Weather Blog: Severe Weather Potential Increasing for Friday Night

Chief Meteorologist Has the Latest Timing and Threats from These Storms

It's hard to believe a few days ago last Sunday we had temperatures in the 20s. Now a few days later, we're expecting a round of Spring-like storms for your Friday evening.

We've been watching a very intense system for several days that has been developing over the Pacific Ocean. Now that potent system has moved inland on the west coast and it's taking aim on the Southern Plains and the Mid-South.

This is a classic severe weather setup with many ingredients coming together to bring strong to severe storms to parts of the area.  Below is a diagram of how the moisture from the Gulf of Mexico will be rushing into the area combining with strong wind shear and an intense jet stream that will be nosing into the area.

Below is a look at your two hourly breakdown for the next 2 days. Notice the storm potential increasing to likely by Friday evening.  The most likely time for these storms will be after 7 PM Friday lasting until shortly after midnight Sat morning.

Here's a look at future radar for Friday around noon. Notice how the weather will be fairly quiet with limited rain development.  If we see breaks in the clouds and temperatures soar well into the 70s, that could be more fuel for these storms later on that evening to become even stronger.

The latest computer model (HRRR) shows a lack of storm activity over the area at 7 PM, which will be the time for High School Playoff football to kickoff.  This could change if the system comes in a little quicker, so STAY TUNED to later forecast for any changes.  You will need a way to keep up with the latest weather alerts if you are planning to be outside, so download our NWA Weather Authority app in your app store for up to the second watches and warnings.

Just a couple hours later around 9 PM, storms look to rapidly develop as you can see from the future radar below. 

As we approach midnight, the storms really intensify over the area becoming most likely severe.  The main threats from these storms will be damaging winds and some hail, but isolated storms will have the potential to rotate due to the strong wind shear.  The tornado threat will be fine tuned in later forecasts.

Here are the key takeaways.

- This system is intense and will likely bring significant severe weather for the region, but it's still a little too early to say exactly where.

- Timing looks to be late Fri night, but the storm could speed up or slow down so keep up with later forecasts.

- Threats from these storms include damaging winds, large hail and even a few tornadoes. We'll fine tune the tornado threat as we get closer to Fri night.

We'll have many more updates leading up to this system, so keep it here with Your Weather Authority Team for the very latest. -Dan Skoff

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