Accumulating snow and ice possible next week

Accumulating snow and ice possible next week
Two of the primary computer models weather forecasters use are showing similar accumulations of snow and ice.
Two of the primary computer models weather forecasters use are showing similar accumulations of snow and ice.

Another round of wintry precipitation is a possibility across the ArkLaTex early next week. Snow and/or ice could adversely affect travel conditions across the area Monday night into Tuesday.


Another blast of cold air will arrive sometime late Monday into early Tuesday morning.

It appears there will sufficient moisture and upper level energy arriving with the cold air to support some sort of wintry mix of precipitation Monday night into Tuesday morning. This could be sleet, freezing rain or snow, or some combination of all.

While it's still to early to talk about exact amounts, accumulation of snow and/or ice looks possible, and could cause significant impacts across the area.


We've been talking about the possibility for frozen precipitation sometime during the first half of next week for several days, but our confidence in it actually happening had been low until today.

Meteorologists use computer models that break down the math and physics that describe how the atmosphere and hence the weather will change over time. The two main models that meteorologists analyze to come up the with forecast for 4-10 days out are the European model and the American model.

When forecasting we look for consistency as well as consensus in the models to increase our confidence in the forecast. Consistency is when the computer models are forecasting the same outlook from update to update. When they're wishy washy, i.e. showing snow one update and then not the next, that lowers confidence in the outcome. We also like to see consensus among the different models, i.e. they are both showing the same thing.

Up until last night the European and American models had both shown consistency. The European had been very consistent showing a chance for frozen precipitation some time during the first half of next week. The American model on the other hand had been consistently showing no precipitation during the same time frame.

So what has changed? CONSENSUS! Starting Thursday night the American model began showing the same potential for snow and ice that the European had been showing for several days. And the American model has also now been consistent with that same forecast for several model runs.

Consistency and consensus has greatly increased our confidence in seeing a winter weather 'event' next week.

While this is looking like the best chance for accumulating snow and ice that we've see all winter, it is by no means a for sure thing. We'll continue to analyze the latest data as it comes in and adjust the forecast accordingly over the next few days.


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