The National Weather Service office in Little Rock is predicting severe thunderstorms to be possible for both Thursday and Thursday night over a large part of Arkansas.
A storm system will move toward Arkansas today and tonight (Wednesday). Then…scattered showers and thunderstorms will develop by early morning, mainly over the western portion of the state. As the day progresses, showers and thunderstorms will become more widespread…with a cold front moving across the state during the evening and into the overnight hours.
It appears there could be several waves of showers and thunderstorms, with some in the west early in the morning, then scattered to numerous showers and thunderstorms ahead of the frontal boundary in the afternoon and early evening hours, finally evolving into a line of storms along the front during the overnight hours.
Some thunderstorms that develop on Thursday and Thursday night could become strong to severe. Though hail would be a threat with any severe storms that develop, the primary threat will be damaging wind gusts in excess of 60 MPH. Also, winds will be changing direction with height, which would support a threat of a brief, weak and short-lived tornado or two. The greatest risk for this would be in the afternoon and evening hours ahead of the front.
With abundant moisture flowing into the region from the Pacific and the Gulf of Mexico, localized heavy rainfall will be possible, particularly from western into north central Arkansas. Rainfall amounts in those areas could exceed two inches. We are not expecting any significant issues with runoff at this time due the rainfall deficits over the last few weeks. If anything, this will help to ease those at several places.
At this point, the weather service is NOT expecting this to be a significant severe weather event. However, this is the best potential for severe thunderstorms we have seen in quite some time. National Weather Service meteorologists will continue to monitor the latest data and update forecasts as necessary.
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