Severe thunderstorms expected today and tonight

<span class="userContent">According to the National Weather Service out of Little Rock, severe thunderstorms are expected in the area today and tonight.

Thus far, there have been no tornadoes in Arkansas in 2014. That may change in early April. The flow aloft conti<span class="text_exposed_show">nues from the southwest, and that has provided warm days and mild nights recently. This is also where most storm systems originate that result in severe weather locally.

On the 2nd, weak systems from the southwest interacted with a stalled front extending from Kentucky to Kansas. The interaction triggered severe thunderstorms north of the front from Columbia, MO to St. Louis, MO during the morning/early afternoon. Quarter to golfball size hail was reported.

Toward evening, storms popped up farther south and closer to the front, with one severe storm in northeast Arkansas. Otherwise, it was a quiet across the state. A layer of warm/dry air aloft capped the atmosphere, and kept much of the region cloudy and dry.

During the overnight hours and early on the 3rd, the cap is expected to weak somewhat. This may allow storms to grow more readily, especially in northern Arkansas nearest the front. Isolated storms could become severe.

A much stronger system will approach the region later on the 3rd. There will be better chances for severe weather, with the main show expected toward evening.

Ahead of the system, more capping (convective inhibition) is anticipated. This may limit the number of severe storms that develop.

At this point, severe storms appear the most likely/numerous in the eastern half of the state. Storms that become severe will be capable of producing damaging winds, hail and tornadoes. The situation is being monitored closely by the National Weather Service.

As far as event rainfall, totals should range from a half inch to an inch and a half. Parts of the west could get less, with potentially more in the northeast.</span></span>

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