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Are you interested in what happened during a recent event? Check out the report below.
 
Very Cold/Wintry Precipitation on February 2-12, 2014 (Pg1)
 

It was a cold and dry January, 2014. Big arctic air masses from Canada made it way too dry for much to fall from the sky. As the month closed, there was a high wildfire danger, and county burn bans were increasing at an alarming rate (up to 55 of 75 counties). Things were about to change.

 

The subtropical jet (flow from the southwest) came into play heading into February, 2014.
In the picture: The subtropical jet (flow from the southwest) came into play heading into February, 2014.
 

Heading into February, the subtropical jet (flow from the southwest) emerged. We had not seen this for awhile. Typically, systems from the southwest provide warmth/moisture during winter as they dredge air northward from the Gulf of Mexico.

At the same time, visits from Canada did not stop. Any systems from the southwest became energized as cold and warm air masses collided. This led to better chances for precipitation.

The first shot at precipitation was already on the horizon as February began. A brief mild spell came to an end on the 1st as a cold front passed through from the north. The front brought chances for rain, followed by colder temperatures. The front stalled along the Gulf Coast, with a storm system approaching from the west and interacting with the front.

 

The system shoved moisture into colder air on the 2nd. This resulted in lots of snow in northern and western Arkansas and chances of ice in central sections.
In the pictures: Simulated radar images showed a band of mainly rain in southern and eastern Arkansas early on 02/02/2014, with wintry precipitation expanding across the northern/western counties as the day progressed.

 

Through much of the event, roads were snow and ice covered across the north. This included areas north of Mena (Polk County), Conway (Faulkner County) and West Memphis (Crittenden County) according to the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department.

 

Four to more than six inches of snow accumulated in portions of northern Arkansas on 02/02/2014, with some reports of up to a quarter of an inch of ice in central sections of the state.
In the picture: Four to more than six inches of snow accumulated in portions of northern Arkansas on 02/02/2014, with some reports of up to a quarter of an inch of ice in central sections of the state.
 

Four to six inches of snow piled up at Hardy (Sharp County), Harrison (Boone County), Mountain Home (Baxter County), Salem (Fulton County) and Yellville (Marion County). There was about as much snow south of Ralph (Marion County), with a traffic fatality reported near the Buffalo River.

Farther south toward Mountain View (Stone County), there were numerous accidents with at least four people injured. A tractor trailer blocked Highway 14 two miles east of town. To the northwest at Bentonville (Benton County), a bus with 40 to 50 out of state college athletes slid off the road. Fortunately, no injuries were reported. Two to four inches of accumulation was estimated at both locations.

 

Link of Interest
Heavy Snow at Bergman (Boone County) courtesy of Tori Little via Facebook

 

Two to four inches of snow also blanketed Batesville (Independence County), Clinton (Van Buren County), Jasper (Newton County) and Marshall (Searcy County). Interstate 540 was covered with snow near Alma (Crawford County) on 02/02/2014.
In the picture: Interstate 540 was covered with snow near Alma (Crawford County) on 02/02/2014. The photo is courtesy of Justin Time via Facebook. Click to enlarge.

 

In central third of Arkansas, freezing rain was reported in places. Up to a quarter of an inch of glaze coated trees and power lines at Wilson (Mississippi County), Steprock (White County), and the Petit Jean State Park (Conway County). At Wynne (Cross County), ice caused power interruptions. Interstate 55 near Jericho (Crittenden County) was nearly impassible for a time, and the highway was almost shut down.

 

 

The satellite showed some enhancement (yellow/orange colors) in Arkansas at 915 am CST on 02/04/2014, with wintry precipitation expanding over the region. Ice was a big deal on the 4th. Quarter to half inch accruals were noted on trees and power lines in much of the northern half of Arkansas. This resulted in at least 60,000 power outages.
In the picture: The satellite showed some enhancement (yellow/orange colors) in Arkansas at 915 am CST on 02/04/2014, with wintry precipitation expanding over the region.

 

The WSR-88D (Doppler Weather Radar) showed widespread snow, sleet and freezing rain across Arkansas at 900 am CST on 02/04/2014.
In the picture: The WSR-88D (Doppler Weather Radar) showed widespread snow, sleet and freezing rain across Arkansas at 900 am CST on 02/04/2014. Temperatures (dashed white lines) were below freezing in most of the state (except the extreme south).
 

The ice became heavy enough on trees to cause damage. Numerous tree limbs snapped in Hot Springs (Garland County), with county roads obstructed by fallen trees around Perry (Perry County) and Danville (Yell County). A tree fell across the eastbound lanes of Interstate 40 just west of Morrilton (Conway County). Highway 64 was blocked by downed power lines at Augusta (Woodruff County).

In Craighead and Woodruff Counties (in the northeast), state electric cooperatives reported major infrastructure damage. At least 50 utility poles were snapped and had to be replaced. 

While some roads were glazed over (especially bridges and overpasses), travel was not bad overall with wet (versus icy) pavement common.

There was some snow (one to three inches) on the 4th, but it was restricted to locations along the Missouri border from Harrison (Boone County) to Mountain Home (Baxter County), Calico Rock (Izard County) and Salem (Fulton County). Precipitation changed to freezing rain before going briefly back to snow as the event ended toward evening.

 

Links of Interest
Ice at Petit Jean State Park (Conway County) courtesy of Dr. Clay Sherrod via Facebook
Ice at Bald Knob (White County) courtesy of Mel Coleman via Facebook
Snow at Mountain Home (Baxter County) courtesy of Mel Coleman via Facebook

 

Ninety six hour precipitation through 600 am CST on 02/05/2014.
In the picture: Ninety six hour precipitation through 600 am CST on 02/05/2014.
 

As far as liquid equivalent precipitation, ninety six hour totals through 600 am CST on the 5th exceeded two inches in much of the south/east. At Texarkana (Miller County), for example, 2.80 inches was received. This almost quadrupled what fell in the entire month of January! West Memphis (Crittenden County) got 3.62 inches, with 3.04 inches at Little Rock (Pulaski County), 2.94 inches at Monticello (Drew County) and 2.00 inches at El Dorado (Union County).

Winds picked up from the north/northwest on the 5th (gusts to 25 mph), and that put stress on trees/power lines weighed down by ice. This caused additional power outages.

 

More Information
 
There is more concerning very cold conditions and wintry precipitation on February 2-12, 2014. To check out the rest of the story, click here.

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