Exit78 Photo of the Day #8
West Central Arkansas – After the Ice & Snow Storm, December 7, 2013 (Pentax K-r)
Event Summary (Updated 6pm 12/6/2013)
A major winter storm impacted eastern Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas, beginning early Thursday, December 5th, and continuing through late Friday, December 6th. Significant ice accumulations and sleet and snow accumulations occurred. An arctic cold front pushed through the region during the daylight hours Wednesday, December 4th, dropping temperatures from the 60s in some locations to below freezing in a matter of hours. Precipitation did not develop along the surface front, but instead, waited for a series of upper-level disturbances to move northeastward across eastern Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas on Thursday and Friday.
Freezing rain, mixed with sleet at times, developed through Thursday morning, primarily to the southeast of the Interstate 44 corridor. Temperatures were warm enough initially in far southeast Oklahoma and a small part of west central Arkansas that the precipitation began as rain before quickly transitioning to freezing rain by mid morning. Cold air gradually deepened from north to south during the afternoon and evening, allowing some of the freezing rain to transition to sleet and finally snow. Additional precipitation blossomed overnight Thursday and into Friday morning, bringing some of the first measurable snow or sleet to areas north of the Interstate 44 corridor, as well as locations in southeast Oklahoma and west central Arkansas that previously saw significant ice accumulation.
Far southeast Oklahoma and west central Arkansas were hardest hit with ice accumulation and related impacts. Areas from Hugo to Antlers, Poteau, and toward Greenwood and Ozark saw between a half inch and an inch of ice accumulation. Widespread power outages occurred. Snow and sleet accumulated to 3 to 6 inches across a large part of northeast Oklahoma, east central Oklahoma, and northwest Arkansas. The largest snow and sleet accumulations, a foot or more, were recorded in far northwest Arkansas across Benton and Carroll counties.
Officially, Tulsa, OK received 4.9″, Fort Smith, AR 5.0″, and Fayetteville, AR 7.0″ of sleet and snow during this event.
Major winter storm moves through Arkansas
Icy blast leaves thousands without power; conditions expected to deteriorate
This article was originally published December 6, 2013 at 4:36 a.m. Updated December 6, 2013 at 3:06 p.m.
Police say they responded to numerous wrecks Friday as winter weather moved across Arkansas, including one that injured an Arkansas State Police trooper.
State police advised against travel through the rest of the day and especially overnight.
“Highway conditions across Arkansas are expected to worsen overnight as the result of colder weather expected to sweep across the state,” spokesman Bill Sadler wrote in the statement. “Unless it is absolutely necessary or an emergency, highway travel across much of the state is not recommended.”