Band of snow, ice to create hazardous travel from Texas to Arkansas
By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
December 08, 2018, 6:22:36 PM EST
Old Man Winter is dealing a swath of snow and ice across the south-central United States into Saturday evening.
The storm has the potential to bring enough snow and ice to shut down travel for a time over part of the southern Plains and slow down travel in part of the middle Mississippi and Tennessee valleys.
The weight of the wet snow and ice may bring down trees, which can lead to power outages on a regional level.
Shipping originating from, passing through or ending up in this area may be adversely affected.
Download the free AccuWeather app to see how the storm is likely to affect your area.
Snow, ice to sweep through southern Plains
Ice or a wintry mix will be a major part of this storm across portions of northern Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas.
Some of the hardest hit areas in terms of ice and/or snow are likely to be in part of northwestern Texas and the Ozark Mountains in northwestern Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma.
ROAD CONDITIONS – Drivers use caution on bridges and overpasses in OKC metro, and south as conditions are slick this morning. Check conditions before heading out, allow extra travel time.— OKDOT (@OKDOT) December 8, 2018
Where little or no sleet and freezing rain mix in, 6 inches of snow or more could fall.
Over 10 inches of snow were reported at the National Weather Service office in Lubbock on Saturday morning.
The snow is leading to treacherous conditions on the roadways.
In part of the mix zone, the storm may begin as rain, then transition to ice and snow or alternate between all three forms of precipitation as colder air arrives.
Cities that are forecast to be dealt a wintry mix include Oklahoma City; Fort Smith, Arkansas; and Wichita Falls, Texas.
"While a few inches of snow may not seem like much, the combination of snow, sleet and freezing rain can be extremely difficult to remove and very dangerous to venture through," according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Maggie Samuhel.
The event may end as snow or a wintry mix around Little Rock, Arkansas, on Saturday afternoon and night.
Rain expected to lead to flooding in Deep South
Farther south, rain is expected to be heavy enough to cause urban flooding across the South.
It may be best for timeliness and safety for cross-country shipping and travel interests to seek an alternative route farther north, such as I-70 or I-80, or south such as I-20 or I-10, even though there will be some rain-related delays across the Deep South. Most of the flooding problems will be limited to underpasses and secondary roads.
How to drive safely when roads are covered with snow and ice
How to survive a power outage in winter
Shoveling snow increases risk for winter heart attacks, experts say
Experts debunk 4 winter driving myths
Snow and ice to dab at Tennessee, but focus farther East
East of the Mississippi River, the storm will continue to produce a swath of ice and snow on its northern flank.
A period of freezing rain, sleet and snow is anticipated over portions of Tennessee and southern Kentucky.
Expect slippery conditions for a time around Nashville, Knoxville and Memphis, Tennessee.
The worst of the wintry side of the storm in the Southeast states is likely to focus on parts of the I-77, I-81 and I-85 corridors.
"The effects of the multi-faceted storm, in particular, power and travel, may linger for days in some areas after the last flakes and bits of ice occur," Samuhel said. "Many of the areas set to receive snow and ice from this storm are ill-equipped to handle a small amount, let alone the amount anticipated from this storm."
Comments that don't add to the conversation may be automatically or manually removed by Facebook or AccuWeather. Profanity, personal attacks, and spam will not be tolerated.
More Weather News
Weather News - March 20, 2019, 3:55:04 PM EDT
Historic river flooding rages on throughout much of the central United States on Wednesday following a 'bomb cyclone' that struck the region last week.
Weather News - March 20, 2019, 3:26:42 PM EDT
In less than 24 hours, Veronica went from an unnamed tropical low to a Category 4 intense tropical cyclone as it spun off the northwest coastline of Western Australia.
Weather News - March 20, 2019, 2:50:28 PM EDT
A storm destined to become the next 'bomb cyclone' for the United States will target the Northeast with high winds from Friday to Saturday as cold air blasts in.
Weather News - March 20, 2019, 3:59:08 PM EDT
A storm forecast to undergo rapid strengthening will bring drenching rain, coastal flooding and heavy interior snow part of the Northeast and may become the next bomb cyclone to affect the United States to end the week.
Death toll rises in Mozambique as extent of ‘humanitarian castrophe’ from devastating Cyclone Idai becomes clearer
Weather News - March 20, 2019, 10:39:55 AM EDT
The number of fatalities continues to rise as communities remain isolated by devastating flooding caused by Tropical Cyclone Idai.
Toxic chemicals from your spring cleaning products could end up in the water you drink.
Weather News - March 20, 2019, 12:58:07 PM EDT
While many across the southern Plains have been enjoying dry, springlike weather over the past week or so, another round of wet and disruptive weather is on the horizon.