We’re only a couple of weeks away from the start of winter here in Arkansas and already the questions are forming. What’s the weather going to be like this year? Snow and ice in the Natural State can be unpredictable, so many residents make sure they’re prepared for the elements by the time the New Year rolls around. Make a checklist. What all needs to be done to make sure you survive a wild (or maybe mild) winter?
10. I'm from north Arkansas; if it snows we get all the mess.
When the icy weather, sleet, or snow hits the hills up in the northern part of the state it gets much rougher than down around the Delta.
9. I'm from south Arkansas; I won't worry until January.
Not to say south Arkansas doesn't get its fair share of winter weather, but it has to be under pretty harsh conditions for the southern part of the state to get a lot of accumulated snow or ice. All bets are off by mid-January though. We've seen the entire state crippled by an ice storm on more than one occasion.
8. How will it be when March arrives?
March has come in like a lion in Arkansas over the past few years and pretty much stays that way. March has been a really cold-hearted lion. This picture was taken in Gilbert in March 2000. Notice firewood is still being gathered. We're all very sick of winter by the time March comes, but the season's rarely ever done with the state by that time.
7. Now I have to wake up earlier.
Somebody's gotta warm the car up on those cold Arkansas mornings. Even if you're setting your alarm clock an extra 10 minutes ahead, you're still setting aside time to get your car ready to get out on the road.
6. Do last year's winter clothes still fit?
If you buy winter clothes two sizes too large, this will never be a problem for an Arkansan. If you have generous family and aren't too proud to wear your cousin's sweater, this will never be a problem.
5. We need to take a trip to Home Depot.
Go around the house and check the doors, proud Arkansan. How's that weather stripping? If you're a proud do-it-yourself expert, you'll have the skill to keep the cold weather outside of the homestead and keep your electric bill from blowing up throughout winter.
4. Short sleeves or long sleeves?
Well, it all depends on how the weather is. Arkansas residents know the temperatures throughout the season change regularly--we'll expect rain and perhaps ice/snow, sure--but we also have 65 degree days in the middle of February where you feel fine outside in a t-shirt.
3. The stores need to stock up on milk and bread.
Joking, joking--kind of. They're the first two things we think of to rush out and get whenever there's a threat of sleet or snow in the forecast. I can't remember ever going a winter with just one gallon of milk in the fridge when the roads were slick.
2. What are the kids going to do during the inevitable snow days?
There's going to be at least one. Maybe two. Sometimes Arkansas kids are lucky enough to get a full week out of school because the temperatures stay low and the roads stay hazardous. Child care plans have to be made and perish the thought they get tired of IPads & video games when stuck at home; they might have to go outside and build a snowman!
1. How are my tires?
If your wheels are in good shape during winter, you're a satisfied Arkansan. The biggest winter worry in the state (when winter is problematic) are the roads, which largely go untreated for heavy winter weather.
Get ready, Arkansas, winter’s on its way. Whether it’s a mild one or we get blindsided halfway through the season with ice and snow, we’ll get through it just fine. The state experiences bursts of wild weather all the time. What’s the coldest Arkansas winter you can recall?