Downpours to raise flood threat, bring drought relief to part of south-central US

By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
August 11, 2018, 11:50:15 AM EDT

A zone of frequent downpours and thunderstorms will continue to both raise the risk of flooding and bring drought relief to a large part of the south-central United States, including Texas.

The combination of moisture, a temperature contrast zone and a storm expected to develop nearby will fuel the wet pattern, according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Courtney Travis.

"The storm will stall over the southern Plains this weekend and into next week," Travis said. "In that position, it will draw moisture northward from the Gulf of Mexico and the subtropical Pacific Ocean."

Weekend South Central Rain Static

There is the potential for 5-10 inches of rain with locally higher amounts to fall over a period of a few days. A significant amount of that rain may fall in just a few hours.

The first raindrops in the pattern began to fall on Tuesday in parts of the southern Plains but will become more extensive this weekend and into next week.

States likely to be affected by persistent downpours include Texas and Oklahoma, with more sporadic storms in western portions of Arkansas and Louisiana.

"The location of the swath of heaviest rain and greatest risk of flooding may set up or shift farther south or north from day to day," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson.

Static US Weekend

The most frequent rain is likely to stay north of South Texas, the upper Texas coast and southern Louisiana. Cities such as Houston, Corpus Christi and Brownsville, Texas, as well as Lake Charles, Louisiana, could avoid most of the downpours and rain-related trouble.

Cities that are at risk for flash flooding include Dallas, San Angelo, Abilene, Waco, Odessa, San Antonio, Austin and Longview, Texas, and Oklahoma City.

What you should do if you get stuck driving in floodwaters
7 lightning safety tips if you’re caught outside during a thunderstorm
Psychology of warnings: Why do people ignore important weather alerts?

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 and New Mexico. Small streams in these areas and others farther to the east can quickly overflow their banks.

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, and the road surface may have been washed away. To do so may not only damage your vehicle but also put your life and other lives at risk.

Download the free AccuWeather app for the latest information, including flood advisories.

The vast majority of the region has been abnormally dry this summer. However, there are pockets where extreme drought exists, according to the United States Drought Monitor.

Without a doubt, the pattern will help with short- and long-term drought in much of the region.

The anticipated rainfall will overlap a significant part of the abnormally dry and drought areas.

Report a Typo


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