I was a bit puzzled by remarks on social media calling it a "bust". The models and the Storm Prediction Center did a good job nailing the forecast. Was it great? No. However, it was a solid forecast. The SPC issues "severe weather outlooks"... NOT tornado outlooks. There were more than 500 reports of severe weather directly over the risk areas outlined. If there was one part of the forecast a bit off the mark, it was the tornado aspect. There were not as many and they were not as strong as some of the data indicated.
It makes me sick to think there are some who are disappointed at the lack of tornadoes over the plains. Not all, but some give the impression they are rooting for tornadoes. They typically qualify it saying something like, "well, I don't want it to hit anything." Well, many do. Nevermind the devastation they cause, if you ever meet someone directly affected by losing a loved one, you will change your mind.
As far as the forecast in Arkansas, I think it panned out quite well. We had strong to severe thunderstorms over western Arkansas and they decreased significantly as they moved east.
Now onto Friday and Saturday. Rain will be the big weather story Friday with areas of rain and some of it could be heavy. A frontal boundary will creep to the north, but stay south of us most of the day. Due to this, the severe potential at that point in time will be quite low. The front will lift north later Friday night and Saturday placing Arkansas in the "warm sector" as the storm system rolls out of the plains into the mid-south. There's a chance we could destabilize enough for strong to severe thunderstorms Saturday afternoon and evening. Most of the activity should exit by Sunday and that's the pick day of the weekend. Once again, if there's a severe threat, at this time it appears to be Saturday. If we get a break in the rain and clear out, we could be looking at a few rough storms. The greatest chance for that will be across central and southern Arkansas. This is still subject to change and we'll fine tune the details as we get closer.
|The map Friday morning indicates the front barely moving over far southern Arkansas. As long as we stay north of the boundary, the severe threat will be low and rain will be the biggest issue.|
|By Saturday morning, that front moves north as low pressure forms in the plains. This puts much of Arkansas in the warm sector. We'll see how much we destabilize.|
|The Storm Prediction Center has placed portions of Arkansas in a risk area for severe weather. This could be placed a bit further north in future outlooks.|
|Rainfall amounts Friday will be heaviest across the south half of the state with up to 2'' possible.|
|When all is said and done, total amounts Friday and Saturday could add up to a few inches with the heaviest south and lightest north.|