The Winter Storm from Beginning to End

The Winter Storm from Beginning to End

System started moving into the state Thursday and was gone by Friday night.
LITTLE ROCK, AR - This week's winter storm has come and gone, leaving reminders of its visit across much of the state.

Cold temperatures are keeping those reminders around.

Here's a recap from the National Weather Service in Little Rock on the storm's track.

A cold front surged into Arkansas from the north on December 4th. The front was followed by a blast of arctic air and plenty of moisture, with a winter storm on the 5th/6th.

It sure did not feel like winter ahead of the front. On the 4th, it was 79 degrees at Monticello (Drew County), with 78 degrees at El Dorado (Union County), Pine Bluff (Jefferson County) and Texarkana (Miller County), and 77 degrees at Little Rock (Pulaski County).

While readings were still mild in the southeast at midnight CST on the 5th, the mercury quickly approached freezing in the northwest after the front went through.

Areas of rain developed behind the front on the 5th. As subfreezing air poured into northwest sections of the state, freezing rain/sleet broke out. In the far northwest, it was cold enough for snow.

Through the evening of the 5th, 1.25 inches of glaze (from freezing rain) was reported at Greenwood (Sebastian County). A few miles southwest of Johnson (Washington County), 3 inches of sleet was noted, with 2 inches of sleet at Harrison (Boone County). At Bella Vista and Pea Ridge (both in Benton County), 5 to 6 inches of snow and sleet was measured.

By the early morning hours of the 6th, snow and ice continued falling north of Little Rock (Pulaski County), with rain farther south. As the day progressed, temperatures fell below freezing in central and much of southern Arkansas. Rain in these areas became freezing rain/sleet.

As the event ended during the afternoon of the 6th, snow and sleet accumulations were impressive across the northern/western counties. Calico Rock (Izard County) was buried under a foot of pellets and powder, with 11 inches at Marshall (Searcy County), 10 inches at Oakland (Marion County) and Salem (Fulton County), and 9 inches at Harrison (Boone County) and Jasper (Newton County). At least an inch of sleet was measured as far south as the Little Rock (Pulaski County) area.

As snow/sleet piled up in Harrison (Boone County), the temperature only managed to reach 20 degrees. This was the coldest high temperature locally so early in the season.  

Conditions leading to the snow/sleet made it too cold for much freezing rain/glaze. Initially, it was feared that a major ice storm would unfold.

That is what happened in Dallas, TX the day before. Ice buildup created more than 200,000 power outages in the metro area, with hundreds of flights cancelled. In Arkansas, the ice was not that bad overall. Significant ice was confined to the Ouachita Mountains and parts of the Arkansas River valley in western sections of the state. Accruals over half an inch were reported. This includes Fort Smith (Sebastian County), Mena (Polk County), Mount Ida (Montgomery County) and Russellville (Pope County).

The ice did cause a fatality. North of Dover (Pope County), a tree weighed down by ice fell into a camping trailer and killed a man.

Roads were hazardous in much of the state during the afternoon/overnight hours of the 6th as temperatures dipped into the single digits, 10s and 20s. At the same time, a breezy north to northeast wind created wind chill index values below zero in areas toward the Missouri border.

There were numerous reports of snow, sleet and freezing rain, especially in the northern half of Arkansas on December 6, 2013. For a look at some reports, click here.

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