On Tuesday, October 2, the National Weather Service (NWS) warning and forecast responsibility for Lawrence and Randolph Counties in AR, will be transferred from the NWS Weather Forecast Office (WFO) in Memphis, TN to the NWS Weather Forecast Office in Little Rock, AR.  Transferring these services will enable more efficient service to Lawrence and Randolph Counties.  

Currently, weather forecasts and warnings for Lawrence and Randolph Counties come from the NWS Office in Memphis.  Meanwhile, the river forecasts and warnings come from the NWS Office in Little Rock.  This can lead to confusion during events with a combination of hazardous weather and high-water conditions.  Making this change will result in all weather and water services coming from the Little Rock office.

This was evident during the Black River flooding in May of 2017.  “The emergency officials were having to coordinate with WFO Memphis because we issued the flash flood warning for the levee failure at Pocahontas, but also with WFO Little Rock because they issued the river flood warnings”, said Gary Woodall, Warning Coordination Meteorologist (WCM) at the Memphis NWS Office.  “There was a lot of duplication of effort and extra coordination that took place.  During high-impact events, time is critical and things need to move as quickly as possible.”

Both the Little Rock and Memphis offices have spent months preparing for the transfer. “We have been working closely with the NWS in Memphis and our emergency management partners to make sure that we maintain a high quality of service delivery that meets the needs of the residents of Lawrence and Randolph counties during this transfer”, said Dennis Cavanaugh, WCM for the NWS Office in Little Rock. “We have also established new lines of communication between NWS Memphis’ radar (KNQA) and our office in Little Rock to ensure we have the fastest access to radar data possible. We look forward to providing additional service and weather information for Lawrence and Randolph Counties.”

The National Weather Service’s primary mission is to protect life and property from the effects of hazardous weather. For more information, visit the offices’ websites at

http://www.weather.gov/LZK (NWS Little Rock)                  http://www.weather.gov/Memphis

and follow the offices at       @NWSLittleRock         and         @NWSMemphis

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