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Going over the "Temperature Cliff"

Much colder air on the way for next week and even an outside shot at seeing a few snowflakes.

December has been off to a very mild start across Arkansas with the first week of the month averaging over 15 degrees above normal. This pattern is about to change from T-shirt weather to heavy coat weather as a strong cold front sweeps across the State Sunday ushering in the coldest air of the season so far, and our first taste of Winter like cold. The front will approach by late Sunday evening with showers and some isolated thunderstorms.

(Futurecast Model Forecast 9 PM Sunday Dec 9 2012)

After a warm weekend with highs in the 60s and 70s, temperatures will plunge into the 30s by Monday morning. Highs Monday and Tuesday will only reach the low to mid 40s.

(Little Rock Forecast High Temperatures)

Although most of the moisture associated with the cold front will move out of the State as the cold air moves in, an upper level disturbance is forecast to move through early Monday. One of the computer models indicate the disturbance will be strong enough to put out some snowfall for parts of the State.

 (18Z NAM Snow Depth valid 9 AM Monday December 10 2012)

The above graphic shows total snowfall through 9 AM Monday morning with minor accumulations across parts of Southern, Eastern and Central Arkansas. This model is somewhat of an outlier, as other models are not showing any snowfall in Arkansas at all.

(Futurecast Snowfall totals through 6PM Monday December 10 2012)

(RPM Model 72 hour total snowfall ending 3 PM Monday December 10th 2012)

I still would not be surprised to see a few flakes here and there on Monday, but at this point do not expect snow to accumulate for a couple of reasons. First of all, the ground is fairly warm from the recent stretch of well above normal temperatures, which will cause most snow to melt on contact. Second, air temperatures will remain above freezing on Monday morning, helping to immediately melt any snow that does manage to reach the ground. In addition, it is quite likely that there will not be enough moisture left in the air to squeeze out much in the way of any precipitation during the day Monday. Even though the chance of seeing any snow this week in Arkansas is very slim, the colder temperatures will at least make it feel a whole lot more like Winter.

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