NEAR TERM (SAT/SUN)
Period begins with the much-anticipated strong storm system moving through the region during the period and this will focus on the active weather on Saturday. Strong upper trough will be moving through the Plains with a strong surface low moving NE towards the Great Lakes. This trough is expected to become negatively tilted as it moves through. We will also have a very strong jet stream overhead with 130-150 knots. The largest dynamics will be north of the state surrounding the surface low. Here locally though, a deep layer warm sector, coupled with strong southerly winds and modest instability will lead to strong thunderstorm potential. The “GREATEST” area would be along the eastern 2-3 rows of counties where heat, instability and some shear will overlap. Would not be surprised to see a day 1 upgrade to slight here at some point overnight or in the morning. SW winds aloft support mainly a linear style or quasi linear, which will lead to a damaging wind threat. Hail will be possible in the strongest storms where they can take advantage of modest instability and daytime heating. The tornado threat here is very low, however as storms get going in the afternoon, we could see a brief spin up closer to the dynamics in NE Arkansas and MAYBE along the eastern border. Otherwise just widespread rain and thunderstorms will be expected along and just ahead of the cold front. Storms will have to overcome a warm layer aloft (cap) through much of the morning, leaving most of the state without any major storm issue. This will be watched through the day and of course we will be on standby in the weather center and chasing in the field to bring you the latest.
Front clears the state to the east Saturday night with sunshine on Sunday and mild temps.
A new storm system will approach the state at the start of the period. To the west a new low pressure will develop and move northeast bringing a warm front across the state once again. Ahead of this, under strong southerly flow, we will see moisture increase once again, leading to widespread showers and thunderstorms. The rich moisture will promote heavy rainfall potential with a widespread 2-3 inches possible. Severe potential is there but is questionable given lack of instability, but it is watchable given we are still a few days out. A cold front will sweep through Tuesday night with skies clearing and dry weather for the remainder of the period.
~Chief Forecaster Derek