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Dangerous Flooding to Strike Plains Again Into Weekend

By By Jordan Root, Meteorologist
May 16, 2015, 10:54:28 PM EDT

While severe weather is expected to ramp up Saturday across sections of the Plains, the greatest threat for some communities may be dangerous flooding.

Rounds of drenching showers and thunderstorms will take aim at the southern Plains yet again heading into the weekend, possibly bringing several more inches of rain to areas already soaked.

An area stretching from Oklahoma to Texas will be at the highest risk for aggravating or renewing flooding due to heavy rain that has fallen since last week.

Places like Kansas City, Oklahoma City, Dallas and communities in between will be in line for more downpours Saturday, following a drier Thursday.

"Oklahoma City already has had nearly 12 inches of rain on the month, so any heavy downpour can quickly cause flooding issues," said Meteorologist Danny Pydynowski.


Not only will the thunderstorms contain copious amounts of moisture, but some of them could be slow-moving which is concerning. Any thunderstorm will have the ability to bring rainfall rates of more than an inch an hour.

Rivers and streams are still running rather high from the deluge of rain last week and more rain will only make matters worse.

Dozens of river gauges across southern Oklahoma to eastern Texas and east to Arkansas are already reporting flooding. Portions of the Red River, especially around Gainesville, Texas, are well above the flood stage.

A Wet First Half of May

Rainfall/Average (inches)
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Dallas, Texas
Wichita Falls, Texas
Houston, Texas
Tulsa, Oklahoma

While the most concentrated area of storms will be focused across Texas and Oklahoma, any isolated storm could cause issues elsewhere.

Heavy thunderstorms earlier in the week brought water levels of the West Fork San Jacinto River north of Houston to major flood status. Major flooding is expected to continue through the end of the week as the river crests.

Motorists will want to be extra careful traveling Saturday. Roadways can turn into rivers very quickly when heavy thunderstorms strike.

"Trying to venture through the high water could become life threatening," said Meteorologist Brian Lada. "The water may be deeper than it appears and cause the vehicle that you are in to stall in the water or be swept away."

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Just 12 inches of rushing water can carry away a small car while 2 feet can carry away most vehicles.

Those that live near streams and rivers will want to keep an eye on water levels and be ready to head to higher ground if needed.

Out of all the thunderstorm-related hazards, flooding brings the most deaths each year.

The wet weather could extend into early next week as a front hangs up and another system begins to brew across the region.

The rounds of heavy rainfall have greatly diminished the severity and extent of the drought in Texas and the southern Plains.


Will the wet weather continue through the summer? Check the AccuWeather Summer Forecast to find out.


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