Happy New Year!
A foggy morning across much of the area gave way to afternoon sunshine with highs in the 60s. There was some variability though. Low clouds persisted in West Plains keeping highs in the 50s. Meanwhile, Harrison, AR, enjoyed a record high of 73°.
The warm winter pattern will continue into Monday as the next storm nears the area. We may start the day with another round of fog near and south of Hwy. 60 and also north of Hwy. 54.
Clouds will be widespread but may be thin enough at times for hints of sunshine. Temperatures will climb quickly with afternoon highs in the upper 60s and low 70s. These are readings that are about 25° above normal for early January, but they’ll fall a little short of record highs in the area.
Breezy southerly winds will continue to draw higher humidity north into the Ozarks setting the stage for an unusually high amount of instability for early January. This will be one of the ingredients that will generate a severe weather risk late in the afternoon into the Monday night timeframe.
All modes of severe weather will be possible with damaging wind gusts the more prevalent mode. A brief tornado or two also looks possible. The risk of severe weather will be more pronounced south of Hwy. 60 where higher levels of instability will be in play.
The first wave of storms will sweep north out of Arkansas by late afternoon with a focus toward Northeast Arkansas and Southeast Missouri. Additional storms will form broken lines west of I-49. This wave of stormy weather will gradually shift east across the area Monday night, moving out of our area a little after midnight.
Rain amounts will be heaviest closer to Northeast Arkansas and Southeast Missouri where a few inches are possible. Totals will tend to be under an inch west of a Berryville, AR, to Rolla, MO, line. There will be a localized threat of flash flooding where higher rain amounts occur.
We’ll get back to seasonably cold weather in the wake of Monday’s storm. The pattern looks mainly dry through the end of the week too.