Beneficial Rain, But Tornadoes, Flooding Hit Texas

May 10, 2012; 11:23 AM
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"Tornado Sirens. This was taken 15 min ago. In Driscoll Texas. 12 miles from Kingsville," tweeted <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/allaboutirma">@Irma</a>.

Widespread beneficial rain will fall across drought-plagued Texas through Friday. Some areas will have to pay the price with severe thunderstorms, however.

**Tornado reports were coming out of Live Oak and Kleberg counties in Texas during the early afternoon hours. Hail up to the size of golf balls fell from the strongest storms, while high winds damaged sheds and flipped mobile homes and tractor trailers.**

Rainfall was already widespread Thursday. Dave Samuhel reports, "Both Wink and Midland, Texas, recorded more rain in 10 hours Thursday morning (nearly 2 inches) than what has fallen since the beginning of the year (less than 1.5 inches)".

A rare, moisture-laden, upper low moving across northern Mexico has set the stage for the rainfall across the Lone Star State. However, it is also setting the stage for severe thunderstorms.

With the proximity of the upper-level low, winds are blowing in different directions at different levels of the atmosphere, a key ingredient to severe weather.

The highest threat of severe weather through Thursday night will be along and south of Interstate 10, including San Antonio, Corpus Christi and even Brownsville. Isolated tornadoes are one of the threats, along with large hail and damaging wind gusts.

Flash flooding is the most widespread threat despite the recent dry weather. Flash flooding is possible across a wide area of western and southern Texas with another 1-3 inches of rain likely. Isolated rainfall over 5 inches are possible.

Map shows rainfall totals expected through the end of the day Friday.

Compare the rainfall map with the current drought status across the state.

On Friday, the severe thunderstorm threat will expand towards the upper Texas coast, including the Houston Metropolitan area. Heavy rain will persist across much of southern Texas as well.

The combination of the dry and arid ground and the heavy rainfall will no doubt lead to localized flooding due to the runoff. This will be especially true for urban and low-lying areas as well as areas that are prone to flooding.

Although the substantial rain is not expected to end the drought across the region, any rainfall will be welcomed with open arms by residents across the region.

Looking toward the weekend, the low will continue to move slowly eastward to bring heavy rainfall to the central Gulf Coast. Mother's Day appears like it will turn out dry for most of the Lone Star State.

Meteorologist Dave Samuhel contributed to the content of this story.

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