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Chilly and Wet Next Few Days.

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It's official now. The calendar says we are into the Spring season and astronomically speaking that occurred at 6:02 this morning. However, the calendar and our weather do not always agree and that will certainly be the case for the coming week or longer as it looks like it will be awhile before we have anything like Spring weather around here. In fact, quite the opposite as a chilly, wet period more indicative of Winter will be the general rule through the weekend.

By the way, what a difference a year can make as at this time last year we were well on our way to setting the all-time record for the warmest March ever. This year will have a much cooler than normal month of March as we are below normal through today and the rest of the month will only add to that.

A very unsettled period will set in Thursday with chances of precipitation off and on right on through this coming Sunday. It is the precipitation type that has been a major concern for days now as the longer range guidance has been dancing all over the place regarding the temperature profile near the surface during this unsettled period. One set of guidance (the ECMWF) has strongly suggested significant wintry precipitation while another set has been much warmer (the GFS). They are starting to come to a better consensus now and the trend has been a bit of a compromise, but there remains enough uncertainty that our confidence is not as high as we would like it to be.

To begin with, cooler has moved into the state today as another cool surface high pressure ridge builds southward. A series of disturbances aloft will be moving across the state over the next several days bringing clouds and chances of precipitation right on through Sunday. This combination will lead to some very chilly, wet conditions but the trends now suggest just a cold rain for most of us. For you folks on up into KS, MO, and the higher terrain in NW Ark, there is still a remote possibility for a wintry mix by the time it is all said and done with.

After making it into the 50s today, daytime highs will generally be in the 40s starting Thursday and extending into next week. At least the clouds will hold our overnight lows above the freezing mark for the most part until possibly early next week after the precipitation has ended. By the way, the normal diurnal temperature range at this time of year is 64/41 for the high/low respectively which really puts the above numbers into perspective.

We certainly need the moisture and the QPF map on the right shows the potential for up to 1" or more by the time it is all said and done. Look for showers and possibly some thunder to be developing during the morning Thursday, should taper off some on Friday followed by another round for Saturday and ending on Sunday. Again, this looks to be primarily a cold rain although it may be cold enough for a wintry mix for you folks in KS, MO, and NW Ark, particularly Saturday night and Sunday morning.

After that, temperatures will remain well below normal until late in the following week. Also, it should be dry until late next week.

So, stay tuned and check back for updates as it could get rather interesting over the next few days.

Dick Faurot

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