Historic Weather Events
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Several historic events (Severe and Winter weather) have occurred in Arkansas since this website was started in 1996. These events are documented below.
 
Winter Storms of December, 2000
 
Several cold weather episodes affected Arkansas in December, 2000. Arctic cold fronts from the northwest brought much below normal temperatures, with two major snow and ice storms occurring. The first event occurred on the 12th and 13th, with the second event from the 25th through the 28th.

 

The surface map on 12/25/2000 featured Arctic high pressure ("H") approaching Arkansas from the northwest with subfreezing conditions. The setup for both events was similar. Arctic high pressure built into the state from the Plains, bringing at or below freezing temperatures near the ground.
In the picture: The surface map on 12/25/2000 featured Arctic high pressure ("H") approaching Arkansas from the northwest with subfreezing conditions. A storm system ("L") to the southwest pulled warmth and moisture toward the region from the Gulf Coast. This warmer air flowed overhead, with frozen precipitation melting and becoming icy toward the ground. 

 

Meanwhile, a southwest wind developed ahead of storm systems approaching from the southwest...with warmer air trying to surge into Arkansas.

 

The end result was an overrunning situation, with warmer air flowing over the top of colder conditions near the ground.
A sounding (temperature and dewpoint profile with height) at Little Rock (Pulaski County) showed a nose of above freezing air aloft, and subfreezing conditions near the ground at 600 am CST on 12/13/2000.
In the picture: A sounding (temperature and dewpoint profile with height) at Little Rock (Pulaski County) showed a nose of above freezing air aloft, and subfreezing conditions near the ground at 600 am CST on 12/13/2000. The result was freezing rain and sleet.

 

Snow and ice accumulations on December 12-13, 2000. The storm on the 12th and 13th produced primarily snow in the extreme north, with sleet and some snow from west central into north central sections. For much of central and southern Arkansas, freezing rain and sleet were common with a major ice storm noted.
In the picture: Snow and ice accumulations on December 12-13, 2000.

 

During the second event (the 25th through the 28th), mostly freezing rain and sleet were produced. Icing was most extreme in western sections of the state, with up to three inches of ice reported. Ice accumulations on December 25-28, 2000.
In the picture: Ice accumulations on December 25-28, 2000.

 

Ice collected on trees and power lines during both events. The buildup of ice stressed trees and tree limbs to the point where they fell on houses, causing some structural (mostly roof) damage. Also, power lines were downed by fallen trees, or snapped due to the weight of the ice...with numerous power outages noted. Over 500,000 customers lost power, with many customers without electricity for days (and weeks in some cases).

Looking back at the records, the events of December, 2000 were comparable to the ice of December, 1932. In the end, this was the worst icing in almost 70 years and the costliest natural disaster in state recorded history.

 

Link of Interest
An Historical Perspective

 

Icy Pictures (December, 2000)
Trees and power lines were covered with ice in the Little Rock (Pulaski County) area.
In the picture: Trees and power lines were covered with ice in the Little Rock (Pulaski County) area. Click to enlarge.
Walking and driving became difficult to impossible.
In the picture: Walking and driving became difficult to impossible. Click to enlarge.
 
Trees were easier to recognize, but were stressed by the ice.
In the picture: Trees were easier to recognize, but were stressed by the ice. Click to enlarge.
Other objects such as roads, cars and this fence were also coated.
In the picture: Other objects such as roads, cars and this fence were also coated. Click to enlarge.
 
Many street lights stopped working, but not at this intersection.
In the picture: Many street lights stopped working, but not at this intersection. Click to enlarge.

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