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  • Writer's pictureTodd Yakoubian

State of Spring Address

We are almost half way through meteorological spring and severe weather has not been a huge issue, but that can always change. We have had 4 tornadoes this year and all rated EF-1. While 1 tornado is 1 too many, this is a low number at this point in the year.

I'm not saying it will happen this year, but don't forget 2014. We had very little severe weather until late April. The Mayflower/Vilonia tornado proved it only takes 1 storm.

So far, flooding has been an issue this year with southeast Arkansas receiving almost a foot of rainfall so far this month (radar estimates).

Storm systems keep tracking further south than usual bringing most of the severe weather to Texas and areas east. It's in my opinion this is the result of the negative North Atlantic Oscillation and the negative Arctic Oscillation lately. When these teleconnective indices are negative, blocking is present in the higher latitudes and it has an effect on storm systems moving across the country. It tends to suppress them further southward. Once these indicies rise, and eventually they will, storms will track further north and that's when severe weather may ramp up. I hope it doesn't, but that's the reality of nature.

Courtesy of - the NAO is neutral to negative for quite awhile. This tends to suppress the storm track further south

The AO is negative as well to briefly positive at times.

We have a couple storm systems to deal with over the next several days. The first arrives Thursday afternoon. This will have little impact on the state. However, a few showers and storms will form late in the day across the eastern half of the state and quickly move across the Mississippi River.

Much cooler air will begin to settle into the region as the next storm system approaches. A significant rain event will affect southern and eastern Arkansas. This is the area hit hard last weekend with heavy rainfall. While there has been some drying, isolated flooding could become an issue once again Saturday.

Weather Prediction Center forecast rainfall amounts indicate 2-5'' possible across the southeast half of the state over the next 7 days. Most of this will fall Saturday.

The severe threat with the weekend system will mainly affect areas from Texas to Georgia. However, southeast Arkansas will need to be watched for a wind/hail threat. The Storm Prediction Center has placed that area under a risk.

Beyond this weekend, we will need to watch Wednesday April 17th for another round of rain and strong storms. There are some indications severe weather could become an issue at that time. This is very much in the long range and will change. Stay with KATV Channel 7 for the newest information.

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