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Snow, sleet sweep into Arkansas

By ArkansasOnline

This article was originally published February 13, 2012 at 5:28 a.m. Updated February 13, 2012 at 12:48 p.m.

pam-chastain-scrapes-the-snow-off-the-windshield-of-her-car-as-the-area-gets-its-first-snowfall-of-the-year-chastain-who-works-at-a-local-chicken-plant-said-that-she-works-even-on-bad-days-because-of-the-production-line

Pam Chastain scrapes the snow off the windshield of her car as the area gets its first snowfall of the year. Chastain, who works at a local chicken plant, said that she works even on bad days because of the production line.

Feb. 13 winter weather

February 13, 2012

Comparing John Barrow Road in the winter, 2011 to 2012

The conditions of John Barrow Road are drastically different in winter weather in 2012, after the wi...

Last year's snow challenged drivers on Barrow Road

Roads covered by ice and snow pose a challenge for most drivers in Little Rock in 2011

— Snowfall across the state is transitioning to freezing rain and then rain before tapering off as warmer temperatures move into the region.

By late morning, roads in central Arkansas were wet but clear of snow, although some slick spots were reported. Dozens of school districts closed for the day.

Sean Clark, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in North Little Rock, said the shift was already occurring in western parts of Arkansas and should occur in Little Rock and surrounding areas by noon.

There have been scattered reports of accidents in central Arkansas, where an hour of steady snow turned to sleet before stopping completely around 11 a.m.

Elsewhere in the state, Mountain Home recorded nearly 3 inches of snow by 11 a.m. and 2 inches were reported on the ground in Yellville.

10:45 a.m. UPDATE

A chicken truck rolled over on Arkansas 71 near Jenny Lind about an hour ago, said Chicago Chandler, a dispatcher with the Sebastian County Sheriff's Office.

The accident blocked traffic, but the truck has been flipped back upright and traffic should be better, Chandler said.

She said about 50 chickens were thrown out of the truck.


10 a.m. UPDATE

"Freezing rain can always kind of cause problems," Clark said. "But as long as the temperature keeps warming, that will help."

Clark said the weather service had received some reports of slick roadways, but that they were not widespread. Arkansas State Police reported an increase in slideoffs around Little Rock just before 10 a.m., officials said.

That coincided with heavier bands of snow moving through central Arkansas.

The Arkansas Department of Highways and Transportation reported slush, snow or ice on most of the highways in the western half of the state.

Snow caused slicked roads and several school closures Monday morning in Northwest Arkansas.

Pete Snyder, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Tulsa, said snowfall totals in Northwest Arkansas ranged from half an inch in Fayetteville and Farmington to about three inches in Garfield and Springdale.

Snyder said he wasn't aware of any serious problems caused by the storm.

The National Weather Service forecasts that the snow will transition to sleet or freezing rain later in the day, and temperatures will rise well above freezing on Tuesday.

Snyder said he didn't expect any problems from ice accumulation.

9:30 a.m. UPDATE

Roads are becoming slick as snow creeps east. Roads slick on Chenal in west Little Rock, where big snowflakes are falling.

Already, southeastern Arkansas is seeing snowfall stick and accumulate. The same holds true for Northwest Arkansas, where Fayetteville is seeing a dusting of snow with more to come.

In areas that have already seen snow, sleet is coming down.

Snowfall totals so far:

Springdale - 3 inches

North Little Rock - 0.3 inches

Nashville - 2 inches

Pearcy - 1.2 inches

Bismarck - 1.5 inches

Haskell - 0.5 inches


Snow, sleet and freezing rain hit the state Monday as a wintry system moved through the region. Light to moderate snow began falling in Little Rock and North Little Rock around 7 a.m., but there were no immediate reports of accumulations.

Traffic on interstates 630, 430 and 40 was moving smoothly. Authorities were reporting clear roadways and no accidents in central Arkansas so far.

The snow picked up around 9 a.m. in downtown Little Rock, while Hot Springs was seeing heavy snow.

Forecasters said it and other parts of central Arkansas could expect up to 2 inches of snow and minor icing by the afternoon. Snow was falling already in western and northwest parts of the state.

Dozens of schools have canceled classes for the day.

John Lewis, a senior forecaster with the National Weather Service in North Little Rock, said in a presentation released Monday that snow totals would be highest in the northern part of the state with ice more significant in the west.

Winter storm advisories are active through 6 p.m. in much of Arkansas and a winter storm warning is in effect for Conway, Johnson, Logan, Montgomery, Newton, Polk, Pope, Scott, Searcy, Van Buren and Yell counties. Those areas could see up to 4 inches of snow and a tenth of an inch of ice.

Half an inch of snow was already on the ground in parts of northwest Arkansas at 3 a.m., Lewis said. A spotter reported an inch of snow on the ground in Mountain Home shortly after 4 a.m.

The weather service said just before 6 a.m. that a snow-sleet mix was reported beginning to fall in Hot Springs. Bridges on Highway 7 were said to be slick, though Arkansas State Police had no reports of accidents in the area before 6:40 a.m.

The Arkansas Department of Highways and Transportation, meanwhile, reported snow, ice patches and slush on highways on the western edge of the state just before 6 a.m.

The wintry mix is expected to end during the afternoon as warm air moves in from the Gulf Coast.

"This will be mainly a morning to early afternoon event," Lewis said. "Conditions will improve as the afternoon progresses and temperatures climb above freezing in most areas."

Read tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

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