A couple of very nice fall days have graced the Mid-South, but a strong cold front will move through the region on Wednesday evening, bringing a chance for severe weather. Fortunately, this system is progressive - meaning it will move through rather quickly. The Storm Prediction Center has placed the Mid-South in a Slight Risk zone for Wednesday afternoon/evening.
Ahead of the front, temperatures will warm into the lower 80s Wednesday afternoon with ample sunshine, while southerly wind gusting at times to 30 mph will escort moisture into the region from the Gulf of Mexico. A strong jet stream moving into the region will provide the atmospheric dynamics required to initiate thunderstorms over Arkansas during the afternoon hours.
Initially, scattered cells will pose a hail, wind, and perhaps a tornado risk, mainly to our west. However, as the afternoon wears on, expect to see storms merge into a likely squall line that would elevate the wind damage threat as it moves into the metro area. The most likely time for severe weather is between 5pm-10pm with possible scattered supercell storms (mainly to the west) during the early portion of that timeframe and the squall line likely to arrive between 7-10pm Wednesday night.
|NWS graphic showing cold front position at 7pm Wednesday just west of the metro and precipitation ahead of it.|
|GFS computer model showing band of precipitation over the Mid-South during the evening on Wednesday|
|Hi-res WRF model depicting "forecast radar" at 10 pm Wednesday with storms along/east of the Mississippi River|
We'll have more on the potential severe weather threat as the situation becomes more clear.
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