A winter storm warning is set to go into effect for more than a dozen counties in Arkansas.
The warning begins at midnight Friday for Baxter, Boone, Cleburne, Independence, Izard, Johnson, Lawrence, Marion, Newton, Pope, Searcy, Sharp, Stone and Van Buren counties.
It continues through 6 a.m. Sunday.
"Travel will be very difficult to impossible," the National Weather Service said in a statement. "Be prepared for significant reductions in visibility at times."
The agency said the latest data shows parts of north Arkansas can expect to receive from 3 to 5 inches. Ice accumulations of around one tenth of an inch are possible.
Joe Goudsward, a senior forecaster with the agency's North Little Rock office, said officials are still looking at “that pretty powerful system coming in from the west.”
Several events have been canceled or postponed because of the expected inclement weather. They include:
Bono Christmas Parade - rescheduled from Saturday to 6:30 p.m. Dec. 15
NEA Youth Fishing Tournament near Horseshoe Bend - cancelled on Saturday. Officials said they hope to reschedule the event in February.
Arkansas State University Graduation - Ceremony on Saturday moved from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.Gallery: LATEST: Weather briefing for Dec. 7-8 storm
A winter weather advisory has been issued for a large part of north Arkansas expected to get between 2 to 4 inches of snow, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service said Friday.
Joe Goudsward, a senior forecaster with the agency's North Little Rock office, said he expects rain to cover the state throughout Friday afternoon and overnight. In north Arkansas, it will turn to snow overnight through Saturday morning.
“We’ve got a pretty significant storm system heading to us,” Goudsward said.
For central Arkansas, the change from rain to snow is expected to happen between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, dusting the area with snow. Some isolated parts of central Arkansas may get up to an inch, Goudsward said.
There is also a risk for sleet and freezing rain, which could lead to scattered power outages, especially in north Arkansas.
The winter weather advisory will be in effect from midnight to 6 a.m. Sunday.
“If you’re traveling north, just be aware there is going to be winter weather up there,” Goudsward said.
As the precipitation peters out, temperatures will be in the lower 20s in north Arkansas and the upper 20s for central Arkansas, meaning any precipitation will freeze again, Goudsward said.
He estimated that southwest Arkansas will get between 4 to 5 inches of rain, putting the area under a flash flood watch.
Arkansas Department of Emergency Management officials are preparing teams that can respond if the weather becomes dire, said Melody Daniel, a spokeswoman for the agency.
Crews with the Arkansas Department of Transportation are busy spraying the roads with saltwater, said Danny Straessle, the public information officer for the department. Teams will also be on standby to plow snow off the roads or put additional salt on them as needed.
“Once that’s done we’ll just wait and see what old man winter brings us,” Straessle said.