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  • Writer's pictureTodd Yakoubian

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.

From the Storm Prediction Center... ALL of the Channel 7 viewing area has a threat for severe thunderstorms. The risk will be maximized over western, southern, and portions of central Arkansas late Friday into Saturday morning.

Damaging winds will be the primary threat. A few tornadoes will be possible. Once again, this is all preliminary and can change.


This is Friday afternoon. Much of the rain will be scattered light showers. THIS IS A GOOD THING. The more rain and clouds around, the less instability there will be to work with once the main storm system pulls in late Friday. If this model is wrong, and there's a little sun with temperatures well into the 70s, that's not good!

Storms should develop and push into western Arkansas after sunset Friday. Remember, timing can change.

The heavy rain and flooding threat will increase overnight Friday into Saturday morning. By 3AM, a large area of heavy rainfall should engulf a significant area of the state. Some severe weather will still be possible, but hopefully decreasing a little at this point.

Heavy rain continues by 9AM Saturday with the only threat for severe weather at this time over southeastern Arkansas. Look at Oklahoma! The cold air is pouring in on the backside.

For a short time, northwest Arkansas could see a transition to snow Saturday afternoon. Little accumulation is possible.

The European rain amounts are the highest compared to the other models. Compared to previous runs of the Euro, this has decreased a bit. However, several inches possible in spots.

GFS has lesser amounts since it is faster moving the system through Arkansas.

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.

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