A storm system creeping northward along the Texas coast will continue sending thunderstorms with torrential rainfall into the Gulf Coast and southern Plains states throughout the weekend. Flash flooding will remain a major concern.
As was the case Friday, thunderstorms will remain capable of dumping a couple of inches of rain in just a several hour period. Flooding of streets and even homes in low-lying and poor drainage areas could quickly result.
The rain in Texas Friday was enough to submerge roadways and enter homes across areas between Austin and Temple, prompting water rescues and evacuations. Interstate 35 and access roads were closed due to high water over highways near Jarrell.
Through Sunday, the heaviest storms and greatest threat for flash flooding will lie from eastern and central Texas and Louisiana on north through parts of Oklahoma and Arkansas. Rainfall in some of these areas will total up to 6 inches.
Cities like Houston, Austin, Dallas, Shreveport, Little Rock and Oklahoma City are included in the risk area. Sections of I-35 Dallas and Oklahoma City, I-30 between Dallas and Little Rock and I-40 between Oklahoma City and Little Rock will be of particular concern.
People that must travel this weekend should be prepared for blinding downpours, the risk of hydroplaning and possibly even detours as a result of flooding. Do not put your life at risk by driving through flooded roads. Find an alternate route instead.
Keep children away from catch basins, and avoid stream beds that have been dry in recent months, as they can become raging torrents in minutes.
The storm, which only has a slight chance at developing into a tropical system this weekend, is expected to be very slow to move northeastward through next week.
Therefore, downpours may linger in the South Central states through much of next week with some parts of the lower Mississippi Valley potentially receiving half a foot of rain by midweek.
While the rain is threatening flooding, it has been much-needed in central and South Texas, where an exceptional drought persists. Some of the hard-hit areas like Corpus Christi and San Antonio have picked up over 4 inches over the past few days. While the rain is not drought-busting, it has helped to raise water levels in streams and reservoirs.
Most of the South Texas will end up drying out through the rest of the weekend and early next week with the bulk of the stormy weather staying off to the north and northeast.