(KNWA/KFTA, NORTHWEST ARKANSAS/RIVER VALLEY) — Saturday July 10th is a Weather Alert Day! Severe weather is expected to impact NW Arkansas and the River Valley this evening and last into the early morning hours Sunday July 11th. Here are the latest forecast details.
Severe Weather Risk
The latest Day 1 Convective Outlook (Saturday AM-Sunday AM) puts all of the NW Arkansas area and most of the River Valley under a level 3/5 (enhanced) risk. A level 2/5 (slight risk) is included for the southern River Valley and the Ouachita Mountains.
Individual Severe Threats
Looking at the individual threats, all severe weather threats will be possible.
Damaging winds will be the highest threat in the region with large hail to follow across northern sections of the area. Thunderstorm wind gusts over 70mph (hurricane-force) will be possible tonight. Hail to the size of a golfballs (1.75″ in diameter) will also be possible in isolated areas.
There is a very low BUT (non-zero) tornado threat across the entire area. Wind shear will be sufficient for a tornado or two to develop with isolated storms, but the linear nature of the convective development will limit a greater tornado risk.
Localized Heavy Rain and Flash Flooding
As you can feel with the muggy air outside, there’s plenty of moisture for these storms to tap into, so rainfall could be heavy at times. Rainfall rates of 2+ inches per hour could lead to localized flooding, but the storms will be moving through fairly quickly. This should limit a more widespread flash flooding threat.
The most likely timeframe for storms will be after 7 PM Saturday – 2 AM early Sunday morning.
Forecast models are suggesting showers and a few thunderstorms could develop earlier Saturday afternoon, but the main storm activity will occur late this evening with the approaching cold front. As the storms congeal into a squall-line, damaging winds will become the main threat.
If a tornado warning is issued for your neighborhood, remember DUCK!
- Go to the lowest level of your home or the building you are in.
- Try to get under something. Cover yourself with blankets, pillows, and put helmets on to protect your heads.
- Move to the center of the house. You want to get to the most interior room. Put as many walls between you and the outside as possible.
- Keep away from windows. Broken glass can fly through the air and cause serious injury.
Stay Weather Aware!
We say it all the time, but be weather-aware Saturday night. Watch the sky and have a plan in place should a severe weather warning be issued.
While severe weather significantly impacting any one person’s home is relatively low on even the severe weather days with the highest risk, please remain vigilant Saturday evening. Watch the forecast for updates and stay on top of the situation throughout the evening.
Have at least 3 different ways to receive warnings (OUTDOOR SIRENS DO NOT COUNT).
Some examples to receive warning information include
- NOAA weather radio
- Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) system
- NWA Weather Authority app (click to download for free)
- Watch KNWA/FOX24 for breaking weather information
- Third-party subscription services (example: WeatherCall)
- Your county/city emergency alert service (example: BCAlert for Benton County residents).
Finally, be sure to follow your NWA Weather Authority team on social media to receive the latest forecast information.