Strong to severe storms still expected during Easter weekend. A few strong storms possible Saturday evening. Most widespread severe storms expected Easter Sunday morning. More storms possible Sunday afternoon over the northern edge of the area. Cooler and drier weather pattern settles in next week.
Friday was a mostly sunny day with high clouds streaming over much of the area. Things start to go downhill late Friday night as clouds will be on the increase. We probably will see some sunshine to start Saturday, but it won’t last long. Showers and thunderstorms will develop to our west Saturday afternoon and will move into our area Saturday evening. As of right now, Futurecast shows that a few of these storms could be on the strong side and produce some hail. The atmosphere will just be starting to destabilize at this time so any severe activity should be rather isolated.
Late Saturday night the main upper-level disturbance will begin to approach. A new round of showers and thunderstorms will develop and move across the ArkLaTex Sunday morning. This will be the time that we will likely see our most widespread severe weather concerns. These storms will be capable of producing large hail up to golf ball-sized. Straight-line winds of over 70 mph will be possible. We will also see an increasing threat for a few tornadoes. Futurecast does indicate that the storms over deep ETX and NW LA Sunday morning will have the potential to produce strong rotation. It still appears that the biggest tornado threat including several strong and long-track tornadoes will be to the north and east of the ArkLaTex Sunday afternoon and evening. Futurecast shows extreme rotation potential over parts of MS and AL with a second area possible over much of Arkansas.
While most of the area will see sunshine return Sunday afternoon, Futurecast and other models show that we will have a chance to see a second round of strong to severe storms over the northern edge of the area Sunday afternoon. These will also pose a threat for tornadoes. All of us should expect to see some heavy rain at times. It still appears that most of the area should expect to see anywhere from one to two inches of rain. A few isolated spots could see totals approach 3″. Widespread flash flooding will not be too much of a concern, but we could have a few isolated flooding reports from low lying areas.
The good news in the forecast comes after the storms finally move out late Sunday. Look for much cooler and drier air to invade the area early next week. We will likely see daytime highs dip into the upper 50s to low 60s. Overnight lows will fall to the upper 30s to lower 40s. Most of next week is looking dry with lots of sunshine. Some models are hinting at a slight chance for rain Tuesday, but those chances are looking extremely slim. Temperatures should return to more normal levels by next weekend. It is at that time that we will see our next best chance for rain. As of right now, severe weather is looking unlikely.