Sleet, freezing rain and snow fell across Arkansas Friday, leading to slippery and slushy roadways and power outages in many areas. The National Weather Service says temperature will continue to drop and the likelihood for more icy precipitation will linger into the weekend.
“We will see low temperatures [Friday night] in the central Arkansas area between 10 and 17 degrees,” says NWS Meteorologist Jeff Hood.
More than 37,000 homes and businesses are without electricity as a wintry storm hits the state.
Arkansas Valley Electric Cooperative of Ozark reported about 12,000 outages Friday morning, while SWEPCO had more than 11,000 outages in northwest Arkansas in Sebastian, Polk, Scott and Logan counties. Oklahoma Gas and Electric reported an additional 2,000 outages in Fort Smith, 1,200 outages in Charleston and more than 1,100 in Lavaca.
Winter weather is expected to cause some problems for commuters as they try to navigate state roadways this weekend. Road crews are readying equipment so they will be prepared to treat icy highways in central Arkansas.
Danny Straessle works with the state highway department. He says a good mixture of sand and salt is on standby to aid de-ice efforts for area bridges and overpasses.
The National Weather Service says colder temperatures and wintry precipitation is possible this week in Arkansas.
Forecasters say a cold front is expected to move through the state Wednesday and stall out in the southern part of Arkansas. The weather service says heavy rainfall is possible Thursday into Friday before transitioning to a wintry mix.
The weather service says more wintry weather is possible Saturday. Northwest Arkansas is expected to see snow, with a wintry mix expected in other areas of the state.
Temperatures in Arkansas are expected to dip to the lowest in the season so far Tuesday night. A cold front entered the northern part of the state Tuesday morning and will spread to the south throughout the day. A freeze warning is in effect from 6 p.m. Tuesday through 10 a.m. Wednesday.
Low temperatures for Tuesday night are expected to range from near 15 degrees in the northwest to the mid and upper 20’s in the south.
Senior Forecaster for the National Weather Service of Arkansas Brian Smith says the chance for any precipitation is very small.