Beneficial rain to be accompanied by severe weather risks in southern US
By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
April 19, 2018, 4:47:04 AM EDT
A storm is projected to take a tour of the southern United States with beneficial rain, localized flooding and isolated severe thunderstorms along the way spanning late this week to early next week.
The first signs of the storm will be spotty rain in central and Northern California and spotty snow over the Sierra Nevada and portions of the Great Basin in Nevada and Utah on Thursday.
Strong to locally severe storms are likely in eastern New Mexico and western Texas on Friday, and central and northeastern Texas on Saturday.
"While large hail, strong wind gusts, flash flooding and an isolated tornado are possible from the strongest storms, the odds are greatly against a significant outbreak of severe weather at this time," according to AccuWeather Storm Warning Meteorologist Richard Schraeger.
However, all it takes is one violent storm to threaten lives and/or for a storm to hit a populated area to cause great damage.
The best chance of a tornado with this storm system may be on Saturday in parts of central Texas.
By Friday, expect snow to break out across the southern Rockies, while rain develops and spreads over parts of the central and southern Plains.
Any non-flooding rainfall will be welcomed over the Southwest.
Don't forget to look up: Lyrid meteor shower to peak early on Earth Day
Scientists debunk myth that Yellowstone wolves changed entire ecosystem, flow of rivers
7 lightning safety tips if you’re caught outside during a thunderstorm
North American whales face potential extinction as warming oceans force them into unsafe territory
Men vs. women: Which gender is more likely to be fatally struck by lightning?
Nearly all of the region is abnormally dry, while some locations are experiencing extreme to exceptional drought, according to the United States Drought Monitor. In some cases there has not been significant rainfall since last autumn.
While much more rain than this single storm can deliver is needed to break the drought, enough rain may fall to bring a temporary end to the wildfire risk, provided lightning from thunderstorms does not start new fires.
An average of 0.50 to 1 inch of rain may fall from eastern New Mexico and southeastern Colorado to central Texas, central Oklahoma and southwestern Kansas from Friday to Saturday.
The storm is projected to take an east to southeast path across the South Central states this weekend and the Southeastern states early next week.
As the storm moves along and draws upon moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and later the Atlantic Ocean, rainfall amounts will increase.
Rainfall along the Interstate 10 and I-20 corridors may range between 2 and 4 inches with locally higher amounts. Any persistent downpours can lead to urban flooding.
The storm's swift forward speed should be enough to avoid major river flooding even though the ground is fairly moist over the lower Mississippi Valley.
How far north rain from the storm travels will depend on the exact storm track. There will be a large batch of dry air north of the storm.
"It is possible conditions become favorable for severe thunderstorms along the I-10 corridor of the Gulf Coast, which includes the chance of a few tornadoes during the latter part of the weekend," Schraeger said.
The speed at which the storm exits the southern Atlantic coast during early next week is questionable at this point.
One scenario brings a few days of showers and thunderstorms from Florida to the North Carolina Outer Banks. Another scenario brings 12-36 hours of the same before dry air sweeps in from the north. A third scenario brings the storm with its rain slowly northward along the Atlantic coast next week.
Many areas from Florida to North Carolina are also abnormally dry and could benefit from several rounds of showers and non-severe thunderstorms.
With the storm taking a track across the Deep South, many days of dry weather and warm sunshine are likely across the storm- and winter-weather weary Midwest and Northeast this weekend into next week.
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 - March 19, 2019, 2:46:08 PM EDT
Discover if it is possible to balance an egg upright on its end on March 20, the Vernal Equinox.
Weather News - March 19, 2019, 5:42:56 PM EDT
Seventy-four cities, 65 counties and four tribal areas in Nebraska have declared states of emergency amid historic and catastrophic flooding in the Midwest.
Weather News - March 19, 2019, 5:42:14 PM EDT
The final supermoon of 2019 will contribute to king tides and the potential for minor coastal flooding in areas prone to high water issues in the United States this week.
Weather News - March 19, 2019, 11:22:59 AM EDT
Recent cool, wet weather will be replaced by drier and warmer weather for much of the United Kingdom the next several days.
Weather News - March 19, 2019, 12:38:33 PM EDT
Some would be terrified of a swarm of millions of insects, except this one happens to be beautiful this one happens to a beautiful natural occurrence.
Weather News - March 19, 2019, 5:38:06 PM EDT
The number of fatalities continues to rise as communities remain isolated by devastating flooding caused by Tropical Cyclone Idai.
Weather News - March 19, 2019, 3:47:35 PM EDT
A fresh snowfall means a brand new canvas for an imaginative Toronto resident who produces art masterpieces, and captures it all on video.
Weather News - March 19, 2019, 3:42:56 PM EDT
Severe Tropical Cyclone Trevor made landfall on the Cape York Peninsula on Tuesday and is expected to plow westward into the Gulf of Carpentaria, threatening parts of the Northern Territory later this week.