LITTLE ROCK, AR - The local National Weather Service (NWS) office is advising Arkansans of a new storm system headed to the Natural State that's bringing an arctic blast and some snow.
The NWS says the coldest air of the season will arrive in Arkansas by evening on Jan. 4 (Saturday), and will surge through the region during the overnight hours. By dawn on the 5th (Sunday), the leading edge of this air (a cold front) will be along the Mississippi River, with gusty north to northwest winds to follow.
As temperatures fall, there will be chances for snow in most areas on the 5th (Sunday). Accumulating snow will be most likely across northern and central sections of the state.
The heaviest snow should be in northeast Arkansas toward the Missouri border where four to six inches could pile up. Up to an inch of snow could accumulate as far south as the Little Rock (Pulaski County) area.
All snow will end by the evening of the 5th (Sunday), with some clearing at night. Low temperatures by the morning of the 6th (Monday) will be in the single digits and teens, with readings approaching zero in the far north. It will remain somewhat breezy, with wind chill index values from 10 to 20 below zero in about the northern two rows of counties.
High temperatures on the 6th (Monday) will be in the teens and 20s in most areas, and may not get out of the single digits in the Ozark Mountains. If this happens, it could be historic. All-time record cold high temperatures could be broken in areas such as Flippin (Marion County) and Gilbert (Searcy County). At these spots, standing record cold highs are 10 and 12 degrees respectively.
By the 8th (Wednesday), the arctic air mass will have shifted to the east, resulting in a southerly flow and a warming trend. Temperatures will warm into the 30s and 40s.
As temperatures edge upward, clouds and moisture will also increase. Rain is expected to develop on the 8th (Wednesday), but it may be cold enough for some freezing rain in northern Arkansas. The ice potential appears minor as warming continues during the nighttime of the 8th (Wednesday) and early on the 9th (Thursday). Even so, this situation bears watching.
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