Weather Blog: Flooding potential increases over the next few days for NW Arkansas and the River Valley

Weather Blog

Several days of rain and storms expected across NW Arkansas & the River Valley

Flooding concerns are increasing across NW Arkansas and the River Valley over the next few days due to multiple rounds of rain.

A blocking pattern across the eastern United States is providing the necessary setup for a rainy week. This pattern is called an “omega block” due to its shape, with low pressure to our west and high pressure to our east funneling plenty of moisture into the southern Plains.

Rainfall Forecast

Rainfall total forecast through Friday, May 21 evening. Forecast details may change over time. Update: Monday, May 17 4:30PM CDT.

Current forecasts call for the heaviest rain to be mainly in eastern Oklahoma and the River Valley. Overall, we expect widespread 2 to 4 inches over much of the NW Arkansas/River Valley region. Locally higher amounts are possible if storms persist over the same area.

The rainfall will not be consistent throughout the week. Many will see breaks in the rain, perhaps even a few breaks in the clouds. However, some of the rain may be heavy at times. The Weather Prediction Center (WPC) has placed NW Arkansas and the River Valley under flash flood risks for the next couple of days.

The greatest risk for flash flooding across the region will be Tuesday morning through Thursday morning.

HRRR model showing estimated radar and cloud cover Monday night through Wednesday morning as of 5:00PM May 17.

The National Weather Service (NWS) has placed Le Flore County in Oklahoma and Scott County in Arkansas under a flood watch until 7AM Thursday. Keep in mind, additional counties may be added over time.

Low Severe Weather Potential

The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has placed our area under a marginal (level 1/5) risk for severe storms.

Monday Overnight – Tuesday Morning

The day 1 Convective Outlook from the SPC keeps the greatest severe weather risk to our west. However, a few strong storms could hold together as they move into NW Arkansas and the River Valley Monday night.

HRRR model showing estimated precipitation timing through Wednesday morning.

Tuesday Morning – Wednesday Morning

The day 2 Convective Outlook puts our region in a level 1/5 (marginal) risk again. A few storms could be strong across the region, however, the ingredients for severe weather do not appear to be very high over the area at this time.

Stay tuned for the latest updated from your Weather Authority team.

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