Even though Arkansas dodged a bullet when it came to the tornadoes and damaging winds late Tuesday night, we can't let our guard down.
Later this week on Friday, another strong area of low pressure is expected to develop right in our backyard in Northwest Arkansas and track due northeast through the upper Mid-West.
Out ahead of the low pressure system there will be warm gulf air that will surge back into Central and Eastern Arkansas. At the very same time, winds aloft will be rotating...Inevitably all of these ingredients will help set the stage for nasty thunderstorms to develop into parts of Arkansas and the Mississippi Valley.
At the moment, it's too soon to tell how every little detail will play out on Friday, but we do know that this next storm system is different from the last one in many ways. This time the low pressure will very close to us unlike Tuesday's night storm. In addition to the position, the winds thousands of feet above us will show greater spin then last time. What this means for you is that parts Arkansas may not be so lucky in escaping tornadoes and damaging winds.
(SPC SREF model showing enhanced tornado risk in Eastern AR and Memphis)
Preliminary data shows the main tornado threat lies in Eastern Arkansas and around the Memphis region. We happen to agree with this assessment at this time. Cities that need to play close attention on Friday's weather include Little Rock, Pine Bluff, Searcy, Stuttgart and Jonesboro.
Besides the threat area, there is still some questions in regard to the timing of this whole event. Majority of the weather models want to have the thunderstorms developing around Central and Eastern Arkansas as soon as 12 P.M. Friday and lasting through the region for a couple hours. Other weather models wait longer into the mid afternoon. We'll hold off on pinpointing every hour by hour for now but it looks like we need to be ready around the early afternoon period.
Be sure to keep checking with FOX 16 so you can plan ahead accordingly for this next upcoming storm system.