Tornado watch canceled for southeast Arkansas, arctic blast on track to chill the state starting Sunday

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark.-  SATURDAY EVENING UPDATE– Any chance for severe weather has come to an end for Arkansas. We are severe clear with cold air being the the main weather story coming up for the next several days.

SATURDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE – Last night and this morning we saw several inches of rain that caused high river levels across northern Arkansas. There is still a chance for some of us to see a severe thunderstorm or even a tornado.

Southeastern Arkansas is under a tornado watch until — for the risk of a brief spinup tornado. The greater chance for severe weather continues to be in Mississippi and Alabama.

FRIDAY NIGHT THREATS: There is a severe thunderstorm watch out until 6 AM.

A warm front will stall and the period of rain/thunderstorm development will be prolonged. This will likely lead to high rainfall totals, and therefore a flooding potential in the northern half of Arkansas with most of the northern half of the state receiving more than two inches of rain by the end of Saturday.

SATURDAY THREATS: The second threat will occur during the daytime hours Saturday. There is a cold front that will sweep through the state. The threats with this round will be all modes of severe weather. There is an Enhanced (level 3 of 5) threat for severe weather. This means the risk for hail, damaging winds, and tornadoes are slightly higher than Friday night round.

The risk for a few tornadoes is highest for those in eastern Arkansas. There is a chance in far eastern Arkansas for a stronger tornado, but the risk is low. The highest risk for tornadoes will be east of the Mississippi River.

SUNDAY THREATS: The weather threat on Sunday will be much different. A very strong cold front with Arctic air behind it will start to move through Arkansas Saturday afternoon and bring the coldest air into the state since February 2021 when we had the big double snowstorm. Temperatures will drop well below freezing with wind chills near 0° Sunday morning.

Be sure to check back for updates this week as adjustments are made to the forecast.

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Arkansas Storm Team is a collaboration of two stations to bring you the largest weather team in the state when covering Arkansas weather.

**EARLIER UPDATES**

LITTLE ROCK, Ark – THURSDAY UPDATE – The next three days will feature several chances for rain, a few storms which could be strong to severe, a big temperature swing, and even a chance to see some winter weather.

NEW YEARS WEEKEND (FRIDAY-SUNDAY): The final system, which could be the most impactful, will arrive during New Years’ weekend.

The first phase of this next weather maker will arrive on New Years’ Eve (Friday). Initially, showers will form during the afternoon. As we continue into the nighttime hours some thunderstorms will be possible in addition to widespread rainfall. A few strong thunderstorms cannot be ruled out either. Wind gusts up to 60 MPH would be the main concern.

By Saturday, a cold front should begin swinging into the state. This should help push out any rain/storm activity by early afternoon. Again, a strong storm cannot be ruled out but the severe weather concern is very low at this time.

Colder air will be a guarantee by Saturday night as it rushes into Arkansas. A frigid Sunday is on tap with the coldest day Arkansas has experienced so far this winter. Forecast high temperatures Sunday, at this time, may range from the mid 30s to mid 40s. Wind chill values Sunday morning will range from the single digits to the teens.

WINTER WEATHER?

As you may have heard during one of our many newscasts earlier this week, we mentioned the cautiousness of winter weather potential for this weekend. This far out in advance, multiple factors that are crucial for helping create winter precip remained unclear. This is very normal for weather forecasting, especially across the Southern U.S.

Now that we are getting closer to this weekend, the finer details are becoming more clear. For now, we cannot discount some winter precip but it may be very limited. Weather data has continued to scale back on moisture that may available as the colder air begins to move in Saturday night.

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