There’s a long-running Arkansas joke that roughly goes, “if you don’t like the weather, just wait, it will be different tomorrow.”
Yet, even by this state’s darkly hilarious standards, the end of 2022 and the beginning of 2023 was a wild one, weather wise.
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First it was cold, really cold.
The National Weather Service office in North Little Rock called it “a blast of Arctic air on December 22nd sent temperatures below zero in parts of northern Arkansas.”
In central Arkansas that meant temperatures in the single digits with wind chill values well below zero as social media posts proliferated of people taking boiling water into their yards and creating snow.
Yet, it was even colder elsewhere in Arkansas where in Harrison, that city saw a low of -6. As in six degrees below zero.
Real snow followed on Christmas Eve and some in Arkansas woke up to a White Christmas with some, not lots, but some snow on the ground. Especially in the shade.
But new year, new weather as the state rapidly warmed up going into January as highs were in the 70s across the state.
The Weather Service noted in Harrison, where it had been -6 on Dec. 23, that on Monday, Jan. 2, it was 75, “(a difference of 81 degrees)!”
The much warmer temperatures meant unsettled weather as heavy rain and tornadoes roared in across the state.
The heaviest rain was in east and southeast Arkansas with eight to 10 inches being measured in DeWitt and Star City with a tornado on the ground in Jessieville.
The storm touched down on Monday and literally skipped across the football field at Jessieville High School. Video of the tornado is seen below.
“Scarily, the tornado hit while school was in session, but no children were harmed” the Weather Service reported. “There were two minor injuries reported in town.”