Up to 6 inches of snow expected in region

Up to six inches of snow was being predicted to greet early risers today as a winter storm crept into Jefferson, Grant and Arkansas counties on Christmas night.

Senior Forecaster Joe Goudsward of the National Weather Service in North Little Rock said late Tuesday afternoon that snow was expected to start in the Pine Bluff area about 6 p.m. and perhaps continue past midnight. A winter storm warning included the three adjacent counties, and between three and six inches of snow was predicted. Some icing was also possible, and steady winds of 15-25 miles an hour and gusting to 30 or 35 miles an hour were expected to add to the chill. The overnight low was forecast at about 29 degrees.

South of Pine Bluff, a winter weather advisory was projected past Monticello in Drew County. Rain and thunderstorms were in the outlook onward to Louisiana, where some tornadoes were also possible.

Jefferson County Judge Mike Holcomb said Tuesday afternoon that road department officials were “in a wait-and-see mode.” Several trucks are loaded with sand and ready to be dispatched to help clear roadways as snow develops, Holcomb said. The judge added that additional steps will be taken as necessary if conditions should worsen.

Holcomb urged motorists to be alert to icy, snow-packed patches and to allow extra time to reach their destinations.

Whatever the accumulation, the snow likely won’t remain long as the high temperature today is predicted at 40 degrees, according to the Weather Channel. However, some refreezing may occur tonight as temperatures are expected to drop into the low 20s.