LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- After record-breaking cold temperatures and record-breaking snow for Little Rock, we now have enough snow data from across the state to show the combined two-storm total and they are incredible.
STORM 1: Forecast vs. Actual
Before we get to the final numbers, let’s take a look at storm #1. By Friday, February 12th, we started putting out a forecast map of where we thought snow amounts would range.
Throughout the weekend, forecast guidance continued to want to trim back moisture. While we were concerned about this, we held on to higher numbers because patterns in history showed systems like this normally performing much better in arctic air environments.
On Sunday evening, we made one final adjustment to our forecast before the onset of more consistent snowfall was expected to pick up overnight and into Monday.
While we thought that much of the heavier snow would occur over the southeast half of the state, the highest band happened just along and north of I-30 and in north-central Arkansas. These convective snow bands (responsible for the narrow, high-snow amount ranges) are nearly impossible to forecast exactly where they will form until the event begins.
While no forecast will be perfect, this was not a bad forecast. The 8-10″ range rode right along the northeast edge of our 4-8″+ contour.
STORM #2: Snow forecast vs. Actual
Again, not one storm but two impacted the Natural State this week and just days apart from each other.
On Monday evening, about 36 hours out to the next event but just wrapping up the first, we put out our first forecast map for the second storm.
After collaboration with several Arkansas Storm Team members, we knew this would be another significant winter storm and possibly even more significant than the first. In our initial map, we focused on the highest range of 6-10″ across west-central through Little Rock towards northeast Arkansas.
On Tuesday afternoon, we were less than 12 hours out from the start of the event. New data showed a southward shift of where the highest totals would likely set up. We adjusted as we agreed with that thinking. There was some concern that our numbers might be a little conservative as there were hints of 10″+ amounts being possible.
By noon on Wednesday, we began to see where bands of intense snowfall would occur. We became concerned that a small corridor would exceed 10″ and adjust our map to 12-18″ for that area.
Above is the reported snowfall total map. You can see our forecast verified pretty well. Again, no forecast will be perfect. We can get close and in the weather-world this is pretty good when you are trying to forecast the complexity of the atmosphere.
COMBINED 2-STORM TOTAL:
After a historic week with two snowstorms impacting the state, the final numbers are incredible. Some parts of southern Arkansas, which received the highest totals, had not witnessed snow like this since January of 2000. That was 21 years ago!
The highest range spanned from Texarkana along and just east of I-30 up to Little Rock. Snow amounts ranged from 18-25″ from both systems!
Again, it was an incredible week for Arkansas weather! Let’s see what continues to unfold as we move along.