The final data will take a while to calculate, but at this time it appears the Ice Storm Of 2009 is easily the worst winter storm to hit the state since the Ice Storm of 2000 and may end up becoming the worst winter storm since December 14, 1932 according to the National Weather Service. That was over 76 years ago, nearly a lifetime. The Ice Storm of 2009 very well could be a storm that children end up telling their grandchildren about, but could it have been worse?
Just 2 degrees saved Fort Smith from an even bigger blow. If the temperature was at 32 instead of 34 degrees last Tuesday the city would of had nearly twice the destruction of northwest Arkansas and rivaled the worst ice storm in world history which occurred in eastern Ontario and southwest Quebec in 1998. That area got between 3 – 4.5″ of freezing rain, cost 8 billion in damages, killed dozens, and took months to restore power. Meteorologically speaking being just 2 degrees off on a forecast is considered a decent forecast. A slight warm up saved the city and river valley of a massive catastrophe. On a lighter note but just as impressive, if the upper atmosphere remained cold enough to support snow it would have demolished records. Northwest Arkansas would have been dealing with more than a foot and a half of snowfall. The river valley would have seen over 40″. In other words, it would of been almost like getting a decades worth of snowfall in just one day.