Over Half a Foot of Rain Soaks Parts of Gulf Coast

By Jordan Root, Meteorologist
May 31, 2014; 1:01 AM ET
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After an already soaking week of weather, a stalled upper-level disturbance will continue to bring flooding downpours to portions of the South into the weekend.

Houston, Texas; New Orleans and Shreveport, Louisiana; and Jackson, Mississippi, will all be at risk for more flooding issues as showers and storms continue to bring drenching downpours.

These showers and storms will have the tendency to move slow, which will increase the threat for flash flooding through Saturday.

With some areas receiving around a half foot of rain so far this week, it won't take much additional rain to raise streams and rivers.

Houston has been one of the wettest cities since Memorial Day. After around 3 inches of rain fell on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday picked up nearly another 3 inches.

Rainfall Monday to Friday Morning

Location
Rainfall (Inches)
Houston, Texas
6.98
Lafayette, La.
9.00
Gonzales, La.
7.04
Lake Charles, La.
5.30
Natchez, Miss.
5.69
Jackson, Miss.
3.71
Biloxi, Miss.
5.32
Alexandria, La.
2.60
New Orleans, La.
1.53

Most of this rain comes in heavy bursts, leading to flash flooding on local roadways.

Many drainage systems are unable to handle the high influx of water from heavy downpours. Water then begins to pond on the road, leading to travel hazards and delays. Motorists are urged to turn around if they encounter high water in their path.

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Communities across Texas and Louisiana have already had their fair share of flood problems.

A blast of heavy rain early Wednesday morning in Houston caused a portion of I-10 to be temporarily closed.

In Louisiana, Lafayette and Saint Martin counties were hit hard. Three water rescues were conducted Wednesday morning. Many homes and an elementary school took on water.

More problems like this are expected through Saturday. Those taking to the roads should expect to encounter delays.

A stalled cut-off low, an area of low pressure that is separated from the strong steering currents of the jet stream, is to blame for the shower and thunderstorm activity this week.

A southerly flow from the Gulf of Mexico is feeding the storms and is making them extra juicy, leading to the heavy downpours.

This is the same system that brought much-needed rain to western Texas. Exceptional drought conditions have gripped the area for a long time.

Know when the heavy downpours will hit by using AccuWeather.com MinuteCast™. It has the minute-by-minute forecast for your exact location. Type your city name, select MinuteCast™, and input your street address. On mobile, you can also use your GPS location.

However, much more rain is needed over the summer throughout the central and southern High Plains, but that rain should come.

According to AccuWeather Long-Range Expert Paul Pastelok, "We expect additional rain from the summer monsoon to kick in early over much of the central and southern High Plains and should go a long way to further dent the drought."

The recent rains from Houston to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, should help alleviate some of the abnormally dry conditions in this area as well.

Recent rains should help alleviate some of the drought facing portions of eastern Texas and southern Louisiana. (Image/U.S. Drought Monitor)

The upper-level disturbance will begin to fade away late this weekend and into early next week, putting an end to the heavy downpours and flood threat.

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