Here’s what we know: It is going to be cold this long holiday weekend.
Like really cold. Cold even by frigid Canadian standards.
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Forecasters at the National Weather Service office in North Little Rock said the temparture will drop below freezing Thursday and will below 32 degrees until sometime Monday.
Temperatures will be in the single digits on Friday and Saturday morning and wind chills will be -10 to -20 degrees on Friday. Possibly extending into Saturday.
Some parts of Arkansas’s hill country could get 1 to 2 inches of snow but central Arkansas, at the moment, isn’t forecasted to get snow.
At the moment because like all weather events, things could change day to day, or even hour to hour.
Regardless, dress in layers and bring your pets and plants inside.
The city of North Little Rock will also open a warming center on Thursday at The River House located at 120 Riverfront Park Drive in North Little Rock. It opens at 4 p.m. and will remain open until 8 a.m. on Monday.
So, what does this mean for Christmas?
Wouldn’t want to be flying but those criss-crossing the state by car to be with family should be fine.
The best chance of snow is Thursday with it clearing out but just staying cold on Saturday, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.
For those who celebrate Boxing Day, on Monday, you should also be fine. It will just be cold.
NWS forecast for central ArkansasFriday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 20 and a low around 12. Gusts as high as 25 mph.Saturday: Sunny, with a high near 29 and a low around 17. Gusts as high as 15 mph during the dayChristmas Day: Sunny, with a high near 37 and a low around 26. Calm wind.Monday: Partly sunny, with a high near 42 and a low around 23.
Friday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 20 and a low around 12. Gusts as high as 25 mph.
Saturday: Sunny, with a high near 29 and a low around 17. Gusts as high as 15 mph during the day
Christmas Day: Sunny, with a high near 37 and a low around 26. Calm wind.
Monday: Partly sunny, with a high near 42 and a low around 23.
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The lack of forecast snow means the elusive “White Christmas” remains that way for Arkansas.
The National Weather Service has been keeping records in Arkansas since 1875 and the state saw snowfall in just 12 of those years on Christmas, while in three other years, the state already had snow on the ground, so people at least woke up to a White Christmas.
The most recent “White Christmas” was exactly a decade ago when a surprise blizzard hit Arkansas in 2012.
A real blizzard, not the kind you get at Dairy Queen, when the Weather Service issued a “blizzard warning” for northeast Arkansas. Making it the state’s first “official blizzard.”
Little Rock, that day, saw a recorded nine inches of snow, while most other parts of the state saw more than 10 inches of snow. It was even more snow in the higher elevations of north-central Arkansas getting 15 to a high of 17.5 inches that day.
The snow kept falling as 1.3 inches of snow were recorded in Little Rock on the following day, with other portions of the state getting more.
The results from the snow were fairly typical, snarled roads, stranded travelers and more than 260,000 homes and businesses lost power that day, with the state taking a week, or more to recover.
That year was just one of two White Christmases, where snow starts that day and accumulates, with the other happening in 1926.
There’s been a total of 15 times with snow in and around Christmas in Arkansas, with measurable snow seen four times, with flurries or trace amounts falling eight times. The other three times were from Christmas Eve, or earlier, snow.
1876: Two inches of snow was on the ground from snowfall on Christmas Eve.
1879: Christmas Eve rain changed to snow, which continued into Christmas morning.
1887: Snow fell with no accumulation.
1897: One inch of snow fell on Christmas Day morning.
1913: Snow started at midnight and continued on Christmas Day. A total of 1.5 inches of snow fell.
1914: Snow fell with no accumulation.
1918: Snow fell with no accumulation.
1926: Sleet turned into snow with a total of 1.7 inches of sleet and 2.5 inches of snow.
1935: Snow fell with no accumulation.
1939: Snow fell with no accumulation.
1962: Christmas Eve snow of 1.5 inches but it melted during the night leaving only patches of snow on the ground Christmas morning.
1963: Heavy snow on Dec. 22 left more than four inches still on the ground by Christmas Day.
1975: Snow fell with no accumulation.
1983: Snow from earlier that week left about an inch of snow and ice still on the ground.
1990: 2.4 inches of snow and sleet fell earlier in the week and most of it remained on the ground through Christmas Day.
2000: A trace of snow was on the ground on Christmas Day but the worst was still to come as a major long-term ice storm developed that day and continued through Dec. 27. It left three inches of ice in Little Rock and more around the state, completely shutting down Arkansas in one of the worst ice storms in recorded history.
2009: Snow fell with no accumulation.
2012: Nine inches of snow in Little Rock, with more around Arkansas for the state’s snowiest White Christmas.