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.

static SC regional 8/13

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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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