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    Drenching, Severe Storms Begin in Texas

    By By Bill Deger, Meteorologist
    January 25, 2012, 5:34:06 AM EST

    Some much-needed rain is headed for Texas and the Arklatex region, but it may come at the cost of some damaging thunderstorms.

    There have already been a few incidents of golf ball-sized hail Tuesday in the Austin area.

    The atmospheric energy that will be responsible for the drenching storms comes from the same storm system that brought appreciable rain to Southern California on Monday.

    As the energy runs into warm, moist Gulf of Mexico air, showers and storms will continue to erupt tonight from central and southern Texas to southern Louisiana.

    Toward the evening hours the storms over central and southern Texas will turn severe.

    Residents from near the Big Bend through the Hill Country and to the middle Gulf coast stand the greatest chance of being hit by gusty thunderstorms from west to east as the night progresses.

    RELATED: New Severe Weather Risk Texas to Alabama This Week

    While the primary threat from the storms will be flooding downpours and lightning strikes, a few could generate damaging wind and large hail.

    Midland, San Angelo, Del Rio, San Antonio and Austin are among the cities at risk for the powerful storms into tonight.

    Late tonight into Wednesday morning the storms from the Big Bend will move toward the central Texas coast. Cities likely to be in the swath of the storms during this time include Corpus Christi, Victoria and Kingsville.

    As is usually the case with severe weather episodes, some storms could show a tendency to rotate and spawn a tornado. While the threat will be isolated, it only takes one twister moving over a densely-populated area to cause destruction.


    Heavy rain will expand north and east overnight along with the risk of urban and flash flooding.

    Central and northeastern Texas, central and northern Louisiana, as well as much of central and eastern Oklahoma, including both the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex and the Oklahoma City area will be in for a rainy, stormy night. In addition to the downpours in this area, there will be some thunderstorms lifting northward with the potential for large hail.

    The slow-moving and training showers and storms will deliver rainfall totals of up to and locally over 2 inches, mainly along a corridor extending from near San Antonio to Tulsa.

    It's not out of the question that a few spots could experience 4 inches of rain due to showers and storms repeating over the same area. Such heavy rain will easily cause minor flooding in urbanized locations, and in areas of poor-drainage.

    Given already low water levels, river flooding is not anticipated. However, some dry stream beds can spring to life in a hurry. Avoid low water crossings as a precaution during the event through the middle of the week.


    The heavy rain is good news for those still reeling from a prolonged, severe drought. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, more than 62 percent of Texas is still classified as being in a 'severe' or 'exceptional' drought.

    The risk of severe weather, including a few tornadoes will continue to progress eastward Wednesday and Thursday along the central Gulf Coast.

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