NORTH LITTLE ROCK – The National Weather Service issued a warning today about a major winter weather storm expected to hit much of the south at the end of next week. The storm is expected to bring between 24-36 inches of snow across Arkansas before moving across Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia.
The potential storm was first noticed earlier this week in European Model (EURO) which showed possibly 10-12 inches of snow in Arkansas on Friday of next week. Local forecasters were quick to point out the inaccuracies of the long-range forecast.
The original reading of the forecast calls for 10-12″ of snow in AR next Friday. This is not a correct way to read the models. Yes, the EURO in a forecast it issued Thu AM was calling for 10-12″ of snow in AR next Friday. This however is just one guess,” Local meteorologist Greg Dee explained on his Facebook page. “More than 5 days out the models are very inconsistent and inaccurate. Check out what the same model, the EURO, forecast for next Friday later that day in its next update: 24-36″ What a change!”
Forecasters expect the storm to hit late afternoon and deliver some of the largest snow fall amounts in several years to the area. Afterward the storm should to move into Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia. This comes after those states were hit by a winter storm earlier this week that shut down most of the region and led to a number of unique natural occurrences.
The initial forecast of 10-12 inches of snow caused many people to ignore the upcoming winter weather as a small disturbance with little impact to Arkansas. The lower totals highlighted some of the issues with long-range forecasting.
“Meteorologists see this inconsistency in our models all the time. It’s a flaw in the models,” Dee explains. “The models have a “feedback loop” built into them that often causes little errors to grow into gigantic blunders the further you go into the future. You should take whatever the highest run shows and go with that. It is time to panic people.”
Meteorologists expect a smaller winter weather event to hit the state this Sunday, followed by the larger storm next week. The Arkansas Red Cross suggests Arkansas residents stock up on as much milk, bread, and eggs as possible beginning immediately. Residents of Atlanta, where the storm is expected to deliver 2.5 inches of snow, have already begun arming themselves with bows, arrows, and katanas.