Wintry precip exiting the area, but dangerous conditions remain overnight

Weather

UPDATE (12:52a, Thursday): Slightly drier air is trying to creep in from the northwest, but likely won’t have much success as we go through the night. Many locations that are currently sitting in the upper 20s for temperatures will likely only fall a few more degrees before morning. Regardless, as temperatures drop, roadways will continue to become more slippery and dangerous through sunrise.

UPDATE (10:35p, Wednesday): Shallow moisture and low clouds continue to keep much of the ArkLaMiss relatively close to the freezing mark, especially across northern Louisiana. Surprisingly, that’s actually a good thing. As dry air tries to move in at the surface, temperatures would fall quickly. Subsequently, this would lead to an increased rate of re-freeze on our local roadways. While roads will continue to freeze as long as temperatures are at freezing or below, it will take a longer time for solid ice to form. Regardless, travel remains ill-advised through early tomorrow unless absolutely necessary.

We’re still expecting some patchy light sleet/snow across portions of north Louisiana tomorrow, as the upper level “leftovers” from this event move east. Accumulations, if any, should be light (less than 0.5″ total). However, any additional accumulations are unwelcome atop the significant ice accumulations we’ve already seen.

UPDATE (8:14p, Wednesday): Most of the area’s wintry precipitation is drawing to a close this evening, but has left a mark on the region. Ice accumulations are causing widespread power outages across much of Louisiana, including in the ArkLaMiss.

At 7pm, nearly 61% of all reported Entergy outages were in the ArkLaMiss. Residents should prepare for possible power outages overnight, even in areas where the freezing rain and sleet have ended. Winds will increase to around 10 mph overnight, leading to the potential of snapped tree limbs and power lines due to the excessive weight.

Road conditions will continue to worsen overnight. On highly traveled roads, conditions are better; however, areas of black ice will be particularly dangerous. On secondary and less traveled roads, the ice and snowpack from the week may make them impassable. Avoid all unnecessary travel through tomorrow morning. Temperatures will climb above freezing briefly tomorrow, but the combination of a light wintry mix and overcast skies won’t allow for much improvement through the day.

Roads should begin a more noticeable clearing by Friday, as highs climb back into the upper 30s and sunshine returns to the area.

In the meantime, conserve energy and warmth in your home overnight.

UPDATE (1:40p, Wednesday): Widespread wintry mix continues across the region. Freezing rain, with occasional rain, continues in our southern parishes. Meanwhile, areas along the I-20 corridor have seen a consistent freezing rain/sleet mix. Farther northward, snow with some sleet continues across southern Arkansas. This afternoon, a narrow band of intense snowfall extends from far northern Calhoun and Ouachita counties northeastward into central Arkansas near Pine Bluff. Near whiteout conditions have been observed, at times.

Additional accumulations will continue through late afternoon and early evening, with significant ice accretion potentially leading to additional power outages across the area. While main roads remain passable for now, the entire region will drop well below freezing tonight.

Latest Radar Image (1:38p, Wednesday)

UPDATE (11:30a, Wednesday): Precip is now largely changing over to freezing rain, with some sleet mixing in. Still seeing ongoing snow/sleet into southern Arkansas, but many of us are seeing freezing rain. We still have multiple hours of steady precip to go.

UPDATE (8:30a, Wednesday): More of the same, with moderate to heavy precipitation continuing.

UPDATE (8:00a, Wednesday): Precipitation has now filled into a large chunk of the ArkLaMiss. We’re getting reports of everything from snow, sleet and freezing rain. Roads will continue to get worse from here, so exercise extreme caution if you have to travel. If you can stay home today, that’s recommended.

UPDATE (7:00a, Wednesday): Precipitation is quickly reorganizing off towards our southwest, filling into the ArkLaMiss. Right now the heaviest precipitation in the ArkLaMiss is across our western counties/parishes. Expect this activity to continue to organize through the remainder of the day.

UPDATE (6:30a, Wednesday): Precipitation is struggling to hold together across the area, as drier air is continuing to eat into the precipitation. Still on track to see the heavier precipitation later on in the day.

UPDATE (5:45a, Wednesday): It appears some drier air is trying to eat into our ongoing precipitation. With this being said, the heaviest precipitation is expected to move in later this morning into the early afternoon.

UPDATE (5:05a, Wednesday): Not too much change from the last update, but it appears freezing rain is making it closer to I-20. Snow/sleet continues to the north.

UPDATE (4:15a, Wednesday): Precip is starting to fill into more of the ArkLaMiss, with the first signs of freezing rain moving into our southwestern parishes.

UPDATE (3:30a, Wednesday): Precipitation continues to overspread the ArkLaMiss. Snow/sleet is mainly falling as of now, but some reports of freezing rain are coming in.

UPDATE (1:24a, Wednesday): Surface observations in both El Dorado and Camden are now reporting light snowfall.

UPDATE (1:15a, Wednesday): Widespread light snow is returning to portions of northwest Louisiana. Much of what is seen on radar is failing to reach the ground as it evaporates in dry air near the surface.

Overall, the forecast remains on track with light snowfall overtaking much of the ArkLaMiss over the next several hours. Farther south, a mixture of freezing rain and sleet are expected. The entire area remains under a Winter Storm Warning into Thursday.

Temperatures will remain below freezing through much of the early half of the day, but a changeover to sleet/freezing rain is expected by early to mid-afternoon for much of the region. Ice accumulations could be significant. Some roads may become impassable. Residents should prepare to keep warm in the event of power outages, which remains a very possible scenario through the day. Forecast graphics below have been updated to reflect our forecast.

WEST MONROE, LA (KTVE/KARD) Happy Tuesday! I hope you’ve been able to stay safe and warm. We remain cold and snow covered and quiet, but we have a lot to talk about regarding out next winter storm that is right around the corner.

Heading into tonight, especially once the sun goes down, roads WILL refreeze. This will make driving safely across all of the ArkLaMiss into tonight. Once the sun goes down, there’s really no reason to be on the road anyway, as precip will move in after midnight.

The next 24-48 hours are going to be a mess. Let’s start with tonight first. the sun has done a wonderful job thawing us out… to some extent. Keep in mind, once the sun goes down, road will nearly instantly refreeze, making our area an ice rink. Travel is discouraged after sunset, and really until further notice as we gear up to take on our next significant winter storm.

We will see areas of light sleet/snow first, especially across our northern and western counties/parishes early on. Eventually, the heavier precip move in through much of the day Wednesday, with activity generally tapering in intensity/coverage into Thursday morning. Right now, this is looking to be a mainly snow/sleet event for southern Arkansas, with some sleet/mainly freezing for the main body of Louisiana, with freezing rain/liquid rain across our southern parishes.

Now, the main question we have with this forecast is temperatures, especially the further south you go. If we see colder temps, then more ice is expected. If we see warmer temps, we could be dealing with more plain rain. It’s going to be a close call, but it’s becoming increasing more likely for a significant ice storm to shape up, mainly into Louisiana. This one would do a number on trees and power lines.

Accumulations of ice are looking to be anywhere from 0.25″ to 0.75″, with potentially higher amounts. Southern Arkansas should see mainly snow; anywhere from 3-6″, with locally higher amounts.

The takeaways: continue to stay home if at all possible. If trends continue towards heavy ice, be prepared to lose power, and for possibly extended periods of time. If you lose power and need to stay warm in your car, that’s a great idea! Just make sure its parked in a well ventilated area. Also, kind of a related note, but as ponds freeze up, do NOT walk on the ice. It’s nowhere near thick enough to support your weight.

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