Friday, May 09, 2014

Severe Weather Today (Friday). More Flooding Next Week.

The first round of severe weather I talked about yesterday caused a few problems in the Arkansas River Valley.  A line of storms with high winds developed over western Arkansas last night.  Sometimes, a brief tornado can spin up along these lines.  Usually, these brief tornadoes are on the weaker end of the EF scale. Most likely these do not cause the damage we saw on April 27th in Mayflower, Vilonia, Center Hill, etc.  However, even weak tornadoes can cause injuries, fatalities, and property damage.   You may remember in my blog post yesterday I mentioned that I don't ever want to downplay severe weather possibilities, but when compared to the risk on April 27th, it was lower.  The same can be said for the risk today.  The main threats will be hail and wind.  I can NEVER rule out an isolated tornado, especially this time of year.

As I look out the window, there are a lot of clouds and drizzle around Little Rock at 9:30 AM.  That's a good thing.  However, the models are forecasting instability levels to increase significantly this afternoon and this could lead to the development of thunderstorms.  Some of which could be severe. The main threats will be wind and hail.

Like I mentioned Thursday, I'm also watching Monday afternoon and evening as another cold front swings through the state.  This will be followed by a cooler and more stable air mass and that should last a few days.

3PM Friday.  Just like yesterday, this simulated radar from the HRRR is not perfect, but it can give us a good idea of what radar should look like.  Scattered (hit and miss) thunderstorms should begin to develop around this time frame.
5PM Friday, scattered thunderstorms continue.
6PM today, the storms are shifting into southern, eastern, and northeastern Arkansas.
8PM, the storms start to gel into a large area of rain and thunder over southern and eastern Arkansas.
9PM, the storms continue.
Here's what the surface map should look like next Monday morning.  A strong front will develop west of us and push into the state later that day.  It's possible to have a strong or severe storm at that time along with more heavy rainfall.
There's concern for more flash flooding across western Arkansas where the ground is saturated from heavy rains Thursday.  This indicates 2-4'' of additional rainfall could fall across western Arkansas.  Flash flood watches may be needed Monday.

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