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Severe weather possible over night

<p>National Weather Service Graphics</p>

National Weather Service Graphics

UPDATED at 7:20 p.m. — A tornado warning is in effect for North Little Rock, Sherwood and Jacksonville. TAKE COVER.

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UPDATED at 7:15 p.m. — A severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for North Little Rock, Sherwood and Jacksonville.

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UPDATED at 6 p.m. — The tornado watch has been expanded to include Pulaski County and much of the state through 1 a.m. Wednesday.

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Severe weather — including damaging winds, tornadoes and heavy rain — is possible tonight across much of the state, according to the National Weather Service.

NWS models predicted a line of severe weather would pass west to east across the state starting at 8 p.m., hitting the Central Arkansas area before 1 a.m. and mostly moving out of the state by 4 a.m.

“There is a lot of wind energy surrounding the front, and storms will tend to move quickly at more than 50 mph,” according to the NWS statement. “This will increase the chances for damaging winds, with gusts expected to reach 60 to 80 mph in some cases. This is enough to down trees and power lines. Trees are particularly vulnerable now following a widespread drought and heavy snow during the holiday season.”

Western parts of the state were already under a tornado watch by early afternoon Tuesday.

Details and updates from the NWS: http://www.srh.noaa.gov/lzk/

Full severe weather advisory: http://forecast.weather.gov/wwamap/wwatxtget.php?cwa=lzk&wwa=hazardous%2...

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