Severe weather chances will ramp up later tonight across most of the area. Damaging winds, hail and isolated tornadoes will be possible tonight.
Two distinct rounds of storms are showing on the radar pushing east. The threat of severe weather will be ongoing past sunrise for much of NWA. Flooding will be a concern in many spots.
Here is a look at the severe weather watches/warnings and flash flood warnings as of 3:30 AM CDT. These storms will pass over the same locations dumping large amounts of rain over a short time.
Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Cherokee, McIntosh, Muskogee and Wagoner County in OK until 4:15am. The line is moving east at 35 miles per hour. Storms may contain small hail, wind gusts near 60mph, frequent lighting, and heavy rain. This line may also develop brief spin up tornadoes.
With the northeast to southwest orientation of the incoming squall line, storms will be slower working into the River Valley and points south and east. Fort Smith is estimated to see the line coming in close to sunrise (6-7 AM)
Tornado Warning for Benton, Washington, Adair, Cherokee, and Delaware County in AR until 3:30am. Storm is moving NE at 45 mph. A line of severe line of storms is starting to enter Washington and Benton counties in NWA. Frequent lightning, strong winds, heavy downpours, and spin up tornadoes are possible in this line. The line is moving east at 30mph.
Tornado warning for Adair, Cherokee, and Delaware County in OK until 2:30am. Circulation is within a line heading NE at 40mph. Circulation with the storm is sporadic. A low end tornado could quickly spin up within the squall line.
Something interesting here…this is the average probably of severe weather for today, April 17th. Seems to line up really well with where we will see severe weather today.
Below is a Public Information Statement from the National Weather Service Office in Tulsa, Oklahoma regarding the imminent severe weather threat:
“SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS ARE EXPECTED ACROSS PORTIONS OF THE AREA
THIS EVENING INTO THE OVERNIGHT HOURS IN ASSOCIATION WITH A STRONG
UPPER LEVEL STORM SYSTEM. RESIDENTS ACROSS THE REGION SHOULD
MONITOR THIS SITUATION VERY CLOSELY. WATCHES AND WARNINGS WILL
LIKELY BE ISSUED LATER TODAY. HERE ARE SOME SAFETY RULES TO KEEP
IN MIND WHEN SEVERE WEATHER IS EXPECTED OR IS OCCURRING.
BEFORE SEVERE WEATHER STRIKES…ENSURE THAT YOU AND YOUR FAMILY
ARE FULLY PREPARED. IN A HOME OR BUILDING HAVE A PRE-DESIGNATED
SHELTER… SUCH AS A BASEMENT OR AN INTERIOR ROOM OR HALLWAY.
HAVE ON HAND A DISASTER SUPPLY KIT…INCLUDING A NOAA WEATHER
RADIO…FLASHLIGHT…RADIO AND A GOOD SUPPLY OF BATTERIES.
IF A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM OR TORNADO WARNING IS ISSUED…SEEK SHELTER
INDOORS IMMEDIATELY. A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM IS DEFINED AS PRODUCING
QUARTER SIZE OR GREATER HAIL AND WIND GUSTS OF 58 MPH OR MORE. IN
EXTREME CASES…SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS CAN PRODUCE WINDS TO NEAR 150
MPH AND HAIL LARGER THAN GRAPEFRUITS WHICH CAN CAUSE EXTENSIVE
TORNADOES OFTEN FORM VERY RAPIDLY FROM SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS. IF
YOU ARE IN A TORNADO WATCH…AND A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING IS
ISSUED FOR YOUR AREA…MONITOR LOCAL CONDITIONS CLOSELY AND BE
READY TO TAKE QUICK ACTION TO SAVE YOUR LIFE.
REMEMBER THAT LIGHTNING IS A THUNDERSTORMS MOST UNDERRATED KILLER.
POSTPONE OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES IF THUNDERSTORMS ARE IMMINENT. THIS
IS THE BEST WAY TO AVOID BEING CAUGHT IN A DANGEROUS SITUATION.
AUTOMOBILES OFFER GOOD PROTECTION FROM LIGHTNING…ALTHOUGH MOVING
INDOORS IS BEST. EVEN INSIDE…LIGHTING CAN KILL BY COMING THROUGH
THE PHONE LINES…PLUMBING AND ELECTRIC LINES. THEREFORE DO NOT
USE COMPUTERS…TELEPHONES OR OTHER HAND HELD APPLIANCES DURING A
STAY TUNED TO NOAA WEATHER RADIO…COMMERCIAL RADIO OR TELEVISION
FOR THE LATEST ON THIS DEVELOPING SEVERE WEATHER EVENT. ADDITIONAL
WEATHER INFORMATION…INCLUDING RELATED GRAPHICS CAN BE FOUND AT
A TORNADO WATCH has been posted for North Central Texas, and a large chunk of central and eastern Oklahoma until 11 PM CDT.
Elevated thunderstorms will develop in this area during the afternoon. Some of these storms may evolve supecellular characteristics capable of producing a tornado. If a tornado is to form, conditions are in place to support it becoming significant.
A previous tornado watch is already in place across Missouri.
The warm front has now clear most of the area. This means most of us are now in the “warm sector”….the breeding ground for severe weather. Instability is already running high with dew points in the 60′s and temperatures in the 70′s, nearing 80 already.
The latest run of the high-resolution NAM model shows supercell storms forming south of OKC by this evening. There is some question of whether or not these storms will form earlier than that. If the storms form early this afternoon it means they will arrive in our area after midnight.
The National Weather Service in Norman, Oklahoma is launching a special balloon to get an idea of what the atmosphere looks like in Central Oklahoma. This will help give us a better idea as well of the threat of storms in our area.
The entire area is under a risk of severe weather later this evening and through the overnight.
An enhanced risk of severe weather is centered from northern to central Oklahoma.
This is a look at the tornado probabilities. The greatest chance of seeing tornadoes will be to our west tonight as supercell storms develop by late afternoon in central Oklahoma.