Published April 25, 2013
A gathering storm in the southern Plains will bring the risk for strong thunderstorms, hail and heavy rain along the Red River and points northward beginning Friday.
Some of the cities with the greatest potential for potent storms include Oklahoma City, Okla.; Texarkana, Texas; Paris, Texas; and Little Rock, Ark.
The biggest threats from these thunderstorms will be hail as large as quarters, or even up to the size of golf balls. Hail of this size is capable of denting vehicles, injuring exposed livestock and producing significant crop damage.
These thunderstorms will also have the possibility of causing isolated damaging gusts of wind as high as 60 mph. Such gusts will be few and far between; however, if one does affect your neighborhood, downed trees and power poles are possible.
A stray tornado cannot be completely ruled out, but the main ingredients needed for tornadoes will not be present this time.
The storms will fire in the late afternoon to early evening hours across central and eastern Oklahoma. They will then track across the Arklatex region and into western and central Arkansas overnight Friday.
As the storms push eastward, the main threats will transition from hail and damaging winds to more of a heavy rainfall and flooding situation into Saturday.
Some areas from El Dorado, Ark., into Greenville and Yazoo City, Miss., will receive upwards of 2 inches of rainfall.
As flood crests from very heavy rain over the Midwest push down the Mississippi River into the region, additional rainfall could lead to more significant flooding.
In addition to exacerbated flooding along the Mississippi, flooding of low-lying areas and croplands are possible across southern Arkansas and northern Mississippi.
Flash flooding along rural roadways, small creeks and streams is also a possibility.
If you plan to be outdoors for fishing, or you will be doing any traveling along interstates 30 and 40 or routes 82 and 278, keep a keen eye on the weather.
If outdoors remember, if you are close enough to a thunderstorm to hear thunder, you are also close enough to be struck by lightning. If driving, never navigate your vehicle around barricades set up by emergency officials. Flood waters on a roadway can be much deeper than you think, and it only takes 18 inches of water to sweep your car away.
The rain and thunderstorms will come to an end for the second half of the weekend, but more stormy weather is on the horizon for later next week.