Snow, sleet or just plain rain this weekend?

Snow, sleet or just plain rain this weekend?

(WMC) - Spring officially arrives in less than two weeks, but old man winter may have one or two last gasps. There is a lot of chatter on social media about the winter weather potential on Saturday. I have always followed a couple of self imposed rules regarding winter weather forecasts:

  1. Never post a single snow/sleet/ice graphic over 72 hours from the forecasted winter event.
  2. When discussing winter, remember the phrase “this forecast is subject to change.”
  3. Anyone showing forecast totals further than 48 hours have no clue and are flipping a coin.

So...we are less than 72 hours out. The track and temps will likely change some. And it's too early to tell how little or how much.

Now, here is a quick rundown of my first thoughts.

TIME FRAME: Saturday 11 AM - Sunday 2 AM

AREAS OF CONCERN: Northwest TN - Northeast AR - Southern MO

TYPE OF PRECIP: Sleet or rain/sleet/snow mix

AMOUNT: Million $ question! Check back!

CITIES IMPACTED: Dyersburg, Union City, Martin, Blytheville, Jonesboro, Caruthersville MO

BEST SHOT FOR SNOW: Southern KY...Bowling Green to Paducah

MAINLY COLD RAIN: From Forrest City to MEMPHIS to Jackson TN and points south into north MS. Basically, I-40 will be a good dividing line. It could briefly change to sleet later in the evening in these areas and maybe end as a few snowflakes, but no impact expected out this time. Right now, I'm buying into the 12 KM NAM scenario below. This is valid between noon and 3 PM Saturday. Green is rain, dark purple is sleet and blue is snow. Other models are showing more snow and less sleet all the way down to Memphis. I'm not ready to go there yet. I'll wait for more data and more consistency before I adjust that far south.

SATURDAY FORECAST SUMMARY: A low pressure system will track across the Mid-South. Precip will start as rain/sleet for areas along the TN/KY/MO border. Accumulating sleet is possible in the AREAS OF CONCERN mentioned above. It could also change to snow with some accumulation. It will start around noon and peak around 6 PM then taper off toward midnight from northwest to southeast. Temps will be above freezing most of Saturday but may drop to freezing or below by 7 PM in these areas and around midnight in Memphis as the precip exits.

This all depends on the track of the low and we are still early in the game, so the sleet/snow line could move further north or south as new data arrives. I wouldn't get too excited yet snow fans, but at least you have a "chance."  More updates to come.

Spencer Denton

WMC Action News 5  Meteorologist

First Alert Storm Tracking Team

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