Arkansas Weather

Arkansas Department of Health

A heat advisory is in effect for most of Arkansas with forecasters predicting heat index values approaching 110 degrees. The advisory is in effect from 10 a.m. Monday until 9 p.m. Tuesday. The National Weather Service says temperatures will be well into the 90s, but elevated humidity levels will make it feel more like 105 to 110 degrees.

storm damage
KATV, Channel 7 News

Tens of thousands of homes went without electricity after severe thunderstorms downed trees and power lines throughout Arkansas on Thursday night. High winds accompanied the round of thunderstorms, as a tornado warning was issued. The National Weather Service later confirmed that no tornadoes touched down in the state, however. No injuries or deaths have been reported.

Little Rock Nine former President Bill Clinton prime minister Tony Blair Bill Clinton
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair joined former U.S. presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush in Little Rock Thursday, sharing concerns about growing divisiveness in the world. They spoke along with members of the Little Rock Nine to graduates of a leadership program before severe weather cut the event short.

The event was held in the auditorium at Central High School, with the former world leaders lamenting changes that have led to a hyper-partisan culture.

Heavy rains throughout northeast Arkansas have delayed the start of the winter wheat harvest and damaged other crops in the state.

State cooperative extension service officials say the weather has delayed the harvest by at least a week. Harvest typically starts at the end of May in southern Arkansas and moves north.

Officials say the rains can reduce overall quality grain quality after the crop matures and lowers the price producers can sell their grain for.

Jonesboro flooding
Brandon Tabor / KASU News

Authorities in northeast Arkansas say a 13-year-old boy was found safe three hours after he was swept away in a flooded drainage pipe.

Jonesboro police say the boy fell into the storm drain Tuesday after storms dumped more than 4 inches of rain on the area, about 130 miles northeast of Little Rock. Two officers searching the area pulled the boy to safety after hearing his cries for help.

Police Cpl. Jason Chester tells television station KAIT that the boy said he clung to a pole until the officers rescued him about three hours after his ordeal began.

tornado damage
KATV, Channel 7 News

Investigators with the National Weather Service confirmed Tuesday that a tornado touched down in Saline County on Monday night.

Radar images indicate a high likelihood there was also tornado activity in the northern part of the state in Fulton County, with representatives of the weather service on the ground there.

80 mile per hour winds caused significant damage and power loss near the towns of Mammoth Springs and Salem.

Vilonia tornado president Obama
Tamara Keith / NPR News

The central Arkansas city of Vilonia is set to open its first above-ground storm shelter later this month, two years after a deadly tornado swept through the town.

KTHV-TV reports that the city was granted $28,000 to put toward the construction of a safe room in the aftermath of the 2014 tornado.

El Dorado Church Fire
KATV, Channel 7 News

Emergency officials say storms rumbling across Arkansas are responsible for a handful of fires in the southern part of the state.

Bobby Braswell, the director of the Union County Emergency Management Service, says an oil-processing tank caught on fire Monday. Fire officials don't know whether lightning or a buildup of static electricity triggered the fire in a storage tank that had a bit of oil left inside. The fire was extinguished Monday afternoon.

Arkansas State Police say a Florida man died in a five-vehicle collision during a dust storm near Walnut Ridge.

Forecasters had issued a dust storm warning for parts of northeastern Arkansas because of 35 mph winds that gusted at times to 50 mph. The Jonesboro Sun reported that Sunday's dust storm contributed to vehicle accidents throughout the region.

State police identified the man killed as 50-year-old Benjamin Brantley of Brookville, Florida. A police report said the crash occurred during "near-zero visibility."

The National Weather Service says a tornado touched down earlier this week in Dermott, about 115 miles southeast of Little Rock near the Mississippi border.

Meteorologist Anna Wolverton at the weather service's office in Jackson, Mississippi, says a survey team has confirmed that an EF1 tornado touched down in or near Dermott on Wednesday night when heavy rain and storms passed through Arkansas. Wolverton says the survey team was on its way back from Dermott late Friday and would provide more information about the duration and size of the tornado.

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