THURSDAY MORNING: Temperatures start out in the lower 40s with mostly cloudy skies. A sprinkle or two will be possible during the morning. But most precipitation will hold off until midday. Temperatures climb into the mid-40s as this Arctic cold front approaches. Once it arrives, it brings major changes.

The front will arrive in northwest Arkansas during the morning, dropping temperatures fast. A brief dose of light rain and sleet will quickly be followed by snow showers.

THURSDAY AFTERNOON: The front continues sliding through central and eastern Arkansas through the afternoon, bringing a stout northwest wind between 20 and 30 mph. Gusts could reach 40 mph. Snow showers will be off-and-on across central Arkansas, more persistent into northern Arkansas.

But with the cold air comes dry air, shoving the precipitation out of the area quickly into late-afternoon. Temperatures continue to plunge, likely into the teens and 20s by sunset. Wind chills will slip into the teens and single digits by late-afternoon.

Wind Chill Warnings and Advisories are in place for due to the extreme danger of frostbite and hypothermia. Winter Weather Advisories are in place for much of central and northern Arkansas as road conditions could become dangerous later in the afternoon and evening.

THURSDAY NIGHT & OVERNIGHT: Skies gradually clear out. But the wind stays strong out of the northwest between 15 and 25 mph. Gusts could reach 35 to 40 mph. Temperatures plunge into the single digits with some approaching single digits below zero in northern Arkansas.

Wind chills will be far more dangerous. All of the state will have wind chills below zero by early Friday morning. Teens and 20s below zero are likely in northern Arkansas. Periods of blowing snow may also lead to low visibility in extreme northern Arkansas, further complicating road conditions.

FRIDAY & BEYOND: Expect a lot of meaningless sunshine Friday. While it will shine bright, temperatures will remain frigid with a continued northwest breeze between 10 and 20 mph. Afternoon highs reach the upper teens and lower 20s. Wind chills remain in the single digits above and below zero.

Skies stay clear Friday night as winds gradually calm down some. Temperatures return to the low-teens and upper single digits by Saturday morning. Wind chills will still bite hard. Then in the afternoon on Christmas Eve, we only reach the upper 20s to lower 30s with partly sunny skies.

Christmas morning starts out cold with temperatures in the upper teens to lower 20s. Sunshine during the day will allow some to climb above freezing briefly in the afternoon. But it’s short-lived. We return to the mid-20s by Monday morning.

With temperatures remaining below freezing for about 72 hours, pipes will be at risk of breaking. Remember to protect those, as well as your neighbors, pets, plants and prepare to conserve power in case the grid is threatened.

For more details on how you can protect your family and property, click here.


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The Arkansas Storm Team is a collaboration of two stations to bring you the largest weather team in the state when covering Arkansas weather.