Is winter over? The calendar says no, but the temperatures we’ve been experiencing say yes. Will we see any winter weather over the next few weeks, or will we continue our early start to spring?

In central and southern Arkansas it looks like we are seeing the latter. Many trees, shrubs, and bushes have already bloomed weeks ahead of schedule.

Just because the trees think it’s spring doesn’t mean we won’t see the return of snow and cold.

Technically winter isn’t over until March 20th, with meteorological winter ending a few weeks earlier on March 1st. There isn’t any winter weather in the forecast for the rest of February, so let’s take a look at how common snow is in March, April, and May.

Little Rock snowfall records go back to 1875. In those 148 years, Little Rock has only received snowfall of more than an inch during the months of March, April, and May 29 times. The most recent snow during meteorological spring was just last year. Little Rock got 3.3″ of wet snow on March 11th, 2022.

For the most part, last year’s spring snow was more aesthetic than impactful. Ground temperatures were above freezing so the snow didn’t accumulate on the roads.

All this data shows that the chance for snow in central Arkansas is very low, with the chance for impactful snow even lower. But Arkansas is a big state with different climates.

First off, spring snow is much more common in northwest Arkansas. Snowfall data goes back to 1950 in Fayetteville, and in those 73 years, Fayetteville recorded at least 1″ of snow 23 times. This means about 25% of the years Fayetteville will see snow during the spring. That’s compared to only 15% of years in Little Rock.

Looking at the extended forecast, one model is showing the potential for snow during the first week of March. The American forecast model (GFS) is showing the chance for snow in north Arkansas on Friday, March 3rd.

American forecast model shows a low chance for snow on Friday, March 11th.

This is just a single model run and NOT a forecast. The European forecast model is not showing a chance of snow that day. It’s not even showing rain.

European forecast model shows colder temperatures but no snow.

This forecast model uncertainty means the likelihood of snow on Friday, March 3rd is very low.

That’s the only chance I see within the next 10 days, and it’s hardly a chance. For every week that passes without snow, the likelyhood of snow decreases.

Forecasts more than a week in the future are pretty unreliable, but the Climate Prediction Center does issue long range forecasts. In their monthly temperature outlook, Arkansas temperatures in March are expected to be slightly warmer than normal.

This is not favorible for snow. Little Rocks average high/low in mid March is 62°/41°. With temperatures expected to be above that, snow is very unlikely.

In conclusion, our chance for snow in central Arkansas is very low with some snow possible in northern Arkansas. That doesn’t mean you should start planting sensitve plants. We will likely see a few more below freezing mornings before spring completely takes over.