On Saturday, flood watches are in effect for over 10 million people in Arizona, New Mexico, and western Texas, including Phoenix, Albuquerque, and El Paso.
As a low-pressure system brings moist, tropical air to the Southwest in the form of heavy rain and thunderstorms to add to the already active monsoon season across the region, the Weather Prediction Center said early Saturday morning, “The stage is set for southern Arizona and New Mexico to potentially receive prolific rainfall and widespread flash flooding today.”
The WPC has issued a level 3 out of 4 “moderate” risk for excessive rainfall ahead of the wet forecast due to the widespread forecasted rainfall totals of 2 to 3 inches, with locally higher totals of 5 to 7 inches. That might result in severe flash flooding throughout the Southwest.
According to a tweet from the national park, a search and rescue operation for a missing person continued on Saturday at Zion National Park in Utah following a flash flood on the Virgin River.
According to Zion National Park spokesperson Jonathan Shafer, rangers were informed of hikers being “blown off their feet” close to the Temple of Sinawava on Friday afternoon. There have been some hikers found.
A hiker who had been dragged several hundred yards downstream was discovered by park officials, according to Shafer. According to Shafer, the injured hiker was transferred to a hospital. Unknown is the hiker’s state of health.
The rain from the same system that is battering the Southwest this weekend is connected to the flash flood at Zion National Park.
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Slot canyons, arroyos, and burn scars are particularly sensitive to flash flooding and can quickly become very deadly conditions, according to the WPC’s statement on Saturday. Complex topography and urban areas are also particularly vulnerable.
Beginning on Sunday and continuing through Monday, the moisture plume and heavy rains are predicted to move into northern Texas, where a level 2 out of 4 “slight danger” for excessive rainfall has been issued. The WPC predicts that rainfall rates of close to 2 to 3 inches per hour are possible.
Urban areas will be most at risk for flooding during this time, despite the exceptionally dry and drought-like circumstances.
Nearly 62% of Texas is currently facing extreme or exceptional drought conditions, the worst classifications, which affect more than 90% of the state.
Uncertainty exists regarding the strength of Potential Tropical Cyclone Four.
Potential The National Hurricane Center reported a tropical cyclone with sustained winds of 35 mph over the western Gulf of Mexico around 5 a.m. It was roughly 230 miles south-southeast of the Rio Grande’s mouth.
Before a system is officially designated, the hurricane center utilizes the possible tropical storm designation to issue warnings for it.
There is a tropical storm warning in force for the lower Texas coast from Port Mansfield southward to the mouth of the Rio Grande as well as the Gulf Coast of Mexico from Boca de Catan northward to the mouth of the Rio Grande. As the system moves closer to the shore over the next 12 to 24 hours, tropical storm characteristics are anticipated in these areas.
The system is anticipated to move inland through Sunday after making landfall late Saturday afternoon off the coast of northeastern Mexico. The system’s potential to become a named storm before making landfall is still up in the air. If so, it will go by the name Danielle.
The NHC stated that it is still questionable if the disturbance will be able to form a closed surface circulation and intensify into a tropical storm before it hits the coast later today. More details should be available from a reconnaissance mission by the Air Force Reserve later on Saturday morning.
Still, over the next 48 hours, sections of Texas and Mexico are expected to get heavy rain totaling 1 to 3 inches, with isolated totals up to 5 inches. This could cause localized flash floods.
This report was provided to by Ray Sanchez, Rebekah Riess, and Paradise Afshar of CNN.
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