Southeast Arkansas residents could see a severe twist in the weather in the form of thunderstorms, possible hail and possible tornadoes over the next 48 hours. Advance forecasting models Tuesday evening showed a front arriving in the region over Wednesday night and into Thursday.
“All the ingredients for severe weather are there,” National Weather Service staff meteorologist Shawn Clark of Little Rock said Tuesday evening. “People should have their weather radios available, activate any weather warnings on their cell phones, and be prepared for anything.”
The initial wave of the front on Wednesday, which Clark said includes warm temperatures and unstable wind patterns, will primarily be in northwest Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma, but by Thursday afternoon and evening, Southeast Arkansas, including Pine Bluff, will see the biggest threat.
“I would say this would be a good time for people to talk with their families and prepare any severe weather plans they have,” Clark said. “If they have a storm shelter, then they should clean it up and have it ready to go. If they haven’t checked their weather radios in a while, they should turn them on. Over the next couple of days, especially Thursday, people need to be aware of the weather conditions and prepare to seek shelter.”
Clark said present models showed temperatures peaking in the 80s on Thursday, 70s by Friday, and down to 66 on Saturday.
Tuesday afternoon, the National Weather Service posted a Hazardous Weather Outlook in the form of a warning advisory.
“Shower and thunderstorm changes will be on the increase Wednesday and Thursday as a strong storm system approaches from the west,” the advisory noted.
It also includes a notice saying “Spotter activation could be necessary for Wednesday and Thursday.”
On Wednesday, the advisory notes “abundant moisture to produce good chances of showers and thunderstorms.”
By Thursday, the advisory says “the potential for additional strong and severe storms will exist,” and it further notes “current forecast parameters do indicate damaging winds, large hail, and isolated tornadoes will be possible.”
Although Clark said Tuesday that the potential for a “serious situation” existed, he said it was still too early in the forecast to further determine how severe the weather may be.
“There is considerable instability showing up in the models, but it is still to soon to know exactly how that will play out Thursday. Again, all the ingredients for severe weather for much of SoutheastArkansas are present, especially by Thursday. I would encourage people to be aware and be prepared,” Clark said.