This summer, a large portion of the southern Plains, including Texas and Oklahoma, has experienced significant drought conditions. A shift in the weather pattern, according to AccuWeather meteorologists, may bring rain to dry areas as early as this weekend, but it may also increase the risk of floods.
Next week, the Dallas Fort-Worth metroplex is anticipated to be at the center of more intense downpours.
Dallas-Love Field Airport has only seen 0.20 of an inch of rain since June 5. The city had gone more than two months without receiving any discernible rainfall when all of this rain arrived on or after August 10. This meager quantity of precipitation represents just 3% of the city’s typical monthly rainfall of 6.03 inches.
The risk of further intense rain will move into the south-central United States at the start of the following week.
According to AccuWeather Meteorologist Renee Duff, “a southern dip in the jet stream across the central U.S. will help to funnel moisture into regions of Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana.”
The region is anticipated to receive moisture as early as Sunday but continue for several days thanks to a combination of moisture from the North American monsoon, which will continue to batter the Southwest over the weekend, and moisture pouring up from the Gulf of Mexico.
The Red River to the Interstate 20 corridor is forecast to have the strongest and widest-spread rainfall from Sunday through Monday, before shifting to the south and east toward the I-10 corridor on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The waves of rain are forecast to bring widespread amounts of 2-4 inches from central Mississippi to northwest Texas through the middle of the week, according to Duff.
With an AccuWeather Local StormMaxTM of 14 inches probable, areas near the Oklahoma-Texas border and into northern Texas are likely to experience much additional rainfall, on the order of 4 to 8 inches.
Following a stronger downpour, low-lying and poorly draining areas may probably see floods first. But because to the persistent dryness in the region, more serious flooding may occur.
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According to the most recent update from the U.S. Drought Monitor, over 60% of the state of Texas is experiencing an extreme or exceptional drought, and over 85% is experiencing at least a severe drought.
Meanwhile, severe or worse drought conditions are present in 90% of Oklahoma.
The areas with the most constant rain will be around cities like Oklahoma City and San Antonio. Both have experienced a dry summer and are dealing with a severe or exceptional drought. Less than a third of an inch of rain has fallen in each city so far in August.
Long-term, the anticipated rains in these locations this week will contribute to putting a dent in the ongoing drought. However, the overly dry earth won’t be able to absorb the rain in the short term, which will cause wider floods.
According to experts, rapidly rising water could cover or even wash off roads, blocking access. High-speed drivers should take extra precautions to prevent hydroplaning on standing water.
Residents should have a way to be informed of flash flooding alerts in their area, such as the AccuWeather App, in order to keep safe, said Duff.
Parts of southern Texas that are not expected to receive waves of heavy rain next week may instead encounter another tropical hazard, according to AccuWeather analysts. As a tropical rainstorm moved in from the Gulf of Mexico, it dumped 5 to 10 inches of rain recently in South Texas and the Rio Grande Valley.
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