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Icy conditions could cause slippery commute

Power outages reported in region
Published: Jan. 18, 2022 at 12:14 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 19, 2022 at 11:26 PM CST
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Rain changing to freezing rain and possibly sleet or snow caused some problems for Wednesday afternoon commuters.

Following a rainy morning, Meteorologist Zach Holder said cold air will start to catch up with lingering precipitation.

Freezing temperatures were expected to move in by 5 to 7 p.m. with light rain changing over to a wintry mix before ending as snow.

Extremely cold Arctic air was expected to move in overnight, bringing wind chills below zero in some north and western parts of Region 8. A wind chill advisory has been issued for Randolph, Lawrence, Sharp, Fulton, Izard, Stone, and Baxter counties. The NWS warns frostbite and hypothermia can occur quickly if precautions are not taken. They advise if venturing outdoors, such as bus stops, to wear heavy coats, hat and gloves.

Rain changing to freezing rain and possibly sleet or snow could cause problems for afternoon...
Rain changing to freezing rain and possibly sleet or snow could cause problems for afternoon commuters.(KAIT-TV)

“It’ll give us a little bit of everything—rain, snow, sleet, and freezing rain—just in time for the drive home,” he said.

While precipitation will be light, he cautioned that it doesn’t take much ice to cause slick bridges and overpasses.

Even though it’s not a big storm, be careful on the roads this evening, especially on bridges.

Posted by Ryan Vaughan, Region 8 StormTEAM on Wednesday, January 19, 2022

“A flash freeze won’t help things,” he added. “This airmass is much colder than what we had over the weekend.”

As temperatures quickly fall, whatever rainwater is left on the roadways will quickly freeze, causing more problems for motorists.

Rain changing to freezing rain and possibly sleet or snow could cause problems for afternoon...
Rain changing to freezing rain and possibly sleet or snow could cause problems for afternoon commuters.(KAIT-TV)

“Not everyone sees the freezing rain, and some will change to sleet or snow,” Holder said. “Little to no snow accumulation is expected but small amounts of ice may cause a few slick spots on bridges and overpasses.”

While he expects this to be a “minor event,” he warned it bears watching.

Power outages were also being reported Wednesday evening throughout Region 8.

As of 8:45 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 19, Entergy Arkansas reported 3,147 customers were without power statewide including in the following Region 8 counties:

  • Clay - 3
  • Craighead - 334
  • Crittenden - 185
  • Mississippi - 595
  • St. Francis - 112
  • White - 1

One of the best ways to be aware of the weather is to follow the Region 8 StormTEAM:

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