Arkansas Weather

An Arkansas legislative committee is scheduled to hear from state highway officials about their response to a winter storm that left drivers stranded on icy interstates in eastern Arkansas last week.

A joint meeting with both House and Senate members is set for Tuesday to hear from Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department Director Scott Bennett.

Arkansas State Police director Col. Stan Witt is also expected to attend the hearings and answer questions.

Forecasters are predicting a round of freezing precipitation for Arkansas this weekend, though the northern half of the state will likely see the most ice. Jeff Hood, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service said a cold front will begin entering Arkansas from the northwest late Saturday, bringing with it a chance of freezing rain and sleet and thunderstorms farther south.

Tens of thousands of homes and businesses remain without electricity after wintry weather hit Arkansas.

Entergy Arkansas says about 38,000 customers were without power Wednesday morning. Garland County had the highest number of outages at more than 5,800. Crittenden County reported more than 4,100 outages and Conway County had about 3,300 outages. Cross County reported more than 3,100 outages.

Outages of more than 2,000 customers were reported in Mississippi, Montgomery and St. Francis counties.

The U.S. Labor Department has given $702,741 to help Arkansas recover from tornadoes and severe storms that hit the state last May and June.

The agency said Wednesday the National Emergency Grant is being given to the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services, which can hire temporary employees to aid in the cleanup effort.

Labor officials say that, with money released earlier, the grant totals more than $1 million and should cover 61 positions.

Maggie Carroll/ KUAR News

As temperatures continue to change drastically from day to day, people are bundling up to fight the cold. But what about their pets? 

Leaving pets outside in this weather is considered abuse and under city ordinance owners can be taken to court and charged with animal cruelty. Tracy Roark is asking pet owners to keep animals indoors.

"Pets should be part of your family, and you should treat them as part of your family. They have feelings, and they have a heart. When it is cold like this bring them in," said Roark.

Forecasters say Arkansas is still at risk for wildfires despite chilly temperatures with subzero wind chill values in some areas. A red flag warning is in effect in Carroll, Benton, Washington and Madison counties.

The National Weather Service says northwest Arkansas will see strong and gusty winds of up to 35 mph on Friday, along with low humidity values of 15 to 25 percent.

Forecasters warn that the dry vegetation and windy weather will combine to create dangerous wildfire conditions through Friday afternoon.

Forecasters say Arkansas is still at risk for wildfires despite chilly temperatures with subzero wind chill values in some areas.

A red flag warning is in effect in Carroll, Benton, Washington and Madison counties. The National Weather Service says northwest Arkansas will see strong and gusty winds of up to 35 mph on Friday, along with low humidity values of 15 to 25 percent.

Forecasters warn that the dry vegetation and windy weather will combine to create dangerous wildfire conditions through Friday afternoon.

Central Arkansas Development Council

The Central Arkansas Development Council is helping families pay their heating bills during this cold winter. 

The organization reaches out to low income households each year and assists with utility payments on a first come, first serve basis. 

Valerie Ramsey, program manager, says the aid is based on household size and regular income, but also offers a crisis mode.

Arkansas Foresty Commission Issues Burn Ban Alerts

Jan 21, 2014
Arkansas Forestry Commision

The Arkansas Forestry Commission has issued burn bans for 19 counties, and the entire state is at moderate risk of wildfires.

Pulaski, Faulkner, Garland, and Van Buren are among those under the ban, after more than 500 acres burned in Arkansas over the holiday weekend

"Even if folks are not under burn bans, it is a really bad time to be burning because of the low humidity and high wind," says Adriane Barnes, with the Forestry Commission."

She says the dead trees and plants leftover from the winter storms are fuel to potential fires.

 

Freezing rain and sleet are possible in parts of Arkansas as a wintry storm system makes its way through the state A winter weather advisory is in effect from 6 p.m. Wednesday until noon Thursday for the northern two-thirds of Arkansas.

The National Weather Service says the system will begin as rain Wednesday morning before transitioning to a wintry mix. 

Forecasters say central Arkansas will likely see rain or sleet, while northern Arkansas is expected to see snow and sleet.

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