Here is the latest risk for severe thunderstorms Friday evening. Let’s start at the beginning…

CURRENT SURFACE MAP AT 8AM FRIDAY

Low pressure is developing over southeast Colorado this morning. Showers have popped up over the region and will move through this morning through the midday hours. Very light rain is expected with these showers.

SURFACE MAP FORECAST AT 3PM FRIDAY AFTERNOON

Strong low pressure will move toward Topeka, Kansas later today. Very mild, near record breaking temperatures will be possible out ahead of the cold front. High temperatures will reach the 70s over western Arkansas while 80 degree temperatures will be found over south central Oklahoma. Keep in mind that the average temperature at Drake Field in Fayetteville on December 10th is 51°. Very mild!

CLOSER LOOK AT OUR AREA FOR SEVERE THUNDERTSORM POTENTIAL

By tonight the cold front will move closer to Northwest Arkansas. However, most thunderstorms will develop later this evening. The highest potential for severe thunderstorms will occur in the yellow and orange colored, enhanced risk areas over central and eastern Arkansas, west Tennessee and southeast Missouri. Tornadoes will be possible in those areas.

Our eastern viewing area has a level one, marginal risk for strong storms. This is an area where a little more instability will form late this afternoon and early evening. Thunderstorms forming in the marginal risk area could have some hail and gusty wind as they rapidly develop. They will also move rapidly northeast so there isn’t much time for them to dwell. Plus, thunderstorms numbers look few… isolated to widely scattered. Best chances for storms to develop is after 4pm to about 10pm.

DRY AIR FILTERS IN LATE THIS AFTERNOON AND EVENING

Indication is that drier air will start to filter into the western region later today. There is also some very warm air in the mid levels that will go into halting thunderstorm development over the I-49 corridor.

THUNDERSTORMS FORECAST AREA

Most of us will not see thunderstorms from this event. They are most likely in the outlined area east of I-49. Cold front arrives tonight with a sharp temperature drop late tonight and Saturday.

Of course, we will monitor this weather system as it moves through the area through the afternoon and evening. Chief meteorologist Dan Skoff will update you tonight beginning at 5 p.m. on KNWA.