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Forecasters: Severe weather possible in Arkansas on Friday, Saturday

Cold front to bring cooler temperatures during weekend by Remington Miller | May 17, 2023 at 1:12 p.m.
This graphic from the National Weather Service highlights which parts of Arkansas are expected to see severe weather on Friday. (National Weather Service/Twitter)

Storms capable of producing hail and strong winds are possible for most of the state on Friday and into Saturday, the National Weather Service said. 

With the exception of the far north part of the state, most of Arkansas is at a slight risk for severe weather, the weather service said. 

A slight risk means that scattered severe storms are possible, a briefing from the weather service said Wednesday morning. 

Hail could be as big as a quarter and winds could be as strong as 60 mph, according to the briefing. 

“While the tornado potential is low, a brief tornado cannot be ruled out,” the briefing said. 

“At this time we are not seeing a whole lot that says tornado,” said Jeff Hood, a meteorologist with the weather service in North Little Rock, on Wednesday afternoon. 

He said forecasters flash flooding is not of high concern with these storms. 

“We are forecasting normal amounts within reason, so around less than an inch or two with locally heavy rainfall possible,” Hood said. 

In Little Rock, the first half of the day will be dry, the meteorologist said. 

“Starting around noon and until around 6 p.m., we will have a good chance for storms in the Central Arkansas metro area,” he said. 

Hood said the storms are part of a cold front and that temperatures into the weekend should be cooler and the air a lot drier.

“Little Rock and Central Arkansas could see highs near the 80s and lows dip into the 60s and 50s,” Hood said. 

He said northern parts of the state might see highs in the 70s. 

“It will be a welcome change for many, especially those who haven’t appreciated this early taste of summer,” Hood said. 

The meteorologist said Arkansans should be mindful, especially while planning outdoor graduation and end-of-school activities on Friday and Saturday, 

“As we say ‘when thunder roars, go indoors,’” Hood said, “Because, if you are close enough to hear thunder, you are close enough to be struck by lightning.”


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