Tuesday, December 4, 2012

  -- Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta
         4 December 2012
The rains arrived earlier in the day than we had expected, and it looks like they’ll be with us through the evening and overnight tonight. In addition, the early arrival of today’s rains meant that afternoon temps stayed well-below our forecast range, with Metro Airport failing to reach 70° for the day.
As of 4PM, the cool front we’ve been following over the past couple of days is draped from central Arkansas through the ArkLaTex region and southwestward into east Texas -- and it is still on schedule to move into our viewing area early tomorrow. The problem is that once it arrives, it looks like it will slow to a near-crawl from the pre-dawn hours on Wednesday into the late afternoon.
There have been a few imbedded t-storms in the pre-frontal rain bands today, but there does not appear to be a real “severe weather” threat for the viewing area during the evening, overnight or even tomorrow morning. Although the front will slow as it passes through the area, the t-storm action will remain limited.
However, given the slow movement of the system, we could see some fairly significant rain totals for a few neighborhoods. Some preliminary radar estimates are already showing some 1” and even a couple of 2” bull’s eyes in the WAFB viewing area this afternoon, although the vast majority of WAFB neighborhoods are reporting a ½” or less thus far. But given that we could see rains continuing into the lunch hour on Wednesday for some communities, we can expect a flurry of 1” totals around the region from our area Weather Watchers by tomorrow afternoon.
Skies should start showing some clearing by late Wednesday, with dry days expected for Thursday and Friday. But be advised, even with the cool front working through, the air stays mild to warm, with patchy fog likely for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday mornings.
In fact, what we won’t see with our Wednesday front is a significant cool-down. Many WAFB watchers should expect daytime highs to remain in the 70°s for the entire work week, with upper 70°s on the forecast board for the weekend! We’ll put spotty to isolated rains in the weekend forecast as well, but the main weather story after Wednesday will be the unusually-warm weather persisting into next week.
In the extended outlook, the guidance is a bit mixed. For now, we’ll call for another front to arrive during the early part of next week, delivering another chance of rain.

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