Four Corners Rain Brings Relief, Causes for Concern

July 14, 2013; 3:50 AM ET
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The drought aid and flood danger in store for the southern Plains early this week is also headed to the Four Corners region.

A storm system is already bringing heavy rain to Oklahoma and Texas on early Sunday before more developed over Colorado later in the day. As this storm slide southwestward, so will the threat for heavy rain for the work-week. meteorologists are forecasting a general 1 to 3 inches of rain to fall across Colorado, New Mexico and eastern Arizona Sunday through Tuesday. Locally higher amounts are possible in higher elevations as well as under any slow-moving thunderstorm that may develop.

While this rain will bring welcome relief from drought conditions plaguing portions of the Southwest, it will also bring with it a risk for flash flooding and mudslides to the area. That is especially true in places which have already seen rainfall the past few days.

Flooding was reported Saturday in each of the Four Corners states.

Near Nederland, Colo., a trained spotter recorded 1.3 inches of rain in just 30 minutes. To the west near the Colorado community of Meeker, Saturday's rain led to four separate mudslides on Highway 64.

Additional downpours through Tuesday will only exacerbate these flooding problems.

Current Flood Watches and Warnings
Rain a Double Edged Sword for Southern Plains
Follow the Rain: South-Central Regional Radar

Arroyos and other low-lying areas will be especially prone to flooding, while communities in areas prone to mudslides should be aware of the possibility of these occurring given the heavy rain in the forecast.

In addition to the threats associated with the heavy rain, thunderstorms in the region may produce strong, gusty winds. As these winds spread out from the thunderstorms, they may cause the development of dust storms as they pass over area deserts.

By Wednesday, the threat for the heaviest rain will center over western Texas and southern New Mexico, although spottier drenching showers and thunderstorms can still be expected throughout the Four Corners states.

Story by Meteorologist Joseph McCormick.


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