|Areas in orange and especially in red are at definite risk of|
very severe thunderstorms and tornadoes today.
The atmosphere down there is as extremely unstable as it can possibly get, so tornadoes, some of them strong, widespread hurricane-force wind gusts and hail that could become the size of baseballs, softballs or even grapefruit are all good bets today.
The Storm Prediction Center says the instability in the atmosphere in parts of Oklahoma and Arkansas are at near record levels, so that's ominious.
In Arkansas and surrounding areas, thunderstorms will likely develop explosively today. I don't think people will have much time to react to thunderstorms that start as a tiny shower, and within minutes, become dangerously severe or tornadic thunderstorms.
In addition, forecasters say that along northeast side of where the thunderstorms develop, probably in northern Arkansas, and the southern half of Missouri, a dangerous derecho might develop.
Derechos are long-lasting, intense lines of thunderstorms that hit wide areas with damaging straight line winds. Wind speeds vary within the path of a derecho, but some spots that are hit can have wind gusts of 100 mph or more in the stronger derechos.
Forecasters say today's possible derecho would probably be strong, with winds like that. There might be embedded tornadoes with today's derecho as well.
Especially a bit to the west and south of this derecho, in eastern Oklahoma, far southwestern Missouri, maybe the southeast corner of Kansas and parts of northern Texas, strong tornadoes and gigantic hailstones are quite possible today.
Some of this activity is going to hit some pretty populated areas, such as Tulsa, and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, St. Louis and Kansas City, Missouri, Little Rock, Arkansas, Wichita, Kansas, and Memphis and Nashville, Tennessee.