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Arkansas awakens to more brutal cold

By Gavin Lesnick

This article was originally published January 7, 2014 at 8:39 a.m. Updated January 7, 2014 at 10:57 a.m.


A fountain on the north end of the state Capitol grounds, near Markham and Third streets in Little Rock, freezes Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, amid below-average winter temperatures.

Arkansans awakened to another morning of brutally cold weather, but slightly higher temperatures are on the way, the National Weather Service said.

Another system, however, could bring freezing rain to parts of the state later this week.

The weather service in Little Rock said temperatures Tuesday morning were around zero in northern parts of Arkansas, the single digits in central Arkansas and the low teens in the south.

Little Rock was at 13 degrees at 8 a.m., a little warmer than the overnight low of 10.

Wind chills, however, were diminished from a day earlier with most locations likely to see them "only a few degrees lower than temperatures," the weather service said. Parts of Northwest Arkansas on Monday morning experienced wind chills double digits below zero.

At 8 a.m. Tuesday, Harrison had one of the lower wind-chill readings at six below zero. Wind chill is a calculation that describes the combined effect of the wind and low temperatures on exposed skin.

By Tuesday afternoon, temperatures across the state will rise to the 20s and 30s and even 40s in some spots, officials said. In Little Rock, a high of 37 is forecast.

More winter weather could come Wednesday into Thursday, officials said.

John Robinson, warning coordination meteorologist with the weather service in North Little Rock, said all but south Arkansas may see wintry weather including freezing rain as that system moves in.

"We are not expecting a big ice storm," Robinson wrote in an email. "Most ice amounts will probably range from a few hundredths of an inch up to around 0.15 inch. Such amounts will cause driving problems and it is almost certain that some Winter Weather Advisories or Freezing Rain Advisories will become necessary. With the ground as cold as it is now, driving problems will develop soon after freezing rain begins in a given area."

Dozens of schools in north-central and Northwest Arkansas remained closed Tuesday.

Some Arkansas residents were without power Tuesday morning. At 10:15 a.m., Entergy Arkansas reported that 762 customers in Marion County, 721 in White County, 693 in Faulkner County and 480 in Garland County were without power. Pope, Cleburne, Dallas and other counties had scattered outages.

In North Little Rock, Central Arkansas Water said the cold weather was responsible for partially freezing a 30-inch-diameter water transmission line. That caused some customers to have discolored water north of Interstate 40, west of JFK Boulevard and in the Crystal Hill Road area.

The utility said customers should refrain from washing clothes while crews flush the discoloration from the mains, a process that is expected to be completed at some point Tuesday.


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