Cristobal Taking Aim on Arkansas
The chance Cristobal impacts Arkansas continues to increase. This will be a fast moving system, but flash flooding will still be possible and I'm concerned about tornadoes east of the center as it tracks through Arkansas and lifts north. Most of the time, these tornadoes are brief and isolated, however, I have seen some produced by tropical systems that are significant.
Below is the newest data and my thoughts about how this unfolds.
The tropical storm is slowly strengthening and moving north at 12 mph. That's a good rate of speed for a tropical system and it will increase once it makes landfall late Sunday into Monday. The affects will be felt BEFORE the center reaches southern Arkansas Monday afternoon. The models have been remarkably consistent with the track right over Arkansas. If this path verifies, central and eastern Arkansas will see the main impacts and they will lessen further west. THAT DOES NOT MEAN WESTERN ARKANSAS ESCAPES. Due to the terrain, I'm always concerned about runoff and water problems there. Remember, inland flooding can be a very serious issue.
Euro Rainfall totals are greatest along and east of the track. 2-5'' possible with isolated higher amounts IF this verifies. The rapid movement of the system will help keep the rain amounts from getting higher than this. Flooding is STILL possible.
North American Model (NAM) is similar with higher amounts central and east. Model and NOT a forecast
Weather Prediction Center shows 3'' or more along and east of the track. Look at the sharp rainfall gradient over western Arkansas. That's why the track is SO VERY important. One side of the state could see much less than the other side. It all depends where this tracks for us.
What about tornadoes? While there will be the threat Monday afternoon and evening. The threat may last into Tuesday with the system north of the state. Some of the rain bands may be able to tap into enough instability and shear for ares of rotation. I expect tornado watches especially east and north.
Remember, track mean a lot to this forecast and it could change. Stay with Channel 7 and thanks for trusting the team with the most experience.