Rain to Ease Drought, Pose Flooding Risk Texas to Arizona

July 15, 2013; 9:30 PM
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Play video For the latest forecast for the South Central states, click on the video above.

The southern Plains, is getting relief from 100-degree heat and drought this week by way of clouds and rain-cooled air. The pattern represents a colossal shift in the weather for the area.

While high temperatures eclipsed 100 degrees in places from Texas to Kansas Saturday, temperatures will only top out in the 70s and 80s in much of this same area from through Tuesday as a storm system that arrived from the east over the weekend lingers a while longer.

Not only has this storm brought an end to the hot streak for places such as Dallas, it is also bringing much needed rainfall to the Plains states. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, much of the region is suffering from extreme to exceptional drought.

Rain, which first reached Oklahoma and Texas over the weekend will expand into more of the Four Corners states this week. Additional rain will fall over portions of Texas and the southern Plains as well.

In general, a 1- to 3-inch rainfall is expected across these areas, although locally higher amounts of 4 to 6 inches are possible, especially in the higher terrain and under slow-moving thunderstorms.

Unfortunately, this much-needed rain will also bring the risk for flooding into the region. The combination of this sudden rain with the dry soil and rocky terrain in some areas can lead to rapid runoff.

Current Severe Weather Watches and Warnings
Flash Flooding Concerns Sunday Night: Dallas, Abilene
Follow the Rain: South-Central Regional Radar

According to Expert Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski, "The greatest risk for flash flooding is in any urban area, as well as the rugged terrain of the Southwest, including recent burn areas."

The terrain includes steep, rocky hillsides, which can briefly turn into waterfalls and arroyos, which can quickly fill with water.

"Both can carry a significant amount of debris with them," Sosnowski added.

Flash flooding is a dangerous and destructive phenomena. Useful flood safety tips from AccuWeather.com can be found in this article as well as this video.

Oklahoma City, Okla., received 1.73 inches of rain on Sunday, July 14, 2013. This was the first measurable rain since June 17, when 1.06 inches fell. It was also the greatest amount of rain for a single calendar day for the site since the deluge on May 31, when 5.64 inches fell.

Dallas, Texas, also had their first measurable rain in weeks this past Sunday, when 0.35 of an inch fell. The last time there was 0.01 of an inch or greater of rain on a single day was June 18, when 0.07 of an inch fell.


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