Good Friday evening, everyone. This has been quite a week. From the one things that happened on Sunday that we won’t bring back up here to the gloomy weather, we somehow made it through the week. Mother Nature kept us cloudy and cold all week long. After we saw periods of freezing drizzle to start the week, our wave on Wednesday change things up to periods of random flurries for yesterday and Tuesday. We stayed in the winter chill once again with temperatures stayed in the teens for today and for the past 36 hours at Joplin Regional.
Our latest look at the weather setup at the surface shows high pressure still in control centered over the Northern Plains and the Upper Midwest. Any signs of warmer air is well into the Southeast and into the Southwest.
Upstairs at the jet stream level, the upper-low that broke free from the polar vortex in the Arctic Circle is keeping us downright cold as we watch an upper-low work across Arizona and coming out of the Pacific/Gulf of Alaska.
Ahead of the upper-low ready to work into the Pacific Northwest, we have already seen winter storm watches go out for our part of Kansas west of US 69 and for northwest Arkansas. Almost all of Oklahoma (including our corner of northeast Oklahoma) are under a winter storm warning for midnight Sunday morning until we head into next Monday evening at 6 PM.
Before that system gets going around here, we’ll stick with cloudy skies for tonight and some random snow flurries flying about. With a northeast breeze at 10-15 mph, we’ll have lows dropping back into the middle to upper single digits across much of the area. Wind chills will make it feel it’s between -10 and -5 as we start Saturday morning out.
With skies staying cloudy and some random snow flurries still around, don’t expect much of a warm up throughout our Saturday. All across the region, highs will only range between the lower and middle teens as the Joplin area should top out around 15 for the afternoon.
While there won’t be much disrupting things during the day, it’s Saturday night and heading into Sunday morning that our storm system starts to bring snow chances up and into the region. As that happens, we’ll see overnight lows drop back into the lower to middle single digits.
The snow coming in Saturday night and into Sunday morning is the first of 3 waves that this storm system will bring our way. This first wave kicks off as light to moderate snow for Sunday morning and early Sunday afternoon. Once we get into the middle of the afternoon, we should see the activity back down to some scattered light snow. Still, with the snow and cloudy skies, we’ll only see highs top out around 8 for the afternoon.
Heading into Sunday evening and early Monday morning, wave number 2 will bring in another good batch of light to moderate snowfall across much of the region. You see how we start temperatures late Sunday night in the lower to middle single digits. This second batch of snow will work to bring lows down to -7 across much of the area as we head into Monday morning.
Once we get into Monday morning after sunrise, we should see the second wave of this system wind down and work to the east. Wave number 3 wants to stay mainly south of the region. While that wave wants the moderate to heavy snow to stay in southern/central Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana, it will give us a glancing blow with additional snow during the afternoon. Once we get deep into Monday evening, this whole storm system should be done with us.
In terms of potential snow from this storm system, we’re looking at most of the region picking between 3 and 6 inches of snow from Sunday and Monday’s rounds of snow. The heaviest snow totals of 6 to 9 inches want to stay mainly to our south, but it may try to clip parts of Benton county and other parts of northwestern Arkansas. If that 3rd wave of snow for Monday afternoon pushes a little farther to the north, we may have to adjust these amounts. This is something we’ll still keep an eye on and adjust as needed over the next day or so.
Beyond this system, we’ll stay quiet for Tuesday but downright cold. With the Arctic air in place and the snowpack, we’ll have lows dropping down to at least -10 for Tuesday morning. Those are lows we haven’t seen in about a decade around here. If we have some of the cloud cover clear out by Monday night and Tuesday morning, we may drop colder than -10 to start the day out. For now, we’ll stick with mostly cloudy skies on Tuesday. We’ll start at around -10 and try to work back into the middle teens for the afternoon. Come Wednesday, we’ll have another wave wanting to work in and bring additional snow back into the region.
This wave will stick around through Thursday and keep us under the clouds with snow chances across parts of the region. While this wave is nowhere near as impressive as the Sunday/Monday storm system, this could bring minor snow amounts our way. Look at the setup below for Thursday, though. Once we get that wave out of here, we should see skies turn partly sunny for next Friday. That should be enough to get us back near 32 by Friday afternoon and back above freezing for next weekend.
If you’re curious as to how we look for the rest of February and much of March, Doug has you covered with his long-range forecast down below. Have a good night and a great Saturday!
Next Saturday: Temperatures finally getting back above freezing as we stay quiet under partly sunny skies.
February 21st-27th: We’re looking at cool temperatures for the first part of the week. We’ll turn briefly colder for Thursday before we turn cool for Friday and mild for Saturday. Rain chances will be around on Sunday before another system sneaks in by the middle of the week. That will give us slight snow chances Tuesday, slight rain and snow chances Wednesday and slight snow chances for Thursday.
February 28th-March 6th: Sunday looks mild before we turn cooler on Monday and cold for Tuesday and Wednesday. A brief mild spell for Thursday and Friday before we cool back down on Saturday. A system early in the week will have rain chances for Sunday and Monday. We’ll watch for slight rain and snow chances on Wednesday and slight rain chances on Friday.
March 7th-13th: A cool start to the week with some showers on Sunday and Monday. Warming up the second half of the week with rain on Thursday and Friday.
March 14th-20th: Rain or snow chances on Sunday. Cool on Sunday and Monday with mild temperatures the rest of the week. Rain chances back in on Wednesday.