More Flooding Forecast Across Central Plains Thursday

By Brian Lada, Meteorologist
August 8, 2013; 9:13 AM ET
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Play video A look at the forecast for the southern Plains.

Another round of strong thunderstorms with flooding downpours is set to roll through the central Plains Thursday.

The worst of these storms will start in Kansas and progress eastward into Missouri. Heavy storms will also develop ahead of the main batch of storms, extending the risk of flooding into part of the Tennessee Valley.

Flash flooding will be the main concern with these storms, as inflow from the Gulf of Mexico will provide ample moisture to fuel heavy, flooding downpours. With so much moisture available, storms can easily drop an inch or two of rain in under an hour.

With this much rainfall in such a short amount of time, small streams can turn into vigorous rivers of water with little to no warning. If water is flowing over a roadway, you should avoid driving through it as less than 2 feet of rushing water can lift and move a car.

Wichita, Kan., Springfield, Mo., and Oklahoma City, Okla., are just a handful of cities at risk for flash flooding as these storms develop and progress eastward.

Southern Missouri and southeastern Kansas are particularly at risk for flooding following round after round of heavy thunderstorms over the past week. So far in the month of August, Springfield, Mo., has recorded 4.42 inches of rainfall; this is more than they typically receive in all of August.

With the plethora of rainfall Kansas and Missouri has received so far this month, the ground has become very saturated. This saturation will result in a large amount of water runoff, causing flash flooding to occur much quicker than if the ground was not already saturated.

Traveling during these storms can be treacherous, both for motorists and those taking to the skies. Blinding downpours can cause water to pool on roadways, raising the risk of hydroplaning and reducing visibilities. These storms can also lead to flight delays for both outbound and inbound flights across the area.

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While flooding may be the greatest risk with these storms, some may produce severe weather, particularly in southern Kansas and northern Oklahoma.

These storms will be capable of producing small hail and damaging winds that could knock over trees and power lines.

This could lead to localized power outages, as well as cause even more headaches for travelers as trees and power lines across roadways will lead to further travel days.

Story by Meteorologist Brian Lada.


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