A spring-like severe weather setup is forecast to impact much of Arkansas Wednesday evening. Strong thunderstorms could produce damaging wind gusts over 70 mph, golf ball-sized hail, and even a tornado or two.
What makes this setup abnormal for August is there will be wind shear. Wind shear is common in the Fall, Winter, and Spring, but not normal over Arkansas in August. Wind shear is the presence of different wind speeds and directions as you go up in the atmosphere. Since there is wind shear, one or two tornadoes will be possible.
A tornado watch is in effect for Northwest Arkansas until 10 PM, and the rest of northern Arkansas and central Arkansas until 3 AM.
The Storm Prediction Center has circled areas where severe weather will be possible. Locations in northern Arkansas highlighted in orange are under a level 3 out of 5 risk. This is where severe weather is most likely. Locations in central Arkansas are under a lower risk but still need to be weather aware.
The storms will be strongest and pose the highest threat of severe weather along the cold front. The cold front will move into West Arkansas around 8 PM and the strongest storms should be east of us after midnight.
This means the most important time to be weather aware is between 8 PM and midnight Wednesday.
Being weather aware means you are ready to take action if a severe thunderstorm warning or tornado warning is issued for your area. Getting these warnings is as simple as leaving your TV on KARK or FOX 16 with the volume up or turning on the notifications on the Arkansas Storms Team Weather App. It also means knowing a safe place to go if severe weather is headed toward you.
To make sure you are staying up-to-date with the forecast, download the Arkansas Storm Team app to get updates anywhere at any time.
To watch the latest video updates from the Arkansas Storm Team, you can check them out here.
The Arkansas Storm Team is a collaboration of two stations to bring you the largest weather team in the state when covering Arkansas weather.