Torrential Downpours Flood the Rio Grande

By Evan Duffey, Meteorologist
June 16, 2013; 1:03 AM ET
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Play video The above is a video forecast for the southwestern U.S. over the next couple of days.

Heavy showers and thunderstorms brought flooding rains to portions of the Rio Grande Valley Friday night, threatening area residents and forcing evacuations.

An upper-level disturbance over Texas is responsible for the slow-moving and heavy thunderstorm activity.

Eagle Pass, Texas, and the neighboring Piedras Negras, Mexico, saw a total of 17.05 inches of rain over in a 36 hour period of time, ending at 9 a.m. June 15th.

The massive amount of rain quickly raised the water level of the Rio Grande River Valley from around 3 feet at the Eagle Pass Water Level Gauge, to a raging torrent over 17 feet high, all in less than 24 hours time.

Flash flooding occurred due to the rain for many low-lying areas in the region, especially the Seco Mines neighborhood. Evacuation centers were opened across the region to accommodate displaced area residents.

The next stop for the flood waters will be down river, near Laredo. The waters, however, are not expected to peak around 20 feet there. While this will be moderate flood stage, it is still expected to be too low to impact a large number of residences there. A few showers and thunderstorms across the region may aggravate flooding for the region.

Over the next couple of days, waters are expected to recede thanks to dry weather for the region. The upper-level disturbance overhead today is expected to move northeast, replaced by high pressure.

The rains across the region will at least help to cut into the drought across the region. Much of Texas, especially the Rio Grande River Valley, is in an extreme to exceptional drought.

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