Severe Weather Outlook

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Noon Thursday Update:

     The severe seather chance is low, but there is still a chance some severe storms develop this afternoon and evening in Arkansas.  The highest probability is in East and NE Arkansas.  

     The most likely severe weather event is damaging wind.  However, an isolated tornado cannot be ruled out in northeast Arkansas.  There may be some hail, but it does not seem like a significant threat.  

     Flooding from heavy rain and/or several rounds of rain is still possible too.  A Flash Flood Watch is in effect for much of North Arkansas and most of West Arkansas until 7 PM, Thursday.  Far Northwest Arkansas is under a Flash Flood Watch until 7 AM, Saturday.

Thursday Morning Update:

     Our Severe Weather chance continues today in Arkansas.  The highest probability is in East and NE Arkansas.  

     The most likely severe weather event is damaging wind.  However, an isolated tornado cannot be ruled out in East Arkansas today.  There may be some hail, but it does not seem like a significant threat.  

     Flooding from heavy rain and/or several rounds of rain is still possible too.  A Flash Flood Watch is in effect for much of North Arkansas and most of West Arkansas until 7 PM, Thursday.

Wednesday Evening Update:

There is a SLIGHT (15%) risk of severe weather over southwest Arkansas and a MARGINAL (5%) risk for the rest of west, south and east Arkansas overnight.

A SLIGHT (15%) risk is forecast for northeast Arkansas Thursday with a MARGINAL (5%) risk elsewhere.

A series of thunderstorm complexes will move through the state overnight through Thursday evening bringing the potential for damaging straight line winds and large hail with the greatest threat for severe weather in the SLIGHT risk areas.

Additionally, heavy rainfall is expected, especially over southwest Arkansas, where 3-5″ of rain is possible with 1-3″ elsewhere through Saturday.

A FLASH FLOOD WATCH is in effect through Thursday for north central and west Arkansas. Flooding of roadways and rapid rises in creeks and streams can be expected during periods of heavy rainfall.

Wednesday Morning Update:  

     The Severe Weather threat is diminishing but not gone.  Severe Storms are still possible Wednesday and Wednesday night. The highest probability is in SW Arkansas.  

     With several days of rain in the forecast high rainfall totals can lead to flooding and flash flooding. So, the National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Watch until 7 AM, Thursday for most of West Arkansas and a good portion of North Arkansas.  

Tuesday Evening Update: 

There is an ENHANCED (30%) risk of severe tonight for northwest Arkansas with a SLIGHT (15%) risk north and west of a line from Cherokee Village to Clinton to De Queen. Damaging thunderstorms wind gusts to 70mph, hail up to 3″ in diameter and a couple of tornadoes are possible.

Noon Tuesday Update:

     A Tornado Watch is in effect in NWA until 11 PM, Tuesday.

     Northwest Arkansas has the hightest chance of severe weather for this afternoon and evening.  It’s has high as a 30% chance of severe weather happening within 25 miles of any point (Enhanced) in far NWA and a 15% (Slight) in the rest of NWA.  The risk diminishes to a marginal as you near Central Arkansas.  The 5% (Marginal) ends Faulkner County, northwestern Pulaski, and northern Saline County.       

     The tornado threat in Oklahoma has increased for significnat tornadoes.  The hatches lines indicates there is at least a 10% chance of significant tornadoes (EF-2 or greater) in that area.  EF-2 tornadoes produce winds of at least 111 mph.  

     Large hail may accompany the severe storms this evening and tonight.  In Arkansas hail should not be any larger than golfball-sized hail.  The hatched lines in Oklahoma indicates hail could be larger than golfballs.  

     And, of course, with the storms, damaging wind (winds greater than 58 mph) will be possible.  The probability is highest in NWA.  

     Heavy rain will accompany Tuesday night’s storms and high rainfall totals are likely through the rest of the week. But just through Wednesady morning at 7:00, the highest rainfall totals will be 2-3″ in the northwestern part of the state.  And so Flash Flood and Flood Watches have been issued for those parts of the state.   

     Here are a couple models’ forecast for total rainfall through 7 AM, Wednesday.  

The severe weather threat will continue for NWA and Central AR Wednesday.  It is as high as 15% (Slight Risk).    

      By Thursday the severe weather threat will be a lower, but statewide does have a 5% or Marginal Risk.  

Tuesday Morning Update:

     A slow moving frontal system is moving toward Arkansas from the Plains.  This will likely initiate severe storms in Oklahoma today that may produce tornadoes, damaging wind, and even some hail.  Late this evening some of those storms will likely move into NWA.  So, far NWA is in the same 30% probability for severe storms as much of Oklahoma. 

     The severe weather threat will continue Wednesday into Thursday, but the overall threat will be diminishing.  What will continue to be a concern is the rain threat and threat of flooding.  A Flood Watch is in effect in North and West Arkansas until 7 AM Wednesday, but that may be extended in time and expanded in area as the week continues.

Monday evening update: 

A series of fronts and storm systems will bring several rounds of showers and thunderstorms to a large part of Arkansas Tuesday through Saturday. There is an ENHANCED (30%) risk of severe weather for far northwest Arkansas and a SLIGHT (15%) risk for west central and north central Arkansas Tuesday and Tuesday night with large hail, damaging winds, and a tornado or two possible. There is a SLIGHT (15%) risk of severe weather for the northwest third of Arkansas Wednesday and Wednesday night with large hail and damaging winds possible.

Since there will be repeated periods of moderate to heavy rainfall, flash flooding will be a concern, especially for west Arkansas. A FLASH FLOOD WATCH is in effect for northwest Arkansas through early Wednesday. Total rainfall through Saturday could exceed 6″+ for northwest Arkansas, 3-5″ for much of the rest of western Arkansas, 2-3″ for central Arkansas and 1-2″ east.

Monday Afternoon:

A deepening dip in the jet stream over the Western U.S. will put Arkansas in a southwesterly flow aloft and that will help a cold front to stall out in Arkansas later this week.  That approaching cold front will help focus a few severe storms Monday evening in Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle.  Those should stay out of Arkansas overnight and into Tuesday.

More storms will fire in Oklahoma Tuesday evening.  These have the potential to come into NWA Tuesay night before Midnight.  Large hail and some damaging wind may accompany the strongest storms.  The tornado threat appears low.  These storms will likely move all the way across north Arkansas overnight Tuesday into Wednesday morning.

Then Wednesday storms from North Texas may move into SWA around Noon and move into Central & South Arkansas Wednesday afternoon and evening.  These storms should be weaker than the Tuesday night storms NWA will get.  Hail to the size of a quarter, or 1″ in diameter, will be possible with the strongest storms.  

The slow-moving cold front will help produce high rainfall totals through the middle of the week.  Rain will be possible as long as the stalled front exists which may be through the weekend.  So, in the long run, it looks like high rainfall totals will be the main concern we will have.  

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