Severe weather, flooding danger return to south-central US this week
By Kristina Pydynowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
April 23, 2019, 8:46:51 PM EDT
After a lull during the Easter holiday weekend, the risk of severe weather and flooding downpours is ramping back up across the south-central United States this week.
The dry spell that aided cleanup in the wake of the recent rounds of severe weather is coming to an end.
The risk for flooding and severe weather will expand across more of the southern Plains into Wednesday night as a storm slowly emerges from the Desert Southwest.
In northeastern New Mexico, mountainous areas where a deep snowpack remains and places burned by recent wildfires may be more susceptible to flash flooding and mudslides.
A new round of thunderstorms erupted from around Dallas to Midland, San Angelo and Fort Stockton, Texas, into Tuesday night.
Golf ball size hail was reported in Midland, Texas.
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"Thunderstorms firing in this region could be severe initially before transitioning to a heavy rain and flooding threat for the Tuesday overnight hours," AccuWeather Meteorologist Jake Sojda stated.
On Wednesday, soaking rain is expected to overspread central Texas with yet another round of severe weather firing on its southern and eastern flank.
"Wednesday looks to bring the greatest chance for severe thunderstorms from southern to eastern Texas and into western Louisiana as the storm responsible begins to strengthen a bit," Sojda said.
The I-10 corridor from San Antonio to Houston and Beaumont, Texas, is at risk Wednesday into Wednesday night.
"Damaging winds and large hail will remain the primary threats, but these hazards will likely be more widespread than on Tuesday," according to Sojda. "There may also be a higher threat for tornadoes as well on Wednesday when compared to earlier in the week."
Between the rounds of thunderstorms and heavy rain, the flood danger will also ramp up at midweek.
"Central into northeastern Texas will bear the brunt of the heavy rainfall and flood threat," Sojda stated.
This includes the corridor in and around I-35 from San Antonio to Austin and the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. San Angelo and Abilene are other communities at risk for rainfall totals that can approach or exceed 4 inches with an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 8 inches.
In the flood-prone areas that are hit the hardest, residents may be forced to evacuate.
"Travel disruptions can be expected," AccuWeather Meteorologist Jim Andrews said. "For example, typically dry low-water crossings can become inundated, leading to road closures."
Even where roads remain open, downpours from the heavy rain and thunderstorms at anytime this week in the South Central states will cause poor driving conditions.
Motorists will be faced with dramatically reduced visibility and a heightened risk of vehicles hydroplaning when traveling at highway speeds.
Drier weather will gradually filter into the southern Plains on Thursday as the storm focuses on the lower Mississippi Valley.
"The storm can bring flooding downpours and locally damaging thunderstorms from Louisiana to Mississippi," Sojda stated.
"A slight tornado threat will remain on Thursday, but any tornadoes will likely be of the 'brief spin-up' variety rather than stronger and longer-tracking tornadoes," he added.
Regardless, it only takes one tornado to damage a community and put lives at risk.
Download the free AccuWeather app to remain aware of any threats for flooding or severe weather in your community. Keep checking back for updates on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.
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