Arkansas Weather

Flooding
Christy Robinson / KATV, Channel 7

Powerful thunderstorms in Arkansas are being blamed for several deaths as heavy rain caused flash flooding and strong winds brought down trees and power lines. By Sunday afternoon rain had moved out of the state and flood waters were beginning to recede, but Entergy Arkansas says it could be a few days before all power is restored.

A church in Parthenon, Arkansas.
flickr.com

Severe storms and a possible tornado hit north Arkansas overnight Monday with damages shutting down the post office in Parthenon. Several homes and vehicles across the region were also damaged but there are no reports of injuries or death at this time.

In a press release the US Postal Service says a tornado has closed the office in the Ozark hamlet for the time being. The National Weather Service is still determining whether a tornado touched down.

National Weather Service / National Weather Service

Teaching Arkansans how to rate and report the severity of storms is one goal of a program being hosted by the National Weather Service Tuesday night.

Spring storms often bring tornado warnings in central Arkansas. The Skywarn Storm Spotter Training is designed to help community volunteers monitor and report storms as they develop.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Jeff Hood says firsthand accounts are a useful addition to the weather reports gathered via radar.

tornado
KATV, Channel 7 News

Storm surveys conducted by weather forecasters show that at least six tornadoes touched down in Arkansas during this week's rounds of bad weather.

Of the surveys that had been completed by midday Friday, the longest-tracked storm was on the ground for 4.2 miles south of Possum Grape, in Jackson County. It had winds of about 110 mph Wednesday morning and was rated as an "EF-1" on a scale of tornado damage.

The strongest twister of the week was Tuesday night near Kensett in White County. The EF-2 storm had winds of 115 mph.

National Weather Service Logo
www.weather.gov / NWS

A warm front brought record high temperatures to parts of Arkansas, breaking Feb. 11 records dating to the 1920s.

The National Weather Service says Saturday's high in Little Rock reached 79 degrees to break the record of 78 degrees set in 1922.

A high of 84 in Harrison broke a record high of 76 set in 1928. Other records include 81 degrees in Fayetteville to break the record of 72 set in 1962 and 85 degrees in Fort Smith to break the record of 76 degrees, also set in 1962.

An aerial view of a wildfire near Charleston, Arkansas from November, 2017.
Arkansas Forestry Commission

Arkansas forestry officials say 2016 was a relatively quiet year for wildfires, but the fires still burned nearly 30 square miles in the state.

The Arkansas Forestry Commission says there was a total of 1,248 wildfires last year, and the busiest months were February, March and November. Officials say the top two causes of wildfires in the state were fires unintentionally started by outdoor burning and arson.

The Little Rock, North Little Rock, and Pulaski County Special School Districts are all closed Friday. The University of Arkansas at Little Rock is also closed.

Governor Asa Hutchinson has closed state offices for non-essential personnel today. Agency directors may implement liberal leave policies for their employees.

Here are some other closings and delays that have been reported for Friday due to the winter weather:

Access Schools

Arkansas Children's Hospital  — Open at 10 a.m.

Arkansas College of Barbering

snow
KUAR News

Forecasters have issued a winter weather advisory for much of western and central Arkansas as a storm system heads into the state.

The advisory goes into effect early Friday and lasts until mid-afternoon. The National Weather Service says snow will start falling in the overnight hours then persist throughout Friday morning. Forecasters say snowfall of 1 to 2 inches is possible with locally higher amounts, especially in the Ozark and Ouachita Mountains.

Forecasters say other areas could see just a dusting of snow or nothing at all.

Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas could be in for some wild weather next week as spring-like temperatures give way to thunderstorms and a cold front that could be packing snow and freezing rain.

The National Weather Service says high temperatures will reach into the 60s and 70s Monday before a cold front pushes in from the Plains to the state, triggering showers and thunderstorms. Forecasters say some of the storms could be severe across southeast Arkansas.

National Weather Service

A wild weather weekend is on tap for Arkansas, with forecasters warning of possible tornadoes and mild temperatures on Saturday followed by the potential for snow on Sunday.

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