Wishing we got more rain from Hurricane Laura? Don’t worry, Mother Nature will be making up for it this weekend. A front will be approaching the area during the afternoon Saturday. This will increase the thunderstorm potential in the evening and overnight. Some storms could be strong or severe.
As of 1:30 PM Saturday, most of Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley are in a level 2/5 severe risk. The areas in the northwest part of our region saw storms this morning.
This stabilized the atmosphere a bit compared to areas south. A few models are also hinting at a decrease in storm activity in this area, decreasing confidence slightly.
However, this does not mean storm will not develop in those areas. So if you are in an area that is northwest of Fayetteville and west of Bentonville, you should still monitor the weather this evening and overnight.
The greatest threat with these storms is the flash flooding potential. A flash flood watch has been issued for all of Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley on the Arkansas side of the border until 7 P.M. Sunday night.
In terms of excessive rainfall, the Weather Prediction Center (WPC) has placed the parts of our eastern and southeastern region under a level 3/4 (moderate) risk for excessive rainfall. Remember, if you come across any flooded roadways – TURN AROUND, DON’T DROWN
Watch Vs. Warning
The National Weather Service (NWS) issues watches and warnings to warn the everyone about potentially dangerous weather. It is important to know the difference and the actions we need to take when a watch or warning is issued. Here is the difference for watches and warnings issued for severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, and flooding.
Timing of Storms
Latest guidance shows thunderstorms beginning to develop in our region around the 6 P.M. hour. However, isolated storms could develop earlier due to the instability in our region and hot & humid conditions. Keep it with your Weather Authority on social media and the NWA Weather App for the latest updates on this weekend’s severe threat.
With hot temperatures and high dew points, the heat indices part of the River Valley could be as high as 110°-115°. This is extremely dangerous heat and has prompted an Excessive Heat Warning to be issued for some.
With temperatures this high, heat exhaustion or heat stroke can set in quickly if we are not careful. It is important to know the difference between the two so we can take the necessary steps if someone is showing symptoms.
The best thing to do is stay inside and drink plenty of water. Take frequent breaks in the shade often and wear light-colored clothing if possible.
Stay tuned on social media and download the NWA Weather Authority app for the latest updates on the severe storms and heat!