Showers will develop by 10 AM in west Arkansas, then start evolving into thunderstorms by noon. These storms will continue to intensify as they move east into central Arkansas.

It is in central Arkansas where Friday’s severe weather should really start to ramp up with a threat of tornadoes, damaging wind, and even a hail threat. Then the storms will most likely be severe and the most numerous severe storms in east Arkansas from the middle of the afternoon to the mid-evening hours.

The highest chance of severe weather will be in east Arkansas this afternoon and evening, but don’t let the higher chance in east Arkansas lull you into complacency in central and west Arkansas. Sometimes the most significant storms don’t even occur in the higher forecasted risk areas.

All in all the risk of non-tornado damaging wind is the highest overall threat of severe weather as it usually is. Severe wind is categorized as wind at least 58 mph. Notice the hatched area, though. That means the damaging wind may be 70 mph or higher.

The tornado threat Friday is significant. All of the state has the chance, but from Little Rock and eastward the forecasted risk from the Storm Prediction Center is 15%.

Notice the hatched area. That means significant tornadoes EF-2 (wind speeds over 110 mph) or greater and long-lived long-track tornadoes will be possible instead of weaker and brief tornadoes that last only a couple minutes that we get most of the time in Arkansas.

The risk of hail is present with all thunderstorms and severe hail is categorized as hail with a diameter of at least 1″. The threat for that 1″ is present across the state, but it’s not a real high-end threat. If and when supercells form Friday, there’s a chance hail could get as large as golf balls or 1.75″.

Feel free to click through these slides of the HRRR forecast model to watch how the showers in west Arkansas evolve into thunderstorms and then move across the state as they intensify into severe thunderstorms.

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