Big Picture & Severe Threat
Showers and thunderstorms are expected this evening. Upper level energy over western Kansas will move into eastern Oklahoma and Northwest Arkansas tonight. This will cause storms to erupt tonight after midnight for Delaware county, OK and Benton county, AR. The storms will then travel southeast towards Fayetteville and the River Valley. In Northwest Arkansas, the farther east you go from Fayetteville, the more your storm chances diminish.
The main threats with these storms are heavy rain, frequent lightning, up to golf ball size hail, and damaging winds. There is a VERY LOW TORNADO threat with these storms.
The Forecast and Flood Threat
The Weather Prediction Center (WPC) has placed portions of our region under a “marginal” (1/4) and “slight” (2/4) risk for excessive rainfall. These means isolated flash flooding is possible, especially in very poor drainage areas.
The storms will continue moving through Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley through the majority of the morning hours. Some of the shower activity may linger to the early afternoon hours, especially in the River Valley.
One of the most important things during severe weather is preparation and knowing what to do. The National Weather Service (NWS) issues advisories, watches, and warnings in an effort to inform all of us when weather is particularly dangerous. In this forecast, the main threat is flash flooding. Flash floods can occur quickly and without warning. If you come across any flood waters, it is always best to turn around and find a different route. “Turn Around, Don’t Drown!” The water may look shallow, but looks can be deceiving. 6-inches of moving water can knock an adult off their feet. Only 1-2 feet of water is required to float most vehicles.
What Comes Next?
Once the storm threat passes Friday morning, the 7 day forecast looks to be cooler and less humid after a hot day Saturday. Morning lows in the 50s with afternoon highs in the upper 70s/low 80s for Northwest Arkansas. The River Valley can expect the wake up temperatures to be in the low-mid 60s with afternoons in the mid 80s with lots of sunshine.