Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Little Rock, AR
FXUS64 KLZK 231732 AAB
Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Little Rock AR
1232 PM CDT Thu Mar 23 2017
Updated to include the 18Z aviation discussion below...
The warm front is now lifting north across central portions of the
state early this afternoon...with east/SE winds switching to a
more SRLY direction. Some gusts over 15kts may be seen this
afternoon...but the more breezy conditions will come late tonight
and especially on Fri. This increased SRLY flow will bring
increasing moisture and some potential for MVFR CIGS Fri
morning...especially across the WRN half of the state. Will also
see some SHRA/TSRA potential by midday Fri...but have only
mentioned VCTS/VCSH at this time as coverage will be limited.
Better chances for more widespread SHRA/TSRA and possible SVR WX
will come after this TAF period Fri afternoon and night.
Prev Discussion.../ Issued 347 AM CDT Thu Mar 23 2017/
Main concerns in this forecast cycle are chances of convection.
The first is Friday to Saturday with the strong storm system that
will affect AR. A threat of severe weather is possible. A weaker
system is forecast on Monday, then again mid to late next week.
Currently, surface high pressure was off to the east of AR, and a
northeast to east wind flow has spread cooler and drier air into
the area. An area of lower clouds was seen over northern AR while
it was drifting to the northeast. The upper high pressure ridge
was off to the west and will move more east today and help warm
temperatures. Lows were mainly in the 40s to mid 50s.
SHORT TERM...Today Through Friday Night
Overall a dry and warm forecast today, with partly sunny skies
over the north, while mostly sunny over much of the rest of the
state. Highs will reach the mid to upper 60s in the northeast, to
the 70s central, while around 80 in the southwest. Winds will
become southeast, and be elevated at times, as well as start to
help return moisture levels back to AR. Thursday night, south
winds remain up and continue to increase moisture levels. Some
lower clouds will be seen over western to central areas. Lows
will be from the 50s to some 60s. The chance of rain gradually
comes up early Friday morning over the west, then spread over the
rest of AR through the day Friday and Friday night. Scattered to
numerous showers and thunderstorms are expected, as the main lift,
moisture and instability maximize around 00z in the west, then
03-06z central, then after 6-12z in the east. Model timing is
close at 00Z Sat, but by 06Z Nam is a bit faster than GFS and
Euro, while at 12z timing is back very close. Strong to severe
storms are forecast, with SPC indicating at least a slight risk of
severe storms over AR. A line of storms is expected to be the
best forecast. At this time, damaging winds appears to be the main
threat, with a lower threat of large hail and tornadoes. Current
forecast has this trend. Pockets of heavy rain will also be
possible. The timing and severity of the event will be monitored
LONG TERM...Saturday Through Wednesday
Models continue to show the upper pattern remaining progressive
with several systems to contend with during the period. There are
the usual timing and intensity issues between the models but
overall they remain in decent enough agreement that a blend of
solutions seems prudent.
The linear MCS expected to move through Friday night should be clear
of the Mississippi River when the long term period initiates. The
upper trough and associated cut off low will be somewhere over
central or southwest Missouri depending on which model solution
verifies. Regardless, the system will be lifting out to the
northeast with a secondary cold front expected to move through
behind it. As such, will need to hold on to some precipitation
chances for Saturday. Temperatures will be slightly cooler versus
Friday but still above normal.
After a brief respite on Sunday, precipitation chances return Sunday
night and Monday as another, albeit weaker, system lifts through.
This system does not appear to be nearly as strong as the previous
one but a few storms could be on the stronger side. A cold front
will move through Monday night but temperatures behind the boundary
are only a touch cooler and once again, readings will remain above
normal. Tuesday will basically be dry but ECMWF solution does
warrant slight chance pops.
Model solutions are quite different Wednesday as yet another strong
upper system will be kicking out of the desert southwest. ECMWF
brings a strong line of convection back to the state Wednesday
afternoon while the GFS holds off for another day. System will need
to be monitored for severe weather potential. Welcome to spring !