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Forecasters warn of blizzard conditions in NE Arkansas

By The Associated Press

This article was originally published December 25, 2012 at 9:06 a.m. Updated December 25, 2012 at 10:06 a.m.

this-graphic-released-tuesday-by-the-national-weather-service-shows-expected-snow-totals-across-arkansas-tuesday-night-into-wednesday

This graphic released Tuesday by the National Weather Service shows expected snow totals across Arkansas Tuesday night into Wednesday.

— The National Weather Service says blizzard conditions could hit the northeastern corner of Arkansas late Christmas afternoon while the rest of the state sees periods of heavy and blowing snow.

Isolated snow showers occurred over parts of the state Christmas morning, giving areas their first white Christmas in decades, but conditions are expected to worsen as the day progresses. Much of the state is under a winter storm warning.

John Robinson, senior warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service in North Little Rock, said the issuance of a blizzard warning is historic.

"Little Rock became a forecast office in the early 1970's and this is the first Blizzard Warning we have ever issued," he said in an email.

While snow totals aren't expected to be excessive, with 6 to 8 inches expected, wind gusts of up to 40 mph could make driving dangerous. Sleet or freezing rain could fall at the start of the storm, making roads slippery.

Forecasters say that if you get stranded in a car, you should remain with the vehicle — but that it is best not to travel Christmas Day this year.

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