FRIDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE
After a beautifully sunny Friday, clouds and rain return over the weekend of January 29 & 30, but temperatures will be mild with no real chance of wintry weather.
When a strong cold front moves through Arkansas Sunday afternoon/evening, there might be a few showers containing a little sleet in North Arkansas. Temperatures then will be above freezing, so there are no worries with this.
With cold air in place at the surface next week and an active jet stream from the southwest and the return of moisture, there will be three windows of opportunity for wintry weather.
The first will come Monday night and Tuesday morning in Central Arkansas and North Arkansas when there will be a chance of light freezing rain. A cold rain will present over southern Arkansas.
Then, Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning there will be another chance of light freezing rain in North Arkansas. This precipitation may be lighter than what is possible in Monday night and Tuesday morning’s wave. More cold rain is likely across the southern half of the state with this next wave of precipitation.
Then late in the week an upper low will join in on the action and create a more complex system Thursday. This next wave will bring rain to South Arkansas and the chance of freezing rain and sleet late Thursday.
Central Arkansas may see freezing rain and sleet and change to snow late. And North Arkansas may start with a snow and sleet mix but transition to all snow late. Yes, very complex, and still several days out. Stick with the Arkansas Storm Team for continued updates on next week’s precipitation chances.
It will be complicated week with multiple storms and many moving parts. Be ready for slippery/icy travel conditions all week.
Arctic air from Canada starts moving in to the Mid-South Monday, January 30. How much cold air we see and when will determine if Little Rock gets any winter weather next week. The set up as of now is favorable for sleet or freezing rain, rather than snow.
The first round of potential winter weather could be as early as Monday night, although this chance looks a little higher farther north & northwest.
Timing for Little Rock looks more likely Tuesday night into Wednesday morning for any sleet and/or freezing rain potential. Temperatures will be in the 40s for the highs in Little Rock Tuesday through Thursday with mornings near freezing.
Sleet starts as snow, partially melts to a slush as it falls and then re-freezes into ice pellets. An easy way to identify sleet is if it bounces when it hits the ground. If there is enough sleet, it accumulates on the ground like snow.
Freezing rain is rain that freezes on contact. The ground or surfaces it freezes on, like windshields, roads or power lines, need to be cold enough (typically below 32°F) to do so. Freezing rain, generally, causes more trouble with power outages, and both are hazardous to travel.
It only takes a little bit of ice to cause a lot of problems. Typically, less than ¼” of ice is more annoying than troublesome. There could be a few power outages, but generally, most people will be unaffected.
When there is ¼” to ½” of ice; however, it’s far more problematic. There will be numerous power outages and tree/plant damage. Travel will also be hazardous. Closures/cancellations expected with over ¼” ice.
As of January 26, ice accumulation from the potential winter weather looks to stay below ⅒“, but this could change.
Stay with the Arkansas Storm Team for the latest updates on air and online.
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