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  • Writer's pictureTodd Yakoubian

Severe Threat Friday Night

When I go to schools and talk to students about severe weather, I always talk about the "tornado cake". Just like the cake you make in your oven, if you don't have all the ingredients, it's not going to turn out right.

The 3 basic ingredients for tornadoes are: a collision in air masses, instability (warm and moist air), and wind shear.

At this time, we have the collision in air masses and we have the wind shear. The instability is lacking, but if it's just enough, we're in trouble. The highest levels of instability should occur in the late afternoon and early evening and it doesn't look too impressive at this time due to the amount of clouds and eventual rainfall. The other factors arrive when the instability begins to decrease. Not everything is in sync for a major severe weather event, but I do think we'll have some severe weather and you should stay weather aware.

If the timing changes (jet dynamics) arrive soon and meet up with the higher instability values, then it's going to get rough. If the instability is higher than forecast, then things might get out of hand. So obviously, there's uncertainty with the extent of the severe thunderstorms. The Storm Prediction Center has placed much of Arkansas in a slight to enhanced risk most likely due to the tremendous wind energy with this storm system.

High school games tomorrow night may get wet. Someone should be a designated point person to watch the weather.

After near record breaking highs Friday and Saturday, it will grow colder and colder. I would not be surprised is SOME parts of the state see some sort of winter weather late next week. I'll dive more into those details after this potential severe weather episode.

This hinges on the amount of instability

Clouds and scattered showers Friday at 2PM. If we warm up beyond what is forecast and we break out into sun, then we're in big trouble. However, I have not seen data which supports that idea.

9PM Friday - numerous showers and storms with a low end chance for severe thunderstorms at this time. The main dynamics are still just west of us.

By 1AM, storms will develop over eastern Oklahoma and push into western Arkansas. How intense will these storms become? It will eventually run into air which has been worked over by previous rain and storms. That can zap the instability out of the atmosphere. If the earlier coverage is less and the air is unstable, then this is a problem. Stay with Channel 7