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Snowfall, bitter cold forecast for much of Arkansas

Parts of California are blanketed in snow after a powerful Thanksgiving storm, with more snow expected in parts of the state over the weekend.
Lee Stockwell
Snow is cleared in Big Bear Lake, Calif. in this file photo from November 2019.

Frigid temperatures and wintry weather are headed toward Arkansas early next week. The National Weather Service says, in central Arkansas, temperatures will begin to fall into the teens by Saturday night, with several days of sub-freezing high temperatures to follow.

A blast of arctic air is expected to move into the northwest part of the state beginning Saturday night. Snow was already beginning to fall in that region by Friday morning, with high winds impacting much of the state as well.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Dylan Cooper says snow will begin falling late Sunday in the Little Rock area.

“We’re going to see that hang around at least through Monday evening, but there’s some indication we may actually hold on to some light snow into Tuesday morning. So, all said and done, we are going to pick up a pretty healthy amount of snow,” Cooper said. “Central Arkansas is really kind of the target, the bullseye… that’s where we’re going to see our highest totals.”

Parts of central Arkansas could see anywhere from six to eight inches of snow accumulate by Monday. After that, Cooper says the biggest danger will be bitterly cold temperatures and wind chills.

“By Sunday afternoon, we’re talking highs in the low teens for northern Arkansas, mid-to-upper 20s for central portions of the state. By Monday, some folks in northern Arkansas may struggle to even get above 10 degrees, with highs in the low 20s across central Arkansas.”

Little Rock can expect a low of just seven degrees Monday night, with a wind chill of eight below zero. Wind chill values for Tuesday morning are forecast to range between zero degrees Fahrenheit in southeast Arkansas to as low as 25 below zero in the northwest part of the state.

Cooper says snowfall totals will dictate when central Arkansas will reach high temperatures above freezing next week.

“By Wednesday, we should start getting up close to freezing, subfreezing readings across the eastern part of the state and some warmer air trying to work into western Arkansas. But this is going to depend entirely on how much snow we get, and where that biggest snowpack develops over Arkansas.

“That, unfortunately, could hold those temperatures down below what our models are trying to suggest.”

Daniel Breen is News Director of Little Rock Public Radio.