Congrats Pastor Sanchez!!! Be careful driving!!

  14. Hey guys…

    Is it me, or have we had colder and much more frozen precipitation over the last 3-4 years? What are the NWAR winters supposed to be on average? I love the snow, so no complaints here!

    Thanks again for your diligence with the blog!

    • Trent,

      This year and last have been above average with the winter precipitation.

      Drew Michaels

  15. Neither model budging as of 12z today. GFS maybe a tad bit juicier and east but not much. NAM still hammering us with a foot+ in Ft Smith/Greenwood.

    • The models still seem to be sticking to their guns with this storm. 18z NAM still has about an inch of precip over FSM. I noticed on the SREF, while the totals were lower (.5″ precip), it had the same track for the storm right through the river valley.

      There may be a chance the NAM pulls though after all. The weather models as a whole have stunk the last two weeks.

      5″ snow out of nowhere (not seeing the moisture in place when the trough went though), and yesterday we got .8″ of rain that was about double or triple the amount of precip the models had even 12 hrs before the event. Maybe the GFS is shortchanging this system also.

  16. Two questions – when do the newest models come out and do you expect the winter storm watch to expand south and eastward across the state?

    • Winter Storm Warning has been expanded but doesn’t include Little Rock counties. I would expect them to follow suit at some point.

      Drew Michaels

  17. Any word on the track of this storm…they are really pushing totals waaayy down for NE OK/NW AR…what’s going to be the track? Doesn’t the LOW need to track easterward along I20, and go into the arklatex area and up through southern and middle arkansas to give up the good snow amounts?

  18. I figuire the models have the big eye, go with the lower amounts and if we get more great. Thats my thinking n the RV

  19. Patti, I am an audiologist in Rogers. Unfortunately, I only deal with hearing aids and not cochlear implants. Who do you see in Fort Smith? If I can help you any way let me know!

    • I go to Sparks medical center. Dr. Marsh did the surgery. But my implant isn’t working. it’s just a lot of “whistling and ringing”. It gives me a headache after wearing the outer device for a few hours. I need to get a hearing aide for my left ear as medicare won’t pay for 2 cochlear implants. can you e mail me and tell me where you are located?
      Thanks Sam!!!
      Patti M

  20. Is the main difference in snowfall due to where the models are tracking the storm (farther to the south), or are there other differences as well. Do they all have similar moisture, just in different places?

    • The models are all over the map with precipitation totals. The NAM continues to be the highest by a mile. We’re looking to take a blend of the GFS and NAM.

      Drew Michaels

      • Drew,

        The placement of the highest qpf and the conoturing around it is in total contrast between the NAM and GFS therefore, would it be appropriate to mean the two outcomes since the data supports such a large gap? Would the SREF come into play since it is following the NAM? Looking upstream the dewpoint depressions in MO, IL and IA are less than 15 degrees so the marginal dry air intrusion from the NNE should not limit dendritic growth as the NWS may imply. Just wanting to know your thoughts. Thanks!

  21. I have noticed that the nws has really lowered our accumulation for NWA. Are you guys agreeing with them? I had heard it has really taking a dip to the South?

    • Highest totals will likely take place near I-40. Northwest Arkansas will likely be in the 3″ to 6″ range for totals.

      Drew Michaels

  22. Hey guys, Any idea about what time can we expect to see the ice/snow move in tomorrow around Rogers?

    You guys do a great job BTW!!

  23. Trying to decide if I should go ahead and leave town tomorrow afternoon. Do you guys think the U of A will be open on Wed? Is this storm coming in Tuesday night or not until later in the day on Wed.?

    Thank you!


    • Haley,

      The snow will likely develop between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. on Wednesday morning.

      Drew Michaels

  24. what about a little further East of Ft. Smith. Say the Clarksville area?? Are we getting nailed or will it skirt us by as a lot of these storms do?

  25. I noticed that the National Weather Service has already issued at Winter Storm Warning for the counties out west in Oklahoma. Do you guys think they will include the River Valley (Leflore county) in that warning soon? Thanks!

    • Nicole,

      They are included now.

      Drew Michaels

  26. Hey Drew, whats the latest update?

    • Jeremy,

      Still working on the forecast. That update will be out by 6 p.m.


  27. I found a website with NAM Model. . . . . Drew, can you tell me if this is the same model your viewing?

    • Jeremy,

      Yeah that’s it.

      Drew Michaels

  28. Hey,guys,what’s the latest?

  29. Hey guys,
    When do you think we could expect the next update based on this mornings models? Thanks for all you do!

    • We will have another update by 6 p.m. or so tonight. Thanks.

      Drew Michaels

  30. I spoke too soon so nevermind that question I posted earlier… Just saw where we are under the winter storm warning! Lol! Thanks 🙂

  31. it could be worse…it could be 110 in the shade, with no airconditioning available and a little puddle that use to be me.

    • TJ, none of that hot weather talk, buddy! LOL

  32. So the way the models are looking, does it look like NWA is out of the 5-10″ range?

    • Zach,

      Yes it looks more liek 2″ to 4″ at this point.

      Drew Michaels

      • Is it possible that can change?
        Thanks for your time Drew I know your a very busy man right about now.

  33. So at the moment does Fort Smith look like it will probably be experiencing some of the heaviest bands and are we in the 5-10 inch range?

    • Brandon,

      We will have an updated forecast coming up around 6 p.m. It looks like the River Valley will be in the highest totals range.

      Drew Michaels

  34. You are the best by far with your updates! Thanks, you do a great job, guys! Here’s hoping for another big snow for NW Ark and then winter can take a hike.

  35. If the forecast is off, beware of a flying frosty.

  36. Do you have any idea what is expected in southern portion of McDonald County – mostly around Pineville. From your weather maps, looks like nothing is predicted for here. Thanks

    • Karen,

      2″ to 4″ is forecast across your area with this event.

      Drew Michaels

  37. There is no way that you think this would take the first track expected and give NWA a 6+ snow total. NO im still not tired of all the snow. IF it’s gonna do it get it done and over with. lol….

  38. Also is there any chance this storm could speed up and get here before dark tuesday?

    • Heather,

      Most likely after midnight going into Wednesday morning.

      Drew Michaels

  39. A very tough forecast even 24-36 hours away..

    GFS .20-.30 QPF.. Has gotten drier over the past day. Ens Mean would say closer to .50
    NAM around 1 inch of QPF! Has been close to the same for awhile.
    EURO: around .45-.50 QPF.. also very consistant.

    I think ratios will be high. The OP GFS has been an outlier for the last day or so. The NAM has been stickin to gets guns.. But I’m not ready to believe it either. I think the EURO would be a decent choice.. then again its not known to be the best in this range. The GFS maybe underdoing the precip here I think, it kind of wants to sher the storm out and more it south.. I just dont totaly buy that. I think 2-4 is low for NWA.. and 3-6 would be very possible. And for the river valley.. 4+ is still very possible.

    To sum this up the OP GFS is worlds apart from other recent guidence and a blend of the NAM/ECMWF would be a good choice. Just my opinion.. not to say anyone else is right or wrong.

    • The HPC agrees with you when it comes to using a blend of the NAM and ECMWF.

      Drew Michaels

  40. Will there be an updated snowfall forecast map in the five oclock news?

  41. Hey Drew,

    I’ve been keeping up with the NWS all day. They have been flip flopping on and off all day. As of a few minutes ago they have most of the state 3-6″ and then up in our area and maybe in the Fayetteville area getting 6-12″ I was wondering which models the NWS looks at? Are they looking at more of the NAM?


    • Kristi,

      I think the NWS took a blend of the European and the NAM models. That’s pretty common to take a blend.

      Drew Michaels

  42. So the RV should b in line for a good snow even if the track moves a little north than it looks now ?

    • Yeah the River Valley is in a good position regardless.

      Drew Michaels

  43. What do you guys see for snow totals in Russellville? Are we going to get hammered?

    • Anne,

      4″ to 7″ across the River Valley is possible.

      Drew Michaels

  44. i was just wondering how much snow do you thank VanBuren will get

    • Van Buren looks to be in that range of 4″ to 7″ inches.

      Drew Michaels

  45. Do you have a timeline yet for the snow? I have to take my son to Childrens tomorrow for an appointment late afternoon, so I am wondering if the roads will be an issue going or coming home tomorrow night? Thanks for any info that you can give me, I need to know if I should change the appointment to next week.

    • I think you should be fine to travel there and back on Tuesday.

      Drew Michaels

  46. What do you think will happen in South Sebastian County. We live in Hartford, and it is so close to the bottom of the warning area that I’m not sure what to expect.

    • I think you are in that swath for 4″ to 7″ of snow. The NWS in Tulsa has you in the warned area.

      Drew Michaels

  47. I am tired of the snow, it is pretty but when the roads get dangerous it is scary. I am ready for Spring.

    • Faye,

      I’m with you sister!


  48. hey guys, i been watching the nwa and they keeping flip flopping the snowfall forecast. what is yall take on the snowfall forecast for combs area in southern madisob county?
    thanks, patrick

    • Patrick,

      I think you could be in that band of higher snowfall totals.

      Drew Michaels

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