Today is forecast to be Much Cooler than yesterday.
Forecast for Baxter
Updated: 3:50 am CST on March 4, 2015
Winter Storm Warning in effect until 6 am CST Thursday...
Patchy fog in the morning. Rain and light freezing rain in the morning. Sleet during the day. Light snow in the afternoon. Snow accumulations of 1 to 3 inches. Ice accumulations of one tenth of an inch. Highs in the mid 30s. Temperatures falling into the mid 20s. North winds 5 to 10 mph. The chance of precipitation near 100 percent.
Occasional light snow in the evening...then a chance of light snow after midnight. Snow accumulations of 2 to 3 inches. Total snow accumulations 3 to 6 inches. Lows around 15. North winds 5 to 10 mph. The chance of precipitation 90 percent in the evening...decreasing to 50 percent after midnight. Coldest wind chill readings around 10 above.
Mostly sunny. Highs around 30. North winds 5 to 10 mph. Coldest wind chill readings 9 to 14.
... Winter Storm Warning remains in effect until 6 am CST Thursday...
A Winter Storm Warning remains in effect until 6 am CST Thursday.
* Event... freezing rain... sleet... and snow... will spread across northern Arkansas.
* Accumulations... snow and sleet accumulations will range from 3 to 6 inches... with the largest amounts to the northeast toward Hardy and Batesville. Some light freezing rain accumulations may also be possible... with up to a tenth of an inch before precipitation transitions to sleet and snow.
* Timing... this event will unfold today and tonight.
* Impacts... travel issues are expected on area roadways... especially given well below freezing temperatures tonight.
Winter Storm Warning means significant amounts of snow... sleet... and ice are expected or occurring. Strong winds are also possible. This will make travel very hazardous or impossible.
Public Information Statement
Statement as of 6:00 am CST on March 4, 2015
... Todays topic for severe weather awareness week is tornadoes...
Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson has proclaimed the week of March 1st through 7th as severe weather awareness week in Arkansas.
A different topic will be discussed each day... and todays topic is tornadoes.
In 2014... Arkansas recorded only 20 tornadoes. In an average year... 33 tornadoes are expected in the state.
By far... the biggest event featuring a tornado unfolded on April 27th. A monster tornado /rated EF4/ tracked 41 miles though Pulaski... Faulkner and white counties... and killed 16 people. It was the deadliest tornado in Arkansas since the Jonesboro twister of may 15th of 1968 /35 fatalities/. It was also the deadliest tornado in the country last year.
Monster tornadoes like this are rare. Since 2000 across the region... only 2 other tornadoes rated as high as the one on April 27th. In the same time frame... 624 tornadoes were spawned locally... and 82 percent of them /513 tornadoes/ were weak /rated EF0 or EF1/. These weak twisters accounted for only 3 fatalities.
The peak seasons for tornadoes in Arkansas are Spring and fall. This is when warm and cold air masses collide most often. In 2014... of the 20 tornadoes counted... there were 10 in October and 6 in April.
... Outdoor tornado sirens...
Many towns and counties in Arkansas have acquired outdoor warning sirens to alert the public when tornadoes threaten. When these sirens are kept in proper working order... they do their job as expected and help warn the public.
While tornado warnings often cause the sirens to blow... the National Weather Service does not have any control over the sirens.
In Little Rock... North Little Rock... and Pulaski County... the National Weather Service has an advisory role as to when the sirens should be sounded... but this does not prevent these jurisdictions from blowing their sirens if they deem it necessary. Elsewhere in Arkansas... the decision to blow the sirens is made by designated city or County officials.
... What you can do to protect yourself - tornado safety rules...
One of the newer safety rules is to avoid taking shelter under a Highway overpass. Rotating winds surrounding a tornado can hit you with a lot of debris... and blow you out from beneath the bridge.
Be sure you know the difference between a watch and a warning. The National Weather Service issues a Tornado Watch when tornadoes are possible. A Tornado Warning is issued when a tornado has been indicated on Doppler weather radar or has been sighted.
Counties and cities are mentioned in tornado warnings. If you are new to the area... keep a map handy for reference.
Make sure that you have a reliable way to receive weather information. Battery-powered NOAA weather radios are an excellent way to keep up with the weather... even if your power has gone out.
If you are going to be at a large gathering... such as at a school... stadium or place of worship... make sure that someone is keeping an eye on the weather.
A tornado shelter... tornado cellar... or a safe room is the safest place to be... but these are not found in most homes. The next safest place is usually a basement... but these are not common in Arkansas. If you do not have any of these... go to an interior room on the lowest floor of a house or building. Put as many walls between you and the outdoors as possible.
Many businesses... such as large stores... shopping malls... hospitals... nursing homes... and schools have pre-arranged safety plans and designated safe areas. If you are in one of these places... follow the instructions given inside these buildings.
If you are in a vehicle... your best option is to move to a sturdy building.
Mobile homes... even if tied down... offer little protection during a tornado... and should be abandoned.
Keep in mind that the elderly... the very Young... and people with physical or mental challenges will often Need More time to get to safety. Make special provisions if you are a care-giver for these people.
Notes for the news media... there will not be a formal tornado drill this year conducted by the National Weather Service in Little Rock. Even so... people are encouraged to practice going to a place of safety when the NOAA Weather Radio alarm is sounded during the routine weekly test. This test is usually on Wednesday between 11 am and noon. However... due to threatening weather... the test may be postponed until Thursday at the same time.
For a list of all the tornadoes and other significant weather events that occurred in 2014...