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Storms with the potential for tornadoes expected across much of state Monday, forecasters say

by Remington Miller | January 2, 2023 at 3:18 p.m.
This graphic from the National Weather Service shows a severe weather outlook highlighting parts of Arkansas at risk on Monday for strong storms, hail and tornadoes. (National Weather Service/Twitter)

A tornado watch has been issued for parts of Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas until 9 p.m. Monday, the National Weather Service said in a tweet just after 1 p.m.

Multiple rounds of thunderstorms capable of producing strong winds, hail and tornadoes are expected across Arkansas through Monday night, the weather service said earlier in the day.

Most of the state is at an enhanced risk for severe weather, and at a medium risk for tornadoes, a briefing from the weather service in North Little Rock said. 

A tweet from the National Weather Service defines an enhanced risk as the possibility of numerous severe storms that are more persistent or widespread.

“Some of these storms could become severe with the main threats being damaging wind guests and tornadoes,” the weather service said. 

The southern half of the state could see some tornadoes classified as EF2 or stronger, according to the weather service. 

The briefing said the first round of storms will develop by late Monday morning or into the early afternoon, and they'll likely move north or northeast.

More storms are expected to develop across eastern Oklahoma between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m., then move east across Arkansas, the briefing said. 

Forecasters said this system is the one they are mainly concerned about as it is the one that could create a few strong tornadoes across the west or southwest portions of the state. 

There may be multiple severe storms that affect different parts of the state simultaneously, the weather service said. 

Maps from the National Weather Service say the storms could produce golf ball-sized hail and winds that could be as strong as 80 mph. 

The weather service also said some places may see flash flooding due to heavy rain from storms traveling over the same areas. 


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