The National Weather Service in Little Rock released the following statement on Tuesday afternoon, regarding winter conditions coming through Arkansas this weekend. According to this statement, there is a slight chance for Saline County to get some snow beginning on Friday:
Our confidence is increasing regarding the potential for a high impact winter storm that may affect the Arkansas/Missouri border. We are highly confident that significant snow and possibly some ice accumulations will occur, but where this occurs is a point of very low confidence at this time. There is a razor thin margin on the southern end of this storm system where everything will fall as rain compared to where significant wintry precipitation will occur. The placement of this line will likely vary in the days to come, and our confidence will increase in its placement as we get closer to the weekend. Here’s our current thinking and our most up to date forecast:
Widespread rain showers are expected to be in place across Arkansas on Friday as temperatures drop from the northeast to southwest. This may cause rain to change over to freezing rain, then to sleet and snow Friday night into Saturday morning. A wintry mix may continue through Sunday morning.
The greatest potential for wintry accumulations is across northern Arkansas. How far south accumulations occur is a point of great uncertainty at this time.
The most likely time frame for wintry accumulations is Friday evening through Sunday morning.
The overall winter weather accumulation threat will be heavily dependent on how fast the rain starts relative to how fast the cold air moves in from the northeast.
•If cold air moves in quicker, freezing rain (ice) and snow accumulations will rise.
•If cold air is slower to move into Arkansas, more precipitation will fall as rain, lowering wintry weather accumulations.
Overall confidence is increasing in an accumulating winter weather event across the northern third of Arkansas. There is a great deal of uncertainty regarding how far south accumulations of wintry weather will make it, because we know for sure that there will be a SHARP cut off from significant accumulations to hardly any at all.
Forecast briefings will be updated as we head into the weekend at least as frequently as each afternoon/evening. Additional briefings may be sent if significant forecast changes are made.
Dennis Cavanaugh, Warning Coordination Meteorologist, National Weather Service Little Rock.