A powerful storm system will bring several hours of showers and thunderstorms to Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley Sunday into Monday.

Surface map for Saturday, April 23 at 8:00 P.M.

A cold front over the Central Plains will approach Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley late Saturday night & Sunday morning. As it gets close to our region, the cold front will slow down and provide the necessary lift in the atmosphere for heavy rain and thunderstorms to develop over the region. Some storms may be strong to severe, however, the heavy rain potential is the greatest threat with this system.

Heavy Rain/Flash Flood Potential

Widespread 3-4″ of rain is expected between Saturday night and Monday morning. The majority of this rain will fall Sunday afternoon & night.

ECMWF computer model for rainfall in NW Arkansas and the River Valley from Saturday, April 23 to Monday, April 25. The exact amounts may vary from the model output. Updated: Saturday, April 23 8:30 P.M.

The Weather Prediction Center (WPC) has issued level 2/4 (slight) and level 3/4 (moderate) risks for excessive rainfall for parts of our area. “Scattered flash floods” are possible for the areas with a slight risk while “numerous flash floods” are possible with a moderate risk.

The Weather Prediction Center Day 2 Excessive Rainfall Outlook for Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley. Outlook valid from 7 A.M. Sunday, April 24 to 7 A.M. Monday, April 25. Updated: Saturday, April 23 8:30 P.M.

Due to the heavy rain expected across the region, the National Weather Service has issued a flood watch for the entire region.

Flood watch for NW Arkansas and the River Valley

Areas to the west of the west line are under a flood watch from 7 A.M. Sunday, April 24 to 7 A.M. Monday, April 25. Locations to the east are under a flood watch from 7 A.M. Sunday, April 24 to 1 P.M. Monday, April 25. Southwest Missouri is also under a flood watch from 1 A.M. Sunday, April 24 to 7 A.M. Monday, April 25.

The rain will arrive after midnight Saturday night and continue to become more widespread throughout the morning and afternoon. Most of the heavy rain will arrive late Sunday afternoon and Sunday night. All the rain will move out of Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley by lunchtime Monday.

GRAF model showing cloud cover and precipitation across Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley from Saturday, April 23 to Monday, April 25. Updated: Saturday, April 23 at 8:30 P.M.

Severe Weather Potential

In addition to heavy rain and flooding, Sunday’s event could bring a few isolated strong thunderstorms to the area.

The Storm Prediction Center Day 2 Convective Outlook for Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley. Outlook is valid from 7 A.M. Sunday, April 24 to 7 A.M. Monday, April 25. Updated: Saturday, April 23 at 8:30 P.M.

The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has issued a level 1/5 (marginal) risk for part of the area. A marginal risk for severe weather means “isolated strong storms are possible”.

Damaging straight-line winds and quarter-size hail or larger will be possible with any storm that reaches severe limits. A very low, non-zero risk for tornadoes is also present.

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