The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for far North Arkansas until 6 PM, Monday. They are forecasting up to 1″ of snow in the majority of this area. In Boone, Marion, and Baxter counties they forecast over 1″. Our KARK-4 forecast may slightly differ.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A blast of arctic air surging south Monday following a cold front will not only produce rain but also the chance to see some wintry precipitation in the Natural State, too.
Starting in the morning hours, a strong cold front will enter the state from the northwest. Scattered rain showers are expected statewide throughout the morning hours. It’s not until the early afternoon that the arctic air following the front could overlap with moisture still in place, resulting in the transition from rain to sleet and/or snow.
That transition is most likely to occur in north Arkansas during the early to mid-afternoon hours where temperatures will be falling to freezing as precipitation from the front lingers behind.
Little accumulating snowfall is expected in North AR. There could be a dusting to light accumulations less than half an inch of snow locations of higher terrain across NWA. In NEA a spot or two might get up to 1″ briefly, but melting and evaporation due to a warm ground and strong winds should keep it from significantly impacting travel.
The forecast for central Arkansas becomes a bit more tricky as the time for rain to snow transition narrows. Rain will start to be moving out of central Arkansas by the time the freezing air arrives in the late afternoon to early evening hours. If anything, snow may fall briefly in the form of flurries, but there is no accumulation in the forecast.
South Arkansas will only experience a cold rain.
Forecast models have a better hold on the situation at play, but there are still many limiting factors that could reduce the transition of rain to snow in the Natural State early next week.
- After reaching high temperatures in the 70’s Sunday, ground temperatures will be too warm for much accumulating wintry precipitation. Yes, freezing air is going to come into the state Monday, but it will take longer for the ground temperatures to drop to freezing. For that reason, no accumulation is expected for central Arkansas. North Arkansas may have small accumulations of snowfall however because the freezing air will arrive earlier in the day Monday. Areas of black ice may also be a concern up north, but winds will be strong and help to evaporate moisture on roadways. Be cautious on bridges/overpasses anyways.
- With very cold air comes dry air. If it gets too cold/dry, that limits the potential for any precipitation to fall through the atmosphere.
For certain, it is going to get VERY cold throughout the day Monday through Wednesday morning. Temperatures throughout the day Monday will fall to the 40’s and 30’s in the afternoon, down to the mid-20’s and teens Tuesday morning. Tuesday afternoon highs are forecast to only reach the mid-30’s. Wednesday morning will be frigid again with lows in the mid-20’s and teens.
As if that’s not cold enough, the wind chill will make it feel even colder. North/northwesterly winds around 10-20 mph, gusting up to 30 mph Tuesday morning will make it feel more like the teens and single digits. In fact, it won’t feel any warmer than 32 degrees throughout the day Tuesday. Wednesday morning, winds will start to drop in speed, but it will still likely feel like the teens and single digits.
Prepare for the extreme cold by following these cold weather safety tips:
- Provide pets with warmth, bring them inside.
- Dress appropriately for cold weather – layer clothing, winter jackets, hats, gloves, warm shoes.
- Check your smoke/carbon dioxide detectors.
- Avoid cracking pipes by leaving water dripping from the faucet.
There is light at the end of the tunnel if you’re not a fan of the bitter cold headed our way early this week. Calm and cool conditions will persist throughout the end of the work week as temperatures return to the mid-50’s under a sunny sky. For the extended forecast, click here.