SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Here we go again. A strong cold front will trigger severe thunderstorms in the ArkLaTex this evening through tonight. It’s possible we will see 2 rounds of storms. Everyone needs to be on high alert for potential severe weather as soon as this afternoon. The main threat will be arriving after sunset in most areas and continuing overnight.

Severe weather threat this afternoon into tonight

The setup and threats: The Storm Prediction Center has a level 3 ‘Enhanced Risk’ outlook for severe thunderstorms in the forecast for northeast Texas, southeast Oklahoma, and southwest Arkansas. A level 3 threat means confidence is high that severe thunderstorms will occur. The most dangerous weather in these areas will occur between 5 p.m. and midnight, but a few isolated severe storms could develop prior to 5 p.m. Everyone should be prepared for severe weather by the early afternoon today, even though the most likely window for severe storms isn’t until later in the evening and overnight hours.

Confidence is high that the ‘Enhanced Risk’ area will see damaging straight-line wind gusts in excess of 50 miles per hour. There is a medium risk for a few tornadoes and large hail (up to golf ball sized) in this area as well.

A level 2 ‘Slight Risk’ threat is forecast for the remainder of our counties and parishes in Arkansas and Louisiana. This means scattered severe storms are possible. Storms will be most likely in these areas from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. Damaging wind gusts will be the most likely threat in these areas, with a low but still existing threat for a brief tornado or two as well as large hail.

Futurecast 36-hour forecast

Storm timing – 2 rounds of storms are possible today: A few rain showers or isolated storms may pass through this morning, but storms will not likely be strong given the cool temperatures in the 50s this morning.

The first round of storms is highly uncertain, but isolated storms may develop ahead of a cold front this afternoon. .If these afternoon storms develop they would have the highest likelihood of bringing a strong tornado or very large hail. This first round is highly uncertain and may not develop.

The 2nd round of storms is more certain as a line of storms will develop along a cold front. These storms will move into the ‘Enhanced Risk’ area of Texas/Oklahoma by 6-8 p.m. tonight. The storms will move east into Texarkana between 8 p.m. and midnight, and the storms should reach the I-20 corridor from Marshall to Shreveport by 9 p.m. – midnight. Any severe storms should exit Sabine/Natchitoches parishes and the remainder of the ArkLaTex by 3 a.m. Friday morning.

Heavy rain and isolated road flooding: If we only see one round of storms most areas will receive .5″ to 1.5″ of rainfall. If we do in fact receive the 2 rounds of storms, some areas could receive 2″ to 3″ of rain which would be enough to flood some roads overnight.

Rainfall potential today through tonight

How to prepare for the storms: Review your severe weather safety plan at home and at work today. Know where to go if a tornado warning is issued, and have multiple ways to receive warnings, including enabling emergency alerts on your smartphone, a NOAA weather radio, or the Your Weather Authority app.

If you live in a mobile home, find a sturdy shelter to ride out the storms tonight. The majority of injuries during severe weather events in the ArkLaTex occur in a mobile home or a vehicle.

Temperatures to plummet tonight and tomorrow: High temperatures ahead of the storms today will be in the low to mid-70s, and it will be windy with frequent gusts out of the south over 20 miles per hour.

Today’s expected high temperatures

The wind will turn to the northwest overnight pushing cold air into the region. Temperatures will be in the 40s for much of the day tomorrow, with a cold wind-chill for much of the day. We may have a few morning showers, but sun may return to some areas by the afternoon Friday.

Friday (St. Patrick’s Day) forecast highs