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Potential winter weather, high winds coming to Arkansas

A map displays projected snowfall totals for Arkansas on Friday, Jan. 5, 2024.
National Weather Service
A map displays projected snowfall totals for Arkansas on Friday, Jan. 5, 2024.

Two separate weather systems are bringing the chance of some winter weather to Arkansas over the next few days. The National Weather Service says rain, colder temperatures and even some wintry precipitation are likely beginning Friday morning.

NWS Senior Forecaster Jeff Hood says central Arkansas will be spared from any significant winter weather, though snow showers and wintry mix are possible Friday morning.

“Our focus is primarily across portions of western and northern Arkansas, particularly the Ouachitas and the Ozarks,” he said. “Precipitation [begins] early in the morning across western and southwestern parts of the state, and then expand to the northeast throughout the morning and into the afternoon hours.”

Hood says any snow or sleet will turn to rain throughout the rest of Friday in central Arkansas, washing away any accumulation. After that, he says another storm system will pass through the region early next week.

“Wherever we see these deepening areas of low pressure, that causes our winds to really be increased in nature. And we’re talking about winds on that Tuesday lingering into Wednesday perhaps between 20 and 30 miles per hour,” he said.

Hood says next week’s storms could bring heavy rain and winds gusting up to 40 miles per hour, though it’s too early to tell whether they could also bring more winter weather to the region.

“Most of this will be in the form of rain, but as the storm system starts to depart the area and cold air is wrapped around it, some lingering moisture may be falling as snowfall.”

Hood warns early next week’s storm system is expected to be more powerful and widespread than the system moving through the state on Friday. He says high winds and heavy rain could cause downed trees and potential damage, depending on the severity.

Daniel Breen is News Director of Little Rock Public Radio.