Source: Mary Jones, OEP Director
The threat for winter weather precipitation, specifically freezing rain, will be of growing concern over the next 24-36 hours from the Red River of extreme NE Texas northward to the Ouachita mountains in SE Oklahoma and adjacent SW Arkansas. This potential threat may expand more southward on Thursday into south central Arkansas and north central Louisiana. However, the higher terrain along the Ouachitas has served as a buffer to slow the progression of colder air into our region compared to areas farther north.
Timing and Overview:
A cold Arctic air mass will continue to slowly advance its way deeper into the region over the next several days. This air mass will likely bring near freezing temperatures to our far northern counties over the next 24 hours. At the same time, rain showers and isolated thunderstorms are expected to increase across the entire region.
Four State Impacts:
Expected Accumulations: Where temperatures manage to reach freezing, the threat of freezing rain will become an issue with some light accumulations possible. Given the forecast uncertainty with this scenario, no winter weather advisory headlines have been issued just yet. However, this will likely change as the forecast continues to be further refined.
Impacts: If freezing rain does occur, any light accumulations will begin to cause some travel concerns, especially on elevated surfaces like bridges and overpasses. Major highways and secondary roads may also develop some slick spots depending on the rate of accumulation.