A strong cold front will be moving through the ArkLaTex and will bring thunderstorms and a threat of very heavy rain. Some parts of the area could see more than ten inches. The coolest air of the season moves in just in time for the weekend as sunshine returns.
Flood Watch for part of the ArkLaTex: The National Weather Service has issued a Flood Watch for the northwest quarter of the ArkLaTex. We have already seen quite a bit of rain over the northern part of the area, the rain will only increase in coverage and intensity Wednesday evening and Wednesday night as a line of thunderstorms approaches the area from the Northwest.
These storms will have the potential to produce strong wind with gusts of over 40 mph. A few locations could see gusts up to 60 mph. The Storm Prediction Center indicates that the storms will probably be strongest to the west of our area and shows that we will have a marginal to slight risk over the NW corner of the area where tonight’s storms arrive first. They will likely be gradually weakening as they move into and through the area.
More than a month’s worth of rain possible: Above is the very latest 18-hour forecast from the HRRR model. Over the past several days, I have been pointing out the blend of models has been hinting at the chance of seeing rainfall totals that could eclipse six inches over the NW quarter of the area. The HRRR has been indicating this as a possibility since last night. Parts of the area have already seen more than 6″ of rain and another three to six inches will be possible. This model creates a new forecast every hour and is the latest in model information so expect some changes in the rainfall potential outlook and the location of the heaviest rain threat. Other hi-res models also show the heaviest rain falling in this part of the area. If you live in or have to travel through a flood-prone area, be aware of the potential of flash flooding through tomorrow morning and remember to ‘turn around and don’t drown’. To put these potential rain totals in perspective. Texarkana typically receives around 4.5” of rain for the ENTIRE month of October. That means that part of NE TX & SW AR could see TWO months’ worth of rain in 24 hours. Further southeast, these same models show a dramatic drop off in rainfall potential in NW LA. Here it is quite possible that most locations will see less than 1” of rain.
The coolest air since April: Behind the cold front bringing all of this rain, we will see the return of some sunshine Friday that will likely stick around through the first half of next week. Much cooler air will invade the area and by the weekend, highs will fall into the low to middle 70s. Overnight lows could dip into the 40s Saturday night over all of the area. Next week will feature a warming trend with highs climbing back up into the middle 80s and lows returning to the low to middle 60s. It now appears that our next chance of rain will return on Thursday, Thursday night, and possibly Friday of next week. The good news is that we should see the clouds depart just in time for next Saturday’s solar eclipse. See the details on the timing and extent of the eclipse here.