Arkansas Weather

Dozens of Arkansas counties have been declared disaster areas by President Barack Obama after severe weather and flooding inundated the state between December and January.

After the president's disaster declaration on Friday, the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management says 38 counties now qualify for federal assistance.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson had asked the White House for a major disaster declaration because it allows residents and local governments in the affected areas apply.

The National Weather Service has issued a flood warning along the Ouachita River in southern Arkansas.

Forecasters in Little Rock said Sunday that the warning will continue through Wednesday and includes parts of the river in Calhoun, Ouachita, Bradley and Union counties.

At 6 a.m. Sunday the river's stage at Thatcher was 82.2 feet and flood stage is 79 feet. Forecasters say minor flooding is already occurring and the river's level is expected to continue to rise through early Tuesday afternoon.

National Weather Service

A winter storm warning has been issued for the eastern half of Arkansas with forecasters predicting the potential for "significant snow accumulations" of up to six inches in addition to freezing rain and sleet.

Significant Snowfall Possible In Arkansas

Jan 20, 2016
Map showing areas with expected snowfall
National Weather Service Twitter Page

A winter storm that has areas of the eastern United States bracing for several inches of snow this weekend could also drop snow in Arkansas. 

The system is expected to unleash rain on Thursday night around the state, possibly shifting to snow by Friday. Meteorologist Joe Goudsward with the National Weather Service says computer models show the storm to be taking a path veering south and east.


The South and East are bracing for a nor'easter at week's end with the potential for significant snowfall.

The National Weather Service's Weather Prediction Center warns of heavy, "perhaps crippling" snow across the northern mid-Atlantic region, including Baltimore, Washington and Philadelphia.

On Wednesday, the weather service issued blizzard and winter storm watches for parts of Maryland, Washington, Virginia and West Virginia. The watches start as early as Thursday and stretch into Saturday.

Lesa Taschetti / KATV, Channel 7 News

Light snow and ice has left roads in much of the northern half of Arkansas slick in spots and numerous auto accidents are reported in the Little Rock area.

The National Weather Service says one to two inches of snow fell Sunday night and Monday morning in an area from Harrison and Jasper to Clinton and Searcy. Police in Searcy, about 50 miles northeast of Little Rock, compared some city streets to ice rinks.

Craig Strickland Backroad Anthem
KATV, Channel 7 News

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says the body of a missing country singer from Arkansas who disappeared during a severe storm has been recovered from an Oklahoma lake.

The patrol says its Marine Enforcement Division recovered the body of 29-year-old Craig M. Strickland Monday morning in Kaw Lake, located 8 miles east of Ponca City just south of the Oklahoma-Kansas state line.

Arkansas River Downtown
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The National Weather Service says the levels of flooded rivers in Arkansas are falling, but flood warnings remain in effect until further notice on many rivers across the state with major flooding possible as water from recent storms flows south and eastward.

The warnings include the Arkansas River, the Ouachita River, the Fourche Lafave River, the Little Red River, the White River, the Black River and the Cache River and the Mississippi River along the state's eastern border.

KATV, Channel 7 News

Major flooding continues in parts of the state along the Arkansas River.

In Little Rock, the Arkansas River is expected to crest Friday night at 26 feet. That's 3 feet above flood stage and would be the highest crest in that area since 1990. Flooding is already occurring in areas along the river, including the Big Dam Bridge and Burns Park in North Little Rock.

Forecasters say the river is cresting at Dardanelle and Morrilton and is expected to crest soon at Toad Suck Lock and Dam Tailwater.

Clinton wetlands flooding
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Forecasters warn of major flooding along the Arkansas River in central and western Arkansas because of the recent heavy rainfall.

The National Weather Service says major flooding is expected in Dardanelle, Morrilton and Pine Bluff, along with the communities of Toad Suck and Pendleton. A flood warning is in effect for all those areas.

In Dardanelle, the river was cresting early Wednesday at 40 feet, which is 8 feet above flood stage. In North Little Rock, the Big Dam Bridge was closed along with portions of the River Trail because of flooding from the Arkansas River.