Climate Data
Yearly Reports
Interested in what kind of weather occurred in a recent year? Check out the most memorable events below.
 
Turning Colder/Winter Storm on December 5-6, 2013
 
A cold front surged into Arkansas from the north on December 4th. The front was followed by a blast of arctic air and plenty of moisture, with a winter storm on the 5th/6th.
In the pictures: A cold front slowly worked toward the Gulf Coast, with sharply colder air and wintry precipitation spreading into Arkansas from the north in the twenty four hour period ending at 1200 pm CST on 12/06/2013.

 

It sure did not feel like winter ahead of the front. On the 4th, it was 79 degrees at Monticello (Drew County), with 78 degrees at El Dorado (Union County), Pine Bluff (Jefferson County) and Texarkana (Miller County), and 77 degrees at Little Rock (Pulaski County).
A cold front was just entering Arkansas from the Plains by 200 pm CST on 12/04/2013.
In the picture: A cold front was just entering Arkansas from the Plains by 200 pm CST on 12/04/2013. Preceding the front, it felt like spring. Temperatures dropped quickly behind the front.

 

Temperatures at 1200 am CST on 12/05/2013.
While readings were still mild in the southeast at midnight CST on the 5th, the mercury quickly approached freezing in the northwest after the front went through.
In the picture: Temperatures at 1200 am CST on 12/05/2013. Readings varied widely across a front, with 30s in northwest Arkansas to the 60s in the southeast.

 

Areas of rain developed behind the front on the 5th. As subfreezing air poured into northwest sections of the state, freezing rain/sleet broke out. In the far northwest, it was cold enough for snow.

 

Sleet accumulated at Mountain Home (Baxter County) on 12/05/2013.
In the picture: Sleet accumulated at Mountain Home (Baxter County) on 12/05/2013. The photo is courtesy of Mel Coleman. Click to enlarge.
Across Izard County, icicles were caused by freezing rain.
In the picture: Across Izard County, icicles were caused by freezing rain. The photo is courtesy of Caren Smith.Click to enlarge.
 

Through the evening of the 5th, 1.25 inches of glaze (from freezing rain) was reported at Greenwood (Sebastian County). A few miles southwest of Johnson (Washington County), 3 inches of sleet was noted, with 2 inches of sleet at Harrison (Boone County). At Bella Vista and Pea Ridge (both in Benton County), 5 to 6 inches of snow and sleet was measured.

 

The WSR-88D (Doppler Weather Radar) showed snow and ice north of Little Rock (Pulaski County) at 1124 pm CST on 12/05/2013.
In the picture: The WSR-88D (Doppler Weather Radar) showed snow and ice north of Little Rock (Pulaski County) at 1124 pm CST on 12/05/2013.
 

By the early morning hours of the 6th, snow and ice continued falling north of Little Rock (Pulaski County), with rain farther south. As the day progressed, temperatures fell below freezing in central and much of southern Arkansas. Rain in these areas became freezing rain/sleet.

 

Overall snow and ice totals through 600 pm CST on 12/06/2013.
In the picture: Overall snow and ice totals through 600 pm CST on 12/06/2013.
 

As the event ended during the afternoon of the 6th, snow and sleet accumulations were impressive across the northern/western counties. Calico Rock (Izard County) was buried under a foot of pellets and powder, with 11 inches at Marshall (Searcy County), 10 inches at Oakland (Marion County) and Salem (Fulton County), and 9 inches at Harrison (Boone County) and Jasper (Newton County). At least an inch of sleet was measured as far south as the Little Rock (Pulaski County) area.

In the days to follow, the weight of the snow/ce caused structures to collapse. At Ash Flat (Sharp County), a convenience store canopy collapsed and injured a man. Boat docks buckled on Lake Norfork near Henderson (Baxter County). In Marion County alone, structural damage estimates were close to $10 million. At least a dozen turkey houses in the county were flattened, killing tens of thousands of turkeys.

 

Links of Interest
Boat Docks Collapsed on Lake Norfork Near Henderson (Baxter County) courtesy of Mel Coleman
A Storage Building/Barn Buckled Near Yellville (Marion County) courtesy of Keith Edmonds of the Marion County Office of Emergency Management

 

As snow/sleet piled up in Harrison (Boone County), the temperature only managed to reach 20 degrees. This was the coldest high temperature locally so early in the season.

 

Conditions leading to the snow/sleet made it too cold for much freezing rain/glaze. Initially, it was feared that a major ice storm would unfold.
In the pictures: The type of wintry precipitation is highly dependent on the depth of the cold air. During this event, the cold air that came in from the north was shallow, with a prominent warm layer aloft. This is the perfect freezing rain setup, and there was a fear of an ice storm. Fortunately, the warm layer eroded with time, leading to snow/sleet and keeping freezing rain to a minimum.

 

That is what happened in Dallas, TX the day before. Ice buildup created more than 200,000 power outages in the metro area (as compared to 60,000 power outages in Arkansas), with hundreds of flights canceled. Around here, the ice was not that bad overall. Significant ice was confined to the Ouachita Mountains and parts of the Arkansas River valley in western sections of the state. Accruals over half an inch were reported. This includes Fort Smith (Sebastian County), Mena (Polk County), Mount Ida (Montgomery County) and Russellville (Pope County).

 

Link of Interest
Trees in Waldron (Scott County) Were Covered in Ice photo courtesy of Fae Cain via Facebook

 

The ice did cause a fatality. North of Dover (Pope County), a tree weighed down by ice fell into a camping trailer and killed a man.

Roads were hazardous in much of the state during the afternoon/overnight hours of the 6th as temperatures dipped into the single digits, 10s and 20s. At the same time, a breezy north to northeast wind created wind chill index values below zero in areas toward the Missouri border.

 

Storm Reports
Preliminary reports of winter precipitation in the Little Rock County Warning Area on December 6, 2013 (in red).
Submit a storm report.
There were numerous reports of snow, sleet and freezing rain, especially in the northern half of Arkansas on December 6, 2013. For a look at some reports, click here.
 
Link of Interest
Plot Reports
In the picture: Preliminary reports of winter precipitation in the Little Rock County Warning Area on December 6, 2013 (in red).
 

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