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Bitter cold, snow flurries move into state

By Gavin Lesnick

This article was published January 28, 2014 at 6:31 a.m.

Snow covers a vehicle Tuesday morning in Havana in Yell County.

Snow flurries moved through parts of Arkansas as arctic air gripped the state for another day Tuesday morning.

Jessica Lesko, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in North Little Rock, said the flurries were expected to amount only to light dustings on windshields and grassy areas, though there were some reports of slightly higher totals.

"It shouldn't cause too much of a problem this morning," Lesko said, adding that it's possible small pockets of light snow could move through. "But don't expect it to last too long."

The weather service didn't yet have reports on snowfall totals from across the state, but some areas reported seeing more than a dusting. Danville Public Schools and Two Rivers Public School District said on their websites they had canceled classes for the day.

Lynn Gilbert, a dispatcher with the Yell County sheriff's office, said snow began falling around 1:30 a.m. and continued till after 6 a.m.

About half an inch stuck to the ground, turning highways slick and causing a few minor wrecks and slide-offs, Gilbert said.

Area residents hadn't expected any accumulating snow at all.

"They just said flurries," Gilbert said.

All of the state was dealing with another blast of extreme cold made even worse by the wind chill, which is calculated to show the combined effect of the wind and low temperatures on exposed skin.

In Little Rock, the air at 6 a.m. was 20 degrees with a wind chill of 10. Harrison was at 11 with a windchill of minus 1, and Pine Bluff was at 20 with a windchill of 5.

Lesko said temperatures would stay below freezing all day for north Arkansas and reach only the mid-30s in south Arkansas. Little Rock was expected to hover near the freezing mark.

It will be even colder Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, but then temperatures will rise. Upper 50s are forecast as highs in Little Rock by the weekend.

But does that mean Arkansas will finally leave the arctic air behind for good?

"It's possible," Lesko said. "But winter's still in place, and we still have February to get through."


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