Unfortunately, the high risk over the plains Saturday verified and there was a very significant tornado outbreak. When I last checked the Storm Prediction Center website, there were more than 120 reports of tornadoes and almost 400 reports of severe weather. Our own Channel 7 storm chaser, Michael Hook (The WeatherNinja), spent the day in Kansas and witnessed 5 tornadoes and drove more than 1000 miles. When he gets back, he'll post all his pictures and video.
As I have said, the impact here in Arkansas will not be as severe as over the plains, but I don't want to downplay this system completely. Severe thunderstorms can kill and everyone should pay attention to the weather today. The main threat will be wind as a squall line strengthens throughout the day. Some of these storms may produce hail as well. The tornado threat is there, but it's low. As I mentioned here yesterday morning, if any storms form ahead of the main line, they could produce a tornado. Also, if the surface winds start to back out of the southeast ahead of the line, that would enhance the chance for the storms to rotate. Again, this threat is on the low end, BUT IT MUST BE WATCHED!
Here are a few maps below showing the timing of the line of storms.
|The HRRR model shows the line of storms moving into central Arkansas late this afternoon. Probably after 3-4 PM and closer to 6 PM.|
|The high res NAM shows the same thing with the showers and storms entering central Arkansas late this afternoon around 4-7 PM.|
|By 1AM, the area of rain and storms will be located across eastern AR and the severe threat will more than likely start to decrease.|
|ALL of Arkansas is under a slight risk for severe weather|