Garrett’s Blog: Winter Storm Arriving; Updated Accumulation
**The entire area has been upgraded to a WINTER STORM WARNING from 6pm Sunday until Noon Monday**
Rain is already moving in this evening and it’s expected to change over into sleet and freezing rain and eventually snow late tonight.
Road conditions should start to deteriorate after 8pm in Northwest Arkansas and after 11pm in the River Valley.
Accumulations will vary wildly due to several different precipitation types. The heaviest snow and sleet with fall in Benton County with more sleet than snow in Washington Co and more freezing rain and sleet in the River Valley.
Here is a look at the current timeline:
By 8pm Rain will continue to move into the area from the southwest.
At midnight, most locations will be below freezing with sleet and snow in Bentonville and freezing rain in Fort Smith.
At 3am, the snow will start moving south in towards Fayetteville but it’s likely both sleet and snow will still be occurring in Northwest Arkansas. The River Valley will be experiencing freezing rain and sleet.
At 6am, snow will be the dominant type of precipitation in Northwest Arkansas with sleet in the River valley. All locations are expected to be below freezing and travel is expected to be slow and slick areawide.
The reason accumulation forecasts have varied so much has to do with “how much” of each type falls. It’s certainly possible that Benton County could pick up 6″ of snow but if more sleet mixes in… it might be as little as 2″.
Keep in mind that with temperatures this cold, accumulations really don’t matter. They will both have the same effect on road surfaces.
Assuming it’s more snow than sleet here is the current accumulation forecast from the National Weather Service.
If more sleet than snow falls… you can subtract about 3″ off of accumulations above.
We are concerned about power outages in the River Valley as ice accumulations could approach .25″ which is the typical threshold for power lines to come down.
Here is a look at the breakdown of each precipitation type based on the current forecast;
Stay tuned for updates.