Severe Threat Specifics
This is looking more and more like an overnight event and those are the most dangerous. Why? It's when people are sleeping and caught off guard when severe weather hits. That's why we always urge you to have a way to receive warnings like the KATV weather app and/or a NOAA weather radio.
Having severe thunderstorms in January is very typical in Arkansas and it appears there will be a round to deal with late Friday into early Saturday morning.
Flooding will also be an issue and that is particularly dangerous at night. If you don't know the depth of the water on a road, turn around! It won't take but a few inches of rain in a short period of time to cause problems. Since vegetation is dormant this time of year, run off is enhanced. Also, leaves can clog storm drains causing additional issues.
I think there's a good chance flakes fly in the Ozarks Saturday afternoon, but this will not be a big deal whatsoever. The big weather story out of all this will be the threat for severe storms and flooding. At this time, damaging winds will be the primary threat. Tornadoes will also be possible and I expect much of southern and central Arkansas to have a tornado watch late Friday. Of course, the timing and track can still change so keep checking back. All of these thoughts are preliminary as we are still several days away.
In summary, it's never too early to warn everyone of the dangers. However, you must keep in mind the exact timing and threats can still change as this evolves. This storm system is a strong one and we get them from time to time in January. If you want cold air, a more substantial push may arrive later this month, but for now, we must keep the late week period in focus.