River flooding will become an issue this week and beyond. As far as severe weather is concerned, there will be a very low threat south and west later Tuesday. It would not surprise me to see a couple strong to maybe severe storms, but again that threat is low.
How much rain and where? If you read my previous blog posts, you know that's something we have been trying to pin down. The axis of heaviest rainfall should be located across western and central Arkansas or roughly the western half of the state. I think amounts of 5-7'' through Saturday will be a good bet with isolated higher amounts. The further east you live, the amounts should decrease with a sharp rainfall total gradient setting up over that portion of the state. That simply means there will be a short distance between high rainfall totals and lower amounts.
Once again, I want to discuss the "what ifs". With a well advertised storm system like this seen on the models well in advance, you have to always think of what could go wrong with your forecast. The exact location of the heaviest rainfall could be misplaced a bit, but probably not by much. Also, something I have talked about since last week. If a big cluster of thunderstorms develops along the Gulf coast or Louisiana, this can rob moisture from advancing north and decrease rain totals significantly. While that scenario is possible, at this point, it's unlikely to happen. Remember, it's something I'll be watching as the event unfolds.
I have had some tell me the word "biblical" rains are coming. I do not know where that is coming from and I never said that. If this event seems "hyped" it's only because the models have seen this for many days and I have tried to stay on top of it as much as possible. My goal is not to hype, but communicate the threats effectively. My goal is to pin down this forecast to the best of my ability. This will be a significant rain event, but this is not going to be something we have not seen before in the past. We get heavy rain events this time of year!
Here are daily rainfall records for Little Rock. Some of these might be challenged.
- Tuesday March 8th, 1.97'' set in 1990
- Wednesday March 9th, 4.32'' set in 1878
- Thursday March 10th, 2.02'' set in 1903
- Friday March 11th, 2.68'' set in 1921
|The GFS through Thursday morning shows significant rainfall for much of the metro with higher amounts southwest and lesser amounts east.|
|As of Tuesday morning, a flash flood watch is in effect for most of the Channel 7 viewing area.|
|This is our updated Tuesday morning rainfall forecast Tuesday through Saturday. I do think there could be amounts over western and southwestern Arkansas between 7 and 10'' over a 4 day period.|