A powerful low pressure system will bring possible severe weather to the Northwest Arkansas/River Valley region Sunday evening through Monday morning.
The Main Picture
As of Saturday evening, a level 1/5 (marginal) severe weather risk has been issued by the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) for most of the area. Southwest Le Flore County, OK has a little bit greater chance of severe weather and is included in a level 2/5 (slight risk).
Heavy rain, frequent lightning, and hail are the primary threats Sunday night into Monday, followed by damaging wind gusts. A low, but non-zero chance of a tornado exists.
The tornado threat will depend greatly on what is known as surface-based instability and a thunderstorm’s ability to tap into it. Currently and fortunately, models keep the region capped (like a lid on a pot of boiling water) as the storms move through. This will limit a storm’s ability to access the surface-based instability.
Widespread heavy rain is expected with many areas seeing 0.50″ – 1″ of rain. Areas where multiple thunderstorms pass over could see 2-inches or more.
Below is a screenshot of forecast models showing rainfall totals through Monday. Notice how sharp the rainfall amounts are. This is means the model is detecting the heaviest rain in thunderstorms and can vary greatly over short distances.
This will be an overnight Sunday into Monday event! As of Saturday night, the storms are expected to begin after 6 P.M. Sunday and exit the area after sunrise Monday morning.
As seen in the video above, the heaviest rain (shown by the yellow and red/pink colors) will likely move across the region early Monday morning. However, individual thunderstorms will be scattered across the area before midnight.
How To Prepare
Right now, the most important thing to do is to be weather aware. Stay update to date with the latest forecast information.
- During the day Sunday, plug in your electronics to make sure everything is charged.
- Get the latest forecasts on KNWA News at 5PM & 10PM as well as FOX 24 News at 9PM before heading to bed.
- Turn your phone’s sound on so it will alert you if severe weather impacts your neighborhood during the night.
Don’t forget, you can also get forecast updates from the NWA Weather Authority by following us on social media and by download the NWA Weather Authority app!