Monthly Storm Reports and Storm Data
Storm Reports
Are you interested in what happened during a recent event? Check out the report below.
 
Very Cold/Winter Weather on January 5-9, 2014
 
A cold front blasted through Arkansas early on 01/05/2014, and was followed by arctic high pressure ("H"), falling temperatures and snow.
In the picture: A cold front blasted through Arkansas early on 01/05/2014, and was followed by arctic high pressure ("H"), falling temperatures and snow.
 

The coldest air of the season (ushered in by a strong cold front) surged through Arkansas on January 5th. Falling temperatures and gusty north to northwest winds were in the forecast, with accumulating snow in northern sections of the state.

 

How Rare is This?

Arctic outbreaks of this magnitude do not happen all that often. A preliminary look at data suggests an event such as this might occur every 20 to 30 years.

 

The WSR-88D (Doppler Weather Radar) showed areas of rain across much of Arkansas, with snow in the northwest at 718 am CST on 01/05/2014.
At 700 am CST on the 5th, temperatures were well below freezing and it was snowing in parts of the Ozark Mountains (in the northwest). It was mild elsewhere with areas of rain. 
In the picture: The WSR-88D (Doppler Weather Radar) showed areas of rain across much of Arkansas, with snow in the northwest at 718 am CST on 01/05/2014.

 

A Big Temperature Contrast

There was a big temperature contrast across Arkansas to begin the 5th (Sunday). At 600 am CST, readings were already in the lower 20s in the northwest corner of the state. Toward Jonesboro (Craighead County), Little Rock (Pulaski County) and Texarkana (Miller County), it was in the upper 40s to mid 50s. By 400 pm CST, teens and 20s were widespread, with some lower 30s in the southeast.

 

Snow totals in the twenty four hour period ending at 600 pm CST on 01/05/2014.
In the picture: Snow totals in the twenty four hour period ending at 600 pm CST on 01/05/2014.
 

By 845 am CST, an inch of snow was reported at Fayetteville (Washington County). Between 930 am CST and 1000 am CST, there was an inch and a half of snow at Lead Hill (Boone County), with three to four inches at Bella Vista and Bentonville (both in Benton County). Toward 130 pm CST, Mountain Home (Baxter County) tallied two inches of snow, with an inch at Jasper (Newton County) and Salem (Fulton County). Hardy (Sharp) also got an inch of powder.

 

All snow ended by the evening of the 5th, with some clearing at night. Temperatures by 600 am CST on 01/06/2014 were below freezing all the way to the Gulf Coast.
In the picture: Temperatures by 600 am CST on 01/06/2014 were below freezing all the way to the Gulf Coast.

 

Low temperatures by the morning of the 6th were in the single digits and teens, with readings below zero in the northwest. It remained breezy, with wind chill index values from 10 to 20 below zero in about the northern two rows of counties. Indices were even lower than 20 below zero at a few spots.
In the pictures: Temperatures were below zero in northwest Arkansas, and wind chill indices were below zero in the northern half of the state at 700 am CST on 01/06/2014.

 

At Rogers (Benton County), the mercury bottomed out at 5 below zero with a minimum wind chill of 23 below zero. Highfill (Benton County) made it to 4 below zero with a minimum wind chill of 22 below zero. It was 3 below zero at Fayetteville (Washington County) and 2 below zero at Harrison (Boone County), with minimum wind chills of 21 below zero and 20 below zero respectively.

 

Link of Interest
Expected Wind Chill Indices Early on 01/06/2014 from a forecast made at 1000 am CST on 01/05/2014

 

Winter headlines as of 730 am CST on 01/05/2014 included Winter Storm Warnings (in pink) from northern Arkansas to the Ohio Valley, and Wind Chill Warnings (in gray) across the northern Plains and upper Midwest.
In the picture: Winter headlines as of 730 am CST on 01/05/2014 included Winter Storm Warnings (in pink) from northern Arkansas to the Ohio Valley, and Wind Chill Warnings (in gray) across the northern Plains and upper Midwest.
 

During this event, wind chill indices were even lower from the northern Plains to the upper Midwest where values reached 55 to 65 below zero. Due to the extreme cold, the Governor of Minnesota closed public schools statewide on the 6th. Parts of central Missouri into the Ohio Valley got more than ten inches of snow.

Here at home, high temperatures on the 6th were in the teens and 20s, and did not get out of the single digits in the Ozark Mountains. The high at Lead Hill (Boone County) was only 8 degrees, with a maximum of 9 degrees at Fayetteville (Washington County), Hardy (Sharp County), Highfill (Benton County), Mammoth Spring and Salem (both in Fulton County). This was the coldest January high at Hardy (Sharp County) since 1918, and the second coldest on record.

Winds died down (becoming light and variable) after sunset on the 6th. With a clear sky (nothing to blanket the atmosphere), it was colder in places by dawn on the 7th than it was the previous morning. At Little Rock (Pulaski County, for example, it was 9 degrees. This was the first time in the single digits since February, 1996.

When it gets this cold, utilities often get overloaded as people try to heat their homes. More than 10,000 customers lost power, with one of the larger outages (close to 5,000) at Hot Springs Village (Garland County). Water distributing pumps froze at West Memphis (Crittenden County), with no water available for a time.

 

 

As arctic high pressure ("H") retreated, a new storm system ("L") arrived from the southern Plains late on 01/08/2014.
In the picture: As arctic high pressure ("H") retreated, a new storm system ("L") arrived from the southern Plains late on 01/08/2014. Moisture increased ahead of the system, with chances for a wintry mix across the northern half of Arkansas.
 

Arctic air began shifting to the east on the 8th. A southerly wind flow started a warming trend, with afternoon temperatures in the 30s to lower 40s. In the transition from cold to warmer, the atmosphere became unsettled. Clouds and moisture increased, with areas of light precipitation developing.

 

Temperatures struggled to make it above freezing from Little Rock (Pulaski County) northward. This was not a good situation, with pockets of light freezing rain creating a thin layer of ice on roadways. There were numerous traffic accidents reported.

In the pictures: The type of wintry precipitation is highly dependent on the depth of the cold air. During this event, retreating arctic air became more shallow with time, with freezing rain becoming the primary precipitation type across northern and central sections of the state.

 

 

Near Dover (Pope County), a school bus overturned while taking kids home early from school due to the ice. Elsewhere, there were at least three weather related accidents that resulted in fatalities according to Arkansas State Police. These accidents were in Leola (Grant County), just north of Bald Knob (White County) and near Jerusalem (Conway County).

 

Projected freezing rain/ice accruals in the twenty four hour period ending at 1200 pm CST on 01/09/2014.
In the picture: Projected freezing rain/ice accruals in the twenty four hour period ending at 1200 pm CST on 01/09/2014.
 

During the wee hours of the 9th, roads remained icy across northern and central sections of the state. Chances for freezing rain/freezing drizzle continued through morning, especially from Conway (Faulkner County) and Searcy (White County) toward Jonesboro (Craighead County).

While the ice impacted travel, and caused some power outages, this was not a major ice storm. Event ice totals mostly ranged from a few hundredths of an inch up to around a quarter of an inch.

 

Storm Reports
Preliminary reports of snow and ice in the Little Rock County Warning Area on January 5-8, 2014 (in red).
Submit a storm report.
There were reports of light snow in northern Arkansas on January 5th, 2014, and freezing rain/ice on the north on the 8th. For a look at the reports, click here.
 
Link of Interest
Plot Reports
In the picture: Preliminary reports of snow and ice in the Little Rock County Warning Area on January 5-8, 2014 (in red).
 

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