Parts of Arkansas could see storms, record-breaking warmth Tuesday

This graphic from the National Weather Service highlights portions of Arkansas forecast see severe weather on Tuesday. (National Weather Service/X)
This graphic from the National Weather Service highlights portions of Arkansas forecast see severe weather on Tuesday. (National Weather Service/X)

Parts of northern Arkansas could see storms late Tuesday that are capable of producing hail as big as a quarter and winds as strong as 60 mph, forecasters said, while warm temperatures and breezy conditions have increased wildfire danger across the state.

"A cold front will move across the state from late Tuesday evening through Wednesday morning. Isolated to scattered showers and thunderstorms could develop ahead of the front," the National Weather Service said in a post on X Monday morning.

The potential for tornadoes is very low, but damaging winds are a main concern, the weather service said.

There is a marginal risk for severe weather in northern central parts of the state, including Harrison and Mountain Home, the post said.

The weather service defines a marginal risk as isolated storms that may be limited in duration, coverage or intensity.

Christopher Buonanno, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in North Little Rock, said storms were most likely to form in the two northernmost rows of counties in the state.

He said the timing of the storms will likely fall during the overnight hours.

"What we're looking at now shows that storms are most likely between 10 p.m. Tuesday and 4 a.m. on Wednesday," he said Monday afternoon.

Little Rock has a small chance of seeing showers or thunderstorms on Tuesday, Buonanno said.

The Metro area is forecast to see a breezy, warm day, the forecaster said. The high is set to be in the 80s.

Several parts of Arkansas are seeing above-average temperatures for the end of the month, forecasters said.

"Strong southerly and southwesterly winds will usher in warmer air across the Natural State ahead of an approaching cold front," the weather service said in a post on X. "In response, a few locations will likely see their daily high temperature for February 27th either tied or broken."

Little Rock's record high for Tuesday is 81 degrees, set in 1918. The city managed to reach 81 degrees on Sunday, making it the first day above 80 degrees this year, the weather service said.

"The last time we managed to reach 80 degrees was on November 8th, 2023," the service said in a post on X.

WILDFIRE DANGER

The warm temperatures and breezy conditions have also caused an increase in wildfire danger across the state, forecasters said.

Wildfire danger is either high or moderate for all of Arkansas, a map from the Arkansas Department of Agriculture showed Monday afternoon just before 3 p.m.

Much of the eastern half of the state is at a high risk of wildfire danger. The western half, including Pulaski County, is at a moderate risk, the map showed.

"We do typically see these conditions that elevate fire danger near the end of winter and early spring," Buonanno said. "These dry, windy conditions mean that if a fire were to start, it could spread quickly."

The weather service posted the following tips on social media for Arkansans: properly dispose of cigarettes, keep vehicles off of dry grass, avoid activities with open flames or sparks and evacuate if fire or smoke is heading toward the area, or if told to do so by law enforcement.

As of Monday afternoon, just under 10 counties had a burn ban in place, a map from the department showed.

The counties include: Madison, Searcy, Van Buren, Faulkner, White, Independence, Columbia, Union and Ashley.

Buonanno said Tuesday is the last day for these conditions for a while as Arkansas is set to see a cold front come through on Wednesday.

Little Rock is forecast to see a high around 55 degrees on Wednesday, the forecaster said.

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