The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for the entire Northwest Arkansas area. Most of the area has the Winter Storm Warning in effect from 12 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 24 through 6 a.m. Wednesday. McDonald County and Barry County have the Winter Storm Warning in effect from 4 p.m. Tuesday through 9 a.m. Wednesday. Expect rain to transition to snow this afternoon. Heavy snow bands are possible this evening with a few isolated thunderstorms.
Travel conditions will deteriorate with visibilities dropping and slush accumulating on the roadways. Widespread moderate to major impacts are expected Tuesday evening into the overnight.
Here is a time frame of what you can expect from this storm.
Chances of rain will move in late this morning. Rain will become widespread as we head into the afternoon. The rain will help to cool temperatures to around the freezing mark. Eventually, a changeover to all snow will occur. This change will initially take place in higher elevations such as the Boston Mountains during the early afternoon. By the mid-afternoon, Northwest Arkansas will see the change from rain to snow. Not too long after that, the River Valley will see snow developing.
Snowfall rates will pick up this evening into the night as the center of the winter system moves in. Heavy snow bands along with isolated thunderstorms will be possible this evening. Precipitation chances will end from the west to the east Wednesday morning as the system exits the area. The forecast should be dry by daybreak Wednesday with just a small chance of wrap-around flurries.
Widespread moderate to major impacts are expected from this system. The commute home from school and work Tuesday afternoon and evening will be hazardous as the changeover to all snow occurs. Conditions will deteriorate even further Tuesday evening into the night as the heavier snow bands move in.
If you can, avoid travel as the roads will become slushy and the visibilities will drop off to dangerous levels. Travel will become difficult to impossible during this time. The Wednesday morning drive will suffer from slushy roadways.
Impacts from this system will be felt through Wednesday as the snow struggles to melt. Any left-over moisture will refreeze Thursday morning as temperatures plummet to the upper teens. Areas of black ice will be possible Thursday morning.
Make sure to prepare for this upcoming storm as soon as possible and download the NWA Weather Authority app to keep up with all the latest. If you can’t avoid travel, make sure to have a safety kit. Food, water, warm clothes, and a flashlight are all good items to have.