- Associated Press - Saturday, February 14, 2015

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - A winter storm moving into Oklahoma and headed east is forecast to bring a mix of snow, sleet and ice to parts of Oklahoma and much of Arkansas starting Sunday, making travel hazardous and possibly disrupting power supply.

A cold front bringing subfreezing temperatures to the region moved into northern Oklahoma early Saturday afternoon, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Joe Sellers in Tulsa.

With highs in the 60s and 70s in Oklahoma and Arkansas on Saturday, temperatures were expected in the 20s to near 30 degrees on Sunday.

That front will likely be followed by a system that has prompted winter storm watches beginning Sunday afternoon and extending into Monday for the eastern third of Oklahoma and extending across most of Arkansas.

“The greatest threat may be across the southern third or southern half of (Arkansas) where the potential exists for freezing rain or sleet,” meteorologist Jeff Hood with the weather service in Little Rock, Arkansas, said. “Up to a half inch of freezing rain, with sleet.”



Hood said about a quarter inch of freezing rain, plus one to three inches of sleet or snow could fall along a band from Fort Smith to Little Rock to Memphis, including Interstate 40.

Icy weather was also forecast for southeastern Oklahoma.

“There could be some significant icing,” Sellers said, They could get a quarter to maybe .3 of an inch.”

The heaviest snowfall was expected across northern Arkansas where two to four inches was forecast, with up to eight inches accumulating in isolated areas in northeastern Arkansas where a wind chill advisory was also issued, warning of wind chills of zero to five degrees below zero on Sunday.

The conditions were expected to make driving hazardous and create the possibility of downed power lines.

Oklahoma Department of Transportation spokesman Cole Hackett said the agency has 120,000 tons of salt and sand ready to apply to roadways as needed.

“We’re making sure our crews are ready, that they are prepared, the equipment is maintained and mechanically sound,” Hackett said.

Entergy Arkansas, which serves about 700,000 customers in 63 counties, said in a news release that workers have stored supplies, filled fuel tanks and some are packed to be on the road for several days.

The company has asked for 500 workers from sister companies in other states to help in Arkansas on Sunday.

“We hope there aren’t any outages, but if there are, the plan is to have more than 1,000 workers mobilized and ready to respond,” said Brady Aldy, vice president of customer service for Entergy.

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