March is coming in like a lamb on day 1, but don’t get used to the calm conditions. More lion-like weather is in store for days 2-3.
Another potent storm will move out of Texas and across Arkansas Thursday night. A widespread round of severe weather is anticipated across the Deep South with a few stronger storms possible as far north as Southern Missouri. A hail risk may come with some of the stronger storms Thursday afternoon into the overnight. There may be a slightly more elevated risk of severe weather creeping into North Central and Northeast Arkansas after midnight Thursday night.
The storm will also produce heavy precipitation and strong winds. Rain amounts of 1 to 3″ will fall across the region. A Flood Watch has been posted for locations along and south of I-44 from Thursday evening through Friday morning. The heavy rainfall will likely push creek and stream levels higher and could generate flooding. This could lead to low water crossings covered by water as well.
The storm will deepen as it moves across the Ozarks Friday morning, causing winds to crank up. Winds will become strong by Friday morning with gusts of 40 to 50 mph possible near and south of I-44. The winds will ease Friday afternoon as the storm pulls away.
The big question is, will the storm produce an early spring snowfall? The risk is there, but it’s still unclear to what extent we’re looking at. The intensifying storm could cause the atmosphere to cool enough to support snow with a period of a rain/snow mix or wet snow possible during the day Friday. Areas near and north of I-44 have the best chance of this scenario playing out. Marginal surface temperatures and the timing of the storm would tend to offset the potential for accumulating snow.
Temperatures will be much colder Friday as you might expect. Temperatures will likely fall into the mid to upper 30s Friday morning without much recovery during the afternoon.
Temperatures will once again head higher over the weekend with mild temperatures returning Sunday into Monday. Showers and cooler temperatures will return Tuesday into Wednesday.
An early spring cold snap with below-normal temperatures may develop late next week through the following weekend.