A mix of rain, sleet and snow fell over parts of northern Arkansas on Monday, prompting some schools to either delay opening or close for the day, employees to work remotely and travelers to navigate slushy roads during their morning commute.
But the wintry weather caused no major road issues in the northwest portion of the state, said Dave Parker, a spokesman with the Arkansas Department of Transportation. In fact, he added, it was all clear just before 1 p.m.
East, central and south Arkansas were not affected.
Snow hit two areas in particular early Monday: the Ozark and Boston Mountains in northern Arkansas and the highest peaks of the Ouachita Mountains in west-central Arkansas, the National Weather Service said in one of its briefings issued during the day.
In Benton County, the wintry mix started around 4:40 a.m., and crews plowed snow from about 5:30 a.m. to 7 a.m., said Jay Frasier, Benton County administrator of public services. He said no accidents were reported to the county and that all county roads were in good shape by 10:30 a.m.
Northwest Arkansas’ three largest school districts — Springdale, Bentonville and Rogers — were all closed on Monday because of the weather. Springdale declared it a remote teaching and learning day. Siloam Springs was the only Benton County school district that was open Monday. The Eureka Springs School District in Carroll County delayed the start of classes by two hours.
Northwest Arkansas Community College, the state’s largest two-year school, decided to go with remote learning until noon. Afternoon and evening classes went on as scheduled. North Arkansas College in Harrison closed its campuses entirely and employees worked remotely.
Bentonville and Centerton city halls delayed opening until 10 a.m. Bella Vista city offices were closed entirely Monday, though business was conducted online, by phone and by email.
Tad Sours, Washington County’s communications director, said road conditions throughout Washington County were clear Monday morning. Communities in the southern parts of the county like West Fork and Winslow received more snow, but most precipitation ended around 9 a.m., he said.
Sours said the county’s biggest concern was refreezing that could occur Tuesday morning. Monday’s snow and rain made pretreating the roads almost impossible, as anything crews put down would wash away, he said.
Dylan Cooper, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in North Little Rock, described Monday’s weather in North Arkansas as “a low-end winter storm.”
Shortly after noon, the weather service had gotten reports of 3 to 4 inches of snow in several places.
“Some places are even closer to 5 inches,” he said.
Due to most areas having temperatures that are right at freezing or just above, the snow was melting after it fell, the forecaster said.
“The ground has warmed up some, and the snow is melting as soon as it touches the ground, but we’re seeing accumulation because the snow is falling at such a fast rate, at least faster than it is able to melt,” Cooper said Monday afternoon.
Temperatures are expected to reach into the 50s Tuesday and into the 60s on Wednesday in Northwest Arkansas, according to the weather service.