A storm system developing over Texas will spread a zone of cool, drenching rain, thunderstorms and the risk of localized flooding across the South this week.
The rainfall can foil some outdoor plans, could slow travel on area highways and lead to sporadic flight delays at airports from Houston to Atlanta and Charlotte.
The early stages of the system began as Texas style thunderstorms during Monday night, and a large area of rain developed across Oklahoma and Arkansas.
Waves of thunderstorms continued across eastern Texas during Tuesday night, with between 3.00 and 5.00 inches of rain in the Austin area and up to 3.00 inches in the Golden Triangle and the Galveston area. Between 1.50 and 3.00 inches of rain fell in the Houston and San Antonio areas.
This map shows expected rainfall through 6 p.m. Fri. Rain will spread eastward beyond this point. There is the potential for some areas to receive between 2 and 4 inches of rain. Most areas are likely to receive at least between 0.50 and 1.50 inches.
The thunderstorms will gradually fan out eastward across the South in the form of multiple areas of rain and embedded thunderstorms through Friday.
The rain will run eastward as a wedge of much cooler air sags into the interior South.
Other cities likely to experience a day or two of wet weather include Little Rock, Ark., New Orleans, La., Jackson, Miss., Montgomery Ala., Columbia, S.C., and Orlando, Fla.
Enough rain could fall to bring relief from dry or drought conditions from central and eastern Texas and Oklahoma parts of Arkansas and northern Louisiana initially. Then later in the week, some needed rain is likely to fall on parts of Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Florida.
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For most interior locations from the lower Mississippi Valley to the Carolinas, the rain is not likely to cause flooding problems. However, there can be some exceptions along small streams prone to flooding.
While the cool wedge will limit thunderstorm activity over the interior, the leading edge of it could enhance a few storms and downpours near the Gulf Coast.
The most likely locations for blinding downpours and the risk of urban and low-lying area flooding would be near and south of the I-10 corridor. These areas also run the risk of locally strong thunderstorms.
A few strong and locally severe thunderstorms can fire over South Texas Wednesday.
Thunderstorms will ramp up during Thursday over Florida and southern Georgia, where there is the potential for severe weather.
This story was published at 10:00 a.m. CDT Monday, April 1, 2013 and has been updated as recently as 7:00 a.m. CDT Wednesday. Additional updates will follow.
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