Downpours in Texas, Oklahoma through Monday could bring both flash flooding and drought relief
By Courtney Spamer, AccuWeather meteorologist
August 13, 2018, 12:53:03 PM EDT
Repeated rounds of rain and thunderstorms for much of the south-central United States will be a double-edged sword for the drought-stricken area.
The combination of Gulf of Mexico moisture and a nearby storm will fuel the widespread wet pattern through Monday for central and northern Texas and Oklahoma.
There is a silver lining to the wet forecast in the south-central United States, as many places could use the rain.
“The vast majority of the region has been abnormally dry this summer,” said AccuWeather Meteorologist Steve D. Travis.
According to the United States Drought Monitor, parts of Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana are in severe and extreme drought.
“For the long term, this rain could be beneficial for the south-central United States; however, too much rain in a short period of time could lead to flooding problems,” Travis added.
Persistent rounds of rain will bring the potential for 5-10 inches of rain in Texas and Oklahoma over a period of a few days. A significant amount of that rain may fall in just a few hours, increasing the threat for flash flooding.
The cities most at risk for this flooding include Dallas, San Angelo, Abilene, Waco, Odessa, San Antonio, Austin and Longview, Texas, and Oklahoma City.
Big-time flash flooding this morning east of Del Rio, TX with over 5" of rain overnight in Uvalde County. That warning expires in a few minutes but the Kinney County warning goes for a few more hours with 2" estimated in the last hour #flashfloodalley @breakingweather #txwx pic.twitter.com/gMgZl2vqoK— Reed Timmer (@ReedTimmerAccu) August 12, 2018
On Monday, the heaviest rain will slowly shift northward, spreading the more persistent downpours into parts of western Missouri and Kansas as well. Cities like Springfield, Missouri as well as Tulsa, Oklahoma and Wichita, Kansas will see a noticeable surge in moisture.
Where the downpours linger and repeat, the risk of flash flooding will be greatest. Normally dry stream beds in the summer can become raging torrents with no notice in parts of Texas. Small streams can quickly overflow their banks.
Here's a comparison of what the Nueces River at the 19 Mile Bridge on Highway 55 in Uvalde County looks like normally vs. what it looks like right now after up to 8 inches of rain has fallen in the area. Photo courtesy of Lonnie Davenport. pic.twitter.com/m9MEuqzh7a— NWS Austin/San Antonio (@NWSSanAntonio) August 12, 2018
What you should do if you get stuck driving in floodwaters
7 lightning safety tips if you’re caught outside during a thunderstorm
August hurricane analysis: Where Atlantic storms form and which US states are most vulnerable
The downpours may be intense enough to flood some underpasses and city streets, and collect in poor drainage areas along highways in a matter of minutes.
Low water crossings may be impassable. Motorists are reminded never to attempt to drive through flooded roads as the water may be much deeper than it appears, risking not only damage to your vehicle but your life and other lives as well.
Download the free AccuWeather app for the latest information, including flood advisories.
Rain will continue to shift northward on Tuesday, bringing the heaviest downpours into northern Oklahoma and the central Plains, and allowing the rest of the south-central United States a much-needed break.
Midweek dry weather, following the repeated downpours, will increase the chances of busting the drought in the region. The break in the rain gives the ground a chance to soak up all the pools of rain that have collected earlier in the week.
A slow-moving front could bring more rain back to Oklahoma and northern Texas at the end of next week. This would renew the threat for flash flooding as well as the promise for drought-busting rain.
Comments that don't add to the conversation may be automatically or manually removed by Facebook or AccuWeather. Profanity, personal attacks, and spam will not be tolerated.
More Weather News
Weather News - December 15, 2018, 3:59:53 PM EST
Large storms and cold air are likely to take a break over much of the nation during much of next week ahead of the Christmas holiday.
Weather News - December 15, 2018, 4:13:42 PM EST
A storm will continue to bring rain, fog, ice and a wintry mix to parts of the northeastern United States this weekend.
Weather News - December 15, 2018, 3:13:23 PM EST
Rain, wind, mountain snow and rough surf will take aim at the Northwest and California at the end of the weekend as the barrage of Pacific storms continues.
Florence-ravaged areas face more river flooding as Wilmington, North Carolina, hits 100-inch yearly rain total
Weather News - December 15, 2018, 1:21:04 PM EST
Flooding will plague residents living along many swollen rivers in the southeastern United States despite dry weather taking hold from Sunday through Wednesday.
Weather News - December 15, 2018, 10:29:25 AM EST
Residents of northern Queensland are enduring a second and more severe strike by former-Tropical Cyclone Owen.
Weather News - December 15, 2018, 9:41:16 AM EST
Holiday shopping plans and festivities can be disrupted as a period of snow or icy mix is anticipated to cause slick travel from northern France to Germany into Sunday.
Weather News - December 15, 2018, 12:22:25 PM EST
Strengthening Cyclonic Storm Phethai in the Bay of Bengal may become a severe cyclonic storm with eventual impacts to eastern India into early next week.
In case you missed it: Deadly snowstorm pummels South; Strongest Tennessee earthquake in 45 years shakes Atlanta
Weather News - December 14, 2018, 11:30:28 AM EST
The strongest earthquake to hit the southern U.S. in 45 years rattled Tennessee to Georgia this week while a snowstorm wreaked havoc from the Carolinas to Virginia.