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Strong Storms Friday Could Bring Wind, Hail and Even Tornadoes to Parts of Arkansas

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A strong storm system will sweep through Arkansas Friday through Saturday morning. Southwest and west central Arkansas are the two areas expected to get the worst of it. The storms could possibly bring hail and tornadoes, though strong winds are more likely to occur.

The weather has already postponed high school championship and playoff football games. According to the Arkansas Activities Association, the championship game between Little Rock Christian and Pulaski Academy will take place on Sunday at War Memorial Stadium.

Tabitha Clarke, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service, says incoming cold fronts will sweep away the storms and bring much cooler temperatures next week. At this time of the year, warm temperatures, like parts of Arkansas have been experiencing, normally precede severe weather.

“We’ll actually have a couple of cold fronts move through over the next several days. It looks like the one that’s going to drive the colder temperatures back closer to normal is going to come through late in the weekend, early next week,” Clarke said.  “So we will start to cool off again when we get into the work week. Certainly when it gets this warm this late in the season, usually severe weather is right behind it.”

Several rounds of rainfall are likely to occur. For those who will be out on the road Friday, Clarke says fall debris like leaves can clog up drainage systems, which could lead to flash floods, so she advises people to be careful if driving.

Clarke says any storm cells that are isolated will be the most dangerous.

“If you see any isolated storms growing, those are going to be, probably more than likely the most severe. Eventually the front is going to sweep through and it will sweep all this out of here,” Clarke said.

Clarke recommends having either your phone or another device that can receive weather alerts readily available for this evening. That is when the storms are mostly likely to get dicey.