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story.lead_photo.caption Photo by National Weather Service

The National Weather Service said all of Arkansas as well as parts of the surrounding states are under a slight risk of potentially severe weather starting Saturday.

Weather forecasters said warming temperatures and strong winds could fuel powerful storms and tornadoes, with the areas south of Interstate 40 seeing a higher potential for dangerous storms.

But officials said Thursday they see limits in the atmosphere’s ability to produce strong storms, including lack of a cold front. Such fronts can create instability and usher in severe weather.

“There’s a tremendous amount of potential, but there’s a question about one of the ingredients,” said Dan Koch, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in North Little Rock.

Forecasters said the conditions could create damaging winds and potentially spur tornadoes starting in the middle of the day and into the evening.

The weather service said temperatures are expected to rise into the 70s in central Arkansas.

Koch said the weather service is also tracking another system that has the potential for even more hazardous weather next week.

“We’re getting into that time of year where we’re getting these systems every three, four days,” he said.

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