Wintry mix possible for much of state
Posted: January 8, 2014 at 7:05 a.m.
Much of Arkansas could see a wintry mix of freezing rain, sleet and snow as a system moves in Wednesday night into Thursday morning, the National Weather Service said.
Jeff Hood, a meteorologist with the weather service in North Little Rock, said areas north of a line from roughly Mena to Pine Bluff will likely see some form of frozen precipitation as temperatures drop Wednesday night. Winter weather advisories for that area go into effect at 6 p.m. and continue through noon Thursday.
In Little Rock and surrounding areas, the system is expected to drop about a tenth of an inch of freezing rain.
That is enough to cause some problems, Hood said.
"It could," he said. "We've been dealing with very cold temperatures the past several days so the ground and obviously power lines and trees are all cool enough to support that ice accumulation when the sun goes down this evening and we cool off and get to freezing or below freezing."
Points farther north are expected to get heavier accumulations. Hood said a large swath of the state extending between Mena to nearly Fayetteville and then eastward to Clinton and Mountain Home will see ice totals up to a quarter-inch. The northern two rows of counties may get an inch of snow as well.
The morning commute could be slick Thursday, Hood warned, particularly on bridges and overpasses and possibly other surfaces, depending on how long it takes for temperatures to rise above freezing in the morning.
But widespread power failures aren't expected because previous storms this season have already taken out many weak or dead tree branches and because this system isn't packing high winds, Hood said.
The iciness shouldn't last too long. Temperatures are expected to surpass the freezing mark Thursday and warm into the 50s for much of the state by the weekend. Some spots in south Arkansas may even see 60.
"Light at the end of the tunnel by comparison to what we've been dealing with," Hood said. "Quite a big difference for this weekend."
Read tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.