A big time soaker is heading for Arkansas with several rounds of potentially heavy rainfall. On the positive side, this will essentially eliminate the fire danger problem that has escalated over the last couple of weeks. The problem is that excessive rainfall may create flooding problems, especially by early next week.
A cold front will approach Thursday with showers and some thunderstorms beginning in the morning and continuing into the afternoon. Rain will increase along and behind the front during the evening hours with a band of heavy rainfall likely setting up along the slow moving boundary.
A few strong storms are possible ahead of the front, with localized gusty winds and hail as the main threat. The Storm Prediction Center placed parts of Central and Southern Arkansas in a Slight risk area for strong storms mainly for early Thursday afternoon.
Any threat of strong storms will quickly diminish behind the front, however, heavy rain will continue behind the frontal boundary. Rain will diminish and push South by Friday's morning commute.
Our high resolution computer model forecast shows generally between 2 and 4 inches of rain through Friday morning. Some spots may even see higher amounts.
The Thursday/Thursday night round of rainfall is only part of this wet scenario. The frontal boundary will return North over the weekend as a disturbance rotates around a slow moving upper over The Plains. The timing of the second round of rain is still uncertain, but our computer model indicates the rain moving back in by Saturday afternoon. Some other models are a little slower not showing rain moving back in until Sunday.
Rainfall will finally come to an end as the slow moving upper disturbance finally lifts out to the Northeast. by the time the rain is finished, many areas in Arkansas will receive more than the average total for the entire month. Below is an estimate of potential rainfall from Thursday through Monday.
The soil is still quite dry so much of the water will be absorbed, however, the ground will become saturated after the first round of rainfall leading to a higher potential for some localized flooding for early next week with the second round of rainfall.
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