I saw a tweet from meteorologist Barry Brandt calling the rain in eastern Oklahoma and western Arkansas, "a wall of water." I think that's a great description of what's heading our way later today into Wednesday.
When I went to bed last night, the rain was barely into western Arkansas. When I woke up, it had moved only about 25 miles to the east. This extremely slow movement and copious amounts of moisture due to the cut-off low is causing the flash flooding in eastern Oklahoma. As of Tuesday morning, rainfall amounts are around 3-6'' with isolated higher amounts with several roads closed in eastern portions of the Sooner state. This will make very, very slow progress to the east today. While showers will be scattered around today, the heavier and steady rain will start in central Arkansas late in the day into Wednesday. A flash flood watch is in effect for most of western, central, and southern Arkansas. This includes the Little Rock metro area.
I've said it once and I'll say it again and again, the hilly terrain of western Arkansas will cause rapid runoff into streams and rivers. Spring break campers and hikers need to be alert or rearrange their plans!
There will be a risk for severe weather as well. This threat is low compared to the flooding aspect. However, some storms may contain hail and gusty winds. An isolated, brief tornado can't be ruled out.
|HPC shows rainfall amounts exceeding 5'' for most of the western half of the state. The sharp rainfall gradient continues to look like a reality. Eastern and northeastern Arkansas will see lesser amounts.|