It's late April in Arkansas and the only thing that's surprising is how quiet the severe weather season has been. Outside of the Camden damage and the 1 tornado in NW Arkansas, we have been lucky. It really shouldn't be too surprising since it was thought the 2nd half of spring would probably turn out to be the most active.
We have two rounds of severe weather to watch over the next few days, then we'll enter a period of below average temperatures. The outlook for the first week of May looks cooler than average. That means the window for significant severe weather will narrow even further to the last 3 weeks of May. With that said, we can still get some big time severe weather even into early June, but typically we are about to hit our peak between now and mid May. Remember this as well... there have been years when the secondary severe weather season (fall) is worse than our primary season (spring).
A line of rain and storms will cross the state late this afternoon and evening with a cold front. I do expect a few severe thunderstorms with wind and hail the main threats. I can't rule out an isolated tornado as well. I don't want to downplay the severity of the storms, but we don't expect an "outbreak".
After two nice days, more rough weather will be possible Sunday into Monday. While severe storms will be possible, I think there will also be an enhanced threat for flash flooding at this time. Wind and hail will be an issue and there will be a tornado threat as well. The degree of the tornado threat is yet to be determined so stay tuned.
The following maps are from weatherbell.com. The fist few maps are simulated radar. It's not perfect, but it should give you a good idea where the best chance for rain and storms will be located.
|At 6PM this afternoon, simulated radar indicates storms over NE AR, but we'll really have to watch the storms over north central AR into the river valley.|
|7PM, the storms are getting into central AR.|
|By 9PM, most of the activity is east of the state with a few remaining storms over SE AR.|
|Between 1PM and 7PM Sunday, we'll watch for an area of rain and storms over eastern OK and western AR. The Thursday AM run of the GFS shows this well. There will be the potential for some severe weather along with flooding.|
|Between 7PM Sunday and 1AM Monday, the area of rain and storms will shift into eastern Arkansas.|
|The Weather Prediction Center indicates rainfall amounts over the next 5 days could be close to 5'' over eastern AR.|
|The Storm Prediction Center has outlined western and portions of central AR for some possible severe weather Sunday.|
|This area shifts east for Monday|