Winter Weather

Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

In addition to closing schools, grocery stores and government services due to the winter weather storm, Arkansas services related to the pandemic, such as testing and vaccinations, are also either slowing down or have temporarily stopped.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson called the fewer than 200 new COVID-19 cases announced Tuesday "not very significant" because of a reduction in tests caused by the snow that began hitting the state Sunday night.

Westbound traffic on Interstate 40 near Hazen was at a standstill for several hours Wednesday because of an accident involving several vehicles. It was one of many crashes that the Arkansas Department of Transportation says halted on interstates and highw
Arkansas Department of Transportation

Arkansas is expected to receive another four to eight inches of snow across the state Wednesday night, forecasters say, but the end is near. Heavy snowfall during the day caused widespread traffic disruptions, including Interstate 40 being closed at times in central and eastern Arkansas because of multi-vehicle accidents.

Meteorologist Dennis Cavanaugh with the National Weather Service says the southern and central part of the state will continue to receive snowfall, but it won’t be as widespread as what has been experienced since Sunday night.

Entergy Arkansas worker Jason Penny works on a problem Monday in west Little Rock.
Entergy Arkansas

Arkansas utility companies are asking people to conserve electricity usage as the state braces for another round of winter weather. Companies say heavy snowfall and unusually cold temperatures have prompted many consumers to use a substantial amount of natural gas and electricity to stay warm in their homes.

Melody Daniel, a spokeswoman for the Arkansas Division of Emergency Management, says lowering thermostats to within the 60 to 65 degree temperature range will help conserve power.

Governor's Office

Although Arkansas reported a lower number of new COVID-19 cases, as well as a large decrease in active cases, Gov. Asa Hutchinson credits that drop to less testing due to the current winter weather.

According to the Arkansas Department of Health, the state saw an increase of 177 new cases, bringing the total number of cases in the state to 313,525. Of those cases, 9,104 are considered active, which is a decrease of 1,390.

Additionally, the state saw 12 more deaths due to COVID-19, bringing the death toll to 5,287.

Arkansas Farm Bureau

Single-digit wind chills, freezing water in pipes and troughs, and high snow loads on roofs are causing concerns for poultry and cattle operations, specialists from the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture said Monday.

The record-setting storm front that stretches from Texas to Maine has caused millions to lose power as snowfall totals and bitter cold ravage almost half the country, according to the National Weather Service.

Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Though Arkansas is not expected to see more winter precipitation until Sunday, below freezing temperatures in the next couple of days still pose a danger to the state’s roadways.

National Weather Service

Temperatures in Arkansas are expected to swing from well above average to well below average after a powerful cold front moves through the state. After reaching a high near 70 degrees in Little Rock on Monday, John Lewis, senior forecaster with the National Weather Service, says temperatures Tuesday are expected to be cold enough to bring a wintry mix to the area.

KATV / Facebook

While severe winter weather is not entirely common in Arkansas compared to other states, the Arkansas Department of Transportation says it is well prepared for any winter weather that may come this season, even if no snow is in the immediate forecast. 

When serious winter weather does impact Arkansas roads, there is no section of the department’s budget set aside for just winter weather. Instead, it comes out of the yearly maintenance budget.

National Weather Service

A weather system the National Weather Service is calling “complicated” will arrive in Arkansas beginning Friday. Arkansans across the state will experience a system that will bring heavy rains for some, and significant snow accumulation for others.

The National Weather Service says widespread precipitation will “overspread” throughout the state in a south to north pattern. As the cold air moves, rain will change to sleet and freezing rain before ultimately changing to snow. The greatest likelihood for accumulations is Friday night through Saturday morning.