Severe Storms, Beneficial Rain Target Central US

By Brian Lada, Meteorologist
June 9, 2014; 11:33 PM ET
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Unsettled weather has kicked off the new week in the Plains and will deliver another round of severe thunderstorms from Texas to Tennessee.

It has been an active weekend across the southern Plains and lower Mississippi Valley with thunderstorms on Monday continuing the threat of damaging wind gusts, hail and flooding downpours.

San Antonio, Houston and Tyler, Texas; Lake Charles, Louisiana; Little Rock, Arkansas; Greenville, Mississippi; and Memphis, Tennessee, are a few cities in the path of thunderstorms into Monday night.

If you plan on traveling around these cities, you should allow for extra time to reach your destination as blinding downpours can slow travel on city streets and open highway, as well as cause flight delays at the major hubs.

According to Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski, "Included in the severe weather risk area into Monday evening is the potential for a few tornadoes, especially from western Tennessee to western Mississippi, eastern Arkansas and central and northeastern Louisiana."

The threat of severe weather is expected to diminish during the overnight hours Monday. However, a few gusty thunderstorms may still impact communities in the Deep South with wind gusts strong enough to blow over trees and cause power outages.

Storms will then re-fire farther to the east on Tuesday from the Ohio Valley to the central Gulf coast.

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An area of drenching rain has been affecting much of Kansas on Monday and will shift slowly eastward on Tuesday.

Rain that falls over this area is not expected to be as heavy as the downpours associated with the thunderstorms from Texas to the Ohio and Tennessee valleys.

Instead, this will be a longer-duration rainfall, that is more likely to soak into the ground and should ease the drought.

Up to 3 inches of rain is possible through Monday night in areas of Kansas.

As much as this rain will help to reduce the intensity of the extreme drought, much more is required to end the drought over the Plains.

This map shows the estimated rainfall over the past seven days and is a sample of what products are available on AccuWeather.com Professional.

Early indications show that after this system departs the region on Tuesday, there may not be another system similar to this that delivers a steady rain over a large area for at least a week, possibly longer.

This does not mean that there will be no rain across the region, however.

Thunderstorms may still develop across the region and deliver more beneficial rainfall, although this rain would be more localized rather than on a larger scale.

Span>Some rain has fallen on hard hit drought areas of the central and southern Plains since the latest release of the Drought Monitor from June 3, 2014.

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