Numerous severe thunderstorms are possible in the afternoon and evening of Monday, Jan. 2 as a powerful storm system moves through. The Storm Prediction Center has highlighted most of Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley in an enhanced (level 3 out of 5) risk of severe thunderstorms. The time frame looks to be from 2 p.m. through around midnight Monday.
All modes of severe weather are possible. The main concerns look to be damaging winds and tornadoes. Damaging winds around 70 MPH with the threat of some strong (EF2+) tornadoes exist. Although less of a risk large hail (golf ball size) will also be possible. With the potential for 1″ to 2″ of rain we will have to look out for flash flooding.
The forecast should stay quiet across the area through around noon today. Things will then start to get active after 12 p.m. as the atmosphere becomes less stable with ample moisture in place. The models have been coming to an agreement on a cluster of thunderstorms forming to the southeast. This cluster should move through our area from the southeast to the northeast from 12 p.m. through around 5 p.m. today. All modes of severe weather are possible during this time. The modes include large hail, damaging winds, tornadoes, and flooding.
A second round of severe storms will then move through late this afternoon and evening. A boundary will move from west to east through the area and serve as a trigger for these storms. All modes of severe weather are possible late this afternoon and early this evening. This includes large hail, damaging winds, tornadoes, and flash flooding. Even a few strong tornadoes will be possible. As a line of storms along the boundary takes form later this evening (8-9 p.m.) the threat will then transition to mainly damaging winds and tornadoes. Storm chances will exit the area between midnight and 2:00 a.m. Monday-Tuesday morning.
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