South Central US: Severe storms, flooding rain may close out February
By Kristina Pydynowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
February 26, 2018, 8:01:41 AM EST
Some of the same communities cleaning up from severe weather this past weekend may face more violent thunderstorms and flooding as February comes to a close.
Much-needed dry weather will return to much of the corridor from northeastern Texas to western Tennessee through Monday.
Residents will be able to take advantage of the dry weather for storm cleanup, while flooded streams and smaller rivers will have an opportunity to recede.
Larger rivers, such as the White, Ouachita and Mississippi, are expected to continue to rise as the flood waters drain downstream.
The dry spell will only last a couple of days, according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Faith Eherts.
"While a damp day is expected for Tuesday, heavy rain and potentially severe storms could sweep through the area starting on Wednesday," she said.
The next storm emerging from the Southwest, after delivering some much-needed rain and mountain snow to Southern California, is expected to cause the downpours and thunderstorms to ramp up once again.
The exact arrival time and track of the storm will determine which areas will face flooding rain and/or severe thunderstorms.
At this point, residents from central Texas to Arkansas and northern Mississippi are being put on alert for potential dangers.
This includes those living in Dallas and Tyler, Texas; Shreveport, Louisiana; Little Rock; Arkansas; Memphis, Tennessee; and Greenville, Mississippi.
If the storm tracks farther to the north, the threat zone may expand to the mid-Mississippi Valley.
Flooding rain may become more of an issue than severe thunderstorms around Arkansas if the storm tracks farther south than currently expected. More of Louisiana and southeastern Texas may face severe weather if this solution pans out.
While the severe weather danger is projected to unfold on Wednesday, the violent thunderstorms may be delayed until Thursday if the storm from the Southwest is slower to arrive.
"Any thunderstorms could produce hail and damaging winds," Eherts said. "The formation of a few tornadoes is not out of the question."
Due to the saturated ground, trees may be more susceptible to be blown over by any strong thunderstorm winds. Trees, power poles, roofs or siding weakened by the severe weather on Saturday can also be damaged more readily at midweek.
"Downpours in these storms will reintroduce the threat of flash flooding and contribute to existing river flooding," Eherts said. "It will be important for motorists to respect closed roads and to avoid driving through flooded areas."
Even in the absence of flooding, any downpours will create hazards for motorists by dramatically reducing visibility and heightening the risk of vehicles hydroplaning when traveling at highway speeds.
Airline passengers may encounter delays or cancellations.
On the heels of this severe weather event, a change in the weather pattern should prevent yet another from quickly following.
"An extended period of dry weather is then expected to settle in, allowing plenty of time for waters to recede and flood clean-up to continue," Eherts said.
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