A very large intense storm system will be impacting the Northwest Arkansas/River Valley area this weekend bringing widespread rain and even some thunderstorms at times. Farther south of our area in southern Arkansas and Northern Louisiana, it appears a significant severe weather event with strong tornado potential is developing. Here’s everything you need to know for your weekend plans. If you are traveling south into higher risk Saturday… PLEASE REMAIN WEATHER AWARE!
Here’s the timing from the HRRR model. Keep in mind… ALL OF THEM show rain for Saturday into Sunday morning, unlike last weekend when it was iffy exactly where the rain would develop. Some of the timing details vary slightly between the models, but rain is likely starting late Sat morning lasting until the evening hours. The heaviest rain will probably be midday into early evening Sat as the system to our south strengthens rapidly.
So the rain begins earlier Sat morning in the River Valley Sat as the huge area of rain lifts north into western AR. Now let’s take a detailed zoomed-in look at the rain and temps from our Future Track RPM model.
Once again… rain becomes widespread and heavy late Sat morning into the evening hours. If there is a window of less rainy weather it would be between 6 PM until about 10 PM as the actual low starts moving overhead and we get what’s called the “dry slot.” This is questionable though, since the light rain could continue all evening with in the low, but at least there are signals the heavy rain moves out Sat evening.
Bottom line it will be a chilly, breezy and rainy Saturday… not the best for any outdoor plans. Then as the low moves overhead and to our east on Sunday morning, there’s the chance wintry precip could mix with the light rain. Keep in mind, soil and surface temps will be TOO WARM and remain above freezing for any issues, BUT the colder air aloft will allow for the chance of a brief changeover Sunday morning. You gotta love Arkansas. The sun will come out for a cool and breezy Sunday afternoon, so the ENTIRE weekend isn’t quite a wash.
Finally, you might be asking about how much rain is expected. Here’s a look at one of the computer models showing generally around 1 inch to as much as 3+ inches. ALL MODELS SHOW RAIN and lots of it. Now you can see why we went 100% for the chance of rain Saturday. 🙁 Flooding will be possible across parts of the River Valley and especially areas farther south. So obviously, it’s not the best weekend for the Arkansas Derby, outside weddings, race events or another outdoor activities.
It looks like we’ll avoid the significant severe weather with this system, but another one is quickly moving in on its heels for midweek next week. We’re watching April 17th closely, since that could bring significant severe weather to our area. STAY TUNED…and keep it here with your Weather Authority Team.