Weather Blog: Heavy rain may lead to localized flash flooding Wednesday – Friday AM

Weather Blog

Several rounds of rain expected in Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley

A stormy weather pattern is setting up across our region for Wednesday – Friday morning and has the potential to bring heavy rain and localized flash flooding.

Our Set Up

Forecasted surface map across the Central Plains for Wednesday afternoon, October 13, 2021.

As a frontal system pushes across the U.S. Central Plains, it will stall out just northwest of our region in SE Kansas and across Oklahoma. However, the position of the front will help provide the setup for a heavy rain event across our area. The upper-level winds will be parallel to the frontal boundary, which will cause multiple rounds of thunderstorms to “train” over a specific area. This is similar to train cars on a railroad track moving over the same location. The system will begin to move out of the area on Friday and set the stage for a beautiful fall-like weekend.

Timing

Rain will begin to move into the region Tuesday night and continue on & off throughout the day on Wednesday. The heaviest rain is expected to move into the area overnight Wednesday and Thursday morning. On & off rain showers and thunderstorms will continue through Thursday and Friday morning. All the rain will move out of Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley by Friday night with a GORGEOUS fall weekend behind it.

Flash Flood Potential

In anticipation of the heavy rain, the Weather Prediction Center has issued a slight risk (level 2/4) for excessive rainfall across NW Arkansas and the River Valley, meaning scattered flash floods are possible. Western Le Flore County is under a moderate risk (level 3/4). A moderate risk means numerous flash floods are possible within the risk area.

The National Weather Service issued a flash flood watch for Le Flore County in Oklahoma until 7 PM CDT Thursday, October 14. This watch will likely be expanded to include other counties within NW Arkansas and the River Valley.

Flash flood watch for Le Flore County, Oklahoma as of 6 PM CDT Tuesday, October 12, 2021.

A flash flood watch means flash floods are possible due to potentially heavy rainfall in a short period of time.

Expected Rainfall Totals

Overall, we are expected widespread 1.00 – 2.50″ of rain across our area between Tuesday night and Friday evening. However, forecast models are showing we could see localized higher amounts.

Weather Prediction Center’s 7-day precipitation forecast for NW Arkansas and the River Valley

The exact amount of rainfall we get in a particular location will depend greatly on the exact position of the front and where the heaviest rain sets up across our area.

Stay tuned with your NWA Weather Authority team for future updates as we continue to update the timing and the location of the heaviest rain bands.

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