Significant Ice Accumulations Likely

It is appearing more and more likely that significant freezing rain may accumulate between Monday afternoon and Wednesday. The heaviest of the freezing rain is expected to fall on Tuesday morning for Northwest Arkansas. Ice accumulations will be a lot less over the river valley and tapper off to near nothing further south. Ice accumulations of a quarter inch or greater is considered significant. This is the threshold of when most trees begin to loose branches that can take down some power lines. Here is a map of the area showing the risk for significant icing.


Due to this high risk of significant ice accumulations in Northwest Arkansas and Northeastern Oklahoma, the National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch. A Winter Storm Watch is in effect for Monday afternoon through Wednesday for Benton, Washington, Carroll, Madison, Delaware, Cherokee, Adair, and Muskogee counties.



Ross Ellet


13 Responses

  1. GREAT ICE STORM!!!!!!! Just how bad is ut suppose to be???? I live in Bella Vista

  2. What are ground temperatures in our area? Will all roadways ice up?

  3. Cathy,

    Ice accumulations greater than 1/4 of an inch look likley for your area. Some models have upwards to an inch of ice.

    Ross Ellet

  4. Michael,

    The ground temperatures are in the low 40s for northwest Arkansas and northeast Oklahoma. Ground temperatures are in the upper 40s across the river valley. Prolonged periods of subfreezing weather between now and the time the freezing rain begins to fall could make roads slick, especially on bridges and overpasses.

    Ross Ellet

  5. i live in sallisaw do we have a good chance at some ice too?

  6. Good Saturday evening to all of you. The OZ data has arrived, and the GFS continues to show a real scary solution for late Monday and all of Tuesday. Major warm air advection continues to be the story at 850 mb, along with a decent moisture feed across the area. This scenario looks to indicate the potential for major icing across NE OK and NW AR where surface temperatures will struggle to get above freezing.

    The NAM has a different scenario with the cold air. It’s trying to depict a colder solution aloft for Tuesday. This would inidicate more of a sleet/snow event north of I-40.

    Both models are wet, in fact, the NAM has been the outlier in all of this, and it’s just now starting to get on board. My gut tells me to stick with the GFS at this point.

  7. Michael,

    You will most likely pick up on some light ice accumulations Monday night and Tuesday morning before the freezing rain changes to rain in Sallisaw. However, stay tuned for later blog updates. If the cold air becomes more dominate further south this could change.

    Ross Ellet

  8. Is it safe to assume most schools will be in session Monday, but may be closed on Tuesday and/or Wednesday?

  9. Will the higher terrian of the Boston Mts. help most of NW Arkansas?

  10. I’ve an idea Mena & the Ouachitas in general down this way will get significant ice accumulations out of this by Mon. night & Tuesday! What do you think?

  11. Anna,

    At this point, I think that’ probably the case. The major icing isn’t forecast to occur until Monday night into Tuesday morning. Freezing drizzle will likely start late in the day on Monday, but not enough to close schools.

  12. Christian,

    In this situation the Boston Mountains won’t be much help with freezing rain/drizzle. The shallow cold layer of air extends to around 2500 ft; that will cover the mountain from top to bottom. The cold air will already be in place, and with warm air aloft, freezing rain will likely occur.

  13. Jerry,

    Good to hear from you my friend. Your area poses the greatest bust potential with this forecast. Your surface temperatures will likely hover at or just above freezing. If that’s the case your ice potential will be smaller. It’s tough to call, but I think a mix of freezing rain and rain will likely occur. We’ll have to watch surface temperatures Monday night into Tuesday morning.

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