An unexpected weather event in Faulkner County had many motorists in hazardous driving conditions, and some students in the county were dismissed from school for the day.
Meteorologist Emilie Nipper said the mix of sleet and snow that accumulated quickly on roads Tuesday was a bit more than what was predicted.
“More moisture moved into the state and temperatures remained colder than we expected. It didn’t change over to rain as we expected in the afternoon,” Nipper said.
The temperature in Little Rock stayed at 30 degrees or below Tuesday, she said.
An exact high was not available from the National Weather Service of Little Rock Tuesday, but Nipper said accumulations that melted before sundown did so because road temperatures are typically higher than air temperatures.
“We didn’t get above freezing. The roadways hold warmth, so that held the warmth and allowed the roads to melt a little. Road temperature is typically warmer than air temperature,” she said.
Refreezing was the concern Tuesday evening, Nipper said, as temperatures were going to dip to 25.
“We’re most concerned about refreezing tonight and the commute tomorrow morning,” she said.
The weather service predicts temperatures will be above freezing between 8 and 9 a.m. Wednesday.
Highs Wednesday are in the 40s, and any remaining accumulation will melt, Nipper said.
The brief winter mix did cause problems with motorists, according to Arkansas State Police and the Conway Police Department.
State police Corporal Greg Dycus said in the middle of the weather event, nine vehicles in five separate accidents were involved at the intersection of State Highway 64 and 64B, the intersection of the Vilonia Bypass.
“The cause was ice and snow, and driving too fast,” Dycus said.
According to Dycus, the multiple car accident occurred when a motorist made a left turn in front of another vehicle and was hit.
“It started from there. The intersection is on a slope, and once it started no one could stop,” he said.
There were no injuries in that incident, according to Dycus, but there were several reported on Interstate 40.
“A vehicle at (mile marker) 133 ran off the road and overturned several times. There were multiple incidents where people ran off the interstate and into trees,” he said.
Several were transported to receive medical attention, he said.
Conway police reported nine accidents in the city limits within two hours.
Spokeswoman La Tresha Woodruff said there were no major injuries.
(Staff writer Courtney Spradlin can be reached by email at email@example.com or by phone at 505-1236. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)