Flooding Rain, Severe Storms in Texas, Louisiana

By , Senior Meteorologist
January 9, 2013; 6:55 PM ET
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Play video A powerful system is moving through the Lone Star State. It's delivering heavy rain and also a threat for severe weather. Valerie Smock has the details.

Flash flooding and damaging thunderstorms remain serious concerns across Texas and Louisiana through tonight. Rain soaked many communities in Texas and the lower Mississippi Valley Tuesday and will continue to do so today. The heaviest rain will then focus on the Arklatex tonight, followed by the lower Mississippi Valley on Thursday.

When the rain finally comes to an end, rain gauges will be measuring between 3 and 5 inches from eastern Texas to the lower Mississippi Valley.

Some places will even top that threshold, including Baton Rouge, La., where more than 4.50 inches of rain has fallen from 10 a.m. CST on Tuesday to 5 a.m. CST Wednesday morning.

Runoff from the rain made several roads impassible during the overnight hours in the nearby Louisiana parishes of Livingston and Ascension. Additional flooding problems in low-lying and poor drainage areas, as well as along small streams, are sure to arise throughout Texas and the lower Mississippi Valley as the rain continues to pour down.

Places at risk for strong thunderstorms will also endure heavy rain today.

Near the Texas coast and southern Louisiana--from Victoria to Houston to Lake Charles, the majority of the rain through tonight will come from an intense line of thunderstorms.

Downpours within this line have the potential to unleash 1 to 3 inches (locally 4 to 5 inches) of rain in a very short time, AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Meghan Evans reported on Tuesday.

It is not only flooded roads that some motorists will have to contend with due to the downpours, but also dramatically reduced visibility and a heightened danger of hydroplaning as water ponds on highways.

While a large severe weather outbreak is not anticipated, some storms can turn severe, producing damaging winds.

Despite the hazards of flash flooding and damaging thunderstorms, the rain will put a much-needed dent in the ongoing drought in and around Texas.

Total rainfall since Tuesday at the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport stood at 2.47 inches at 5 a.m. CST Wedneday morning. That is more rain in less than 24 hours than what fell during all of November and December.

The drought relief for far western Texas, however, will not come in the form of rain, but substantial snow today. Up to a half of a foot of snow is expected above 5,000 feet.

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