Remembering the BIG One... Christmas 2012
Calling Christmas 2012 historic is an understatement. I'll never forget forecasting that huge snow/blizzard several days in advance. With every single run of the models, I was in awe of the potential and couldn't believe what I was seeing.
I woke up Christmas morning and saw the first blizzard warning ever issued by the National Weather Service office in North Little Rock. Seeing it confirmed by thoughts this would an historic event. The temperatures slowly dropped throughout the day with steady, light freezing rain. It created a glaze on everything. The system was in the early stages of development. We knew late Christmas Day the winds would howl and the freezing rain would turn to heavy snow. That's exactly what happened and that's exactly why more than a quarter million lost power throughout the state. With winds gusting over 30 mph with 10'' of snow on top of ice, it was literally lights out. Transformers and power lines exploding all over central Arkansas. Most would lose electricity for several days, including myself. Electric companies from all over the country descended upon Arkansas to help restore power. We can never thank these men and women enough for leaving their families during the Holidays and working nonstop to get the lights back on.
I had to work Daybreak on the 26th. I woke up at 1AM and could not get out of my neighborhood due to trees blocking the roads. A KATV photographer drove to a nearby church to pick me up. I'll never forget walking about .5 to .75 miles in deep snow, high winds, and bitterly cold air to that church. I was exhausted already and it was only 2:30AM. We drove down Markham and it was like a ghost town. No traffic and no lights.
Like many of you, I would love to see snow again on Christmas, BUT NOTHING like what happened in 2012. Losing power for that long was not fun. Check out the gallery of pictures below and other interesting maps.
video of the northeast Arkansas blizzard by Jeff Piotrowski