Another rainstorm in a seemingly endless series of such storms is delivering a flood risk to parts of the South. This time, the main target is the Gulf Coast and the South.
At least four to eight inches are expected to fall across the Houston area, mostly during Wednesday and into the night. Some locations are expected to top 10 inches in the days ahead.
From southeastern Texas, heavy rain will shift east along the northern Gulf Coast and into the Southeast. Heavy rain and a risk of flooding with this slow-moving weather conglomeration are likely to persist through the weekend.
The remnants of a tropical disturbance from the Bay of Campeche are heavily responsible for the tropical influx to the Texas Gulf Coast.
Although this wannabe tropical system never gained a name, staying below tropical depression status through its life over water, it did gather loads of moisture on its trek northward. That moisture is now falling as rain in parts of Texas.
Today brings a “high risk,” or level four of four, of excessive rainfall and resultant flooding in coastal southeastern Texas and southern Louisiana.
As of midday Wednesday, flood watches stretched from about 75 miles southeast of Houston, across southern Louisiana and into southern Mississippi. Along this swath, at least three to four inches of rain were forecast. Up to a foot is forecast around the shoreline of southeastern Texas and southwestern Louisiana.
Several flash flood warnings already have been issued in parts of Texas, including the southwestern Houston suburbs. More are likely as a hefty rain band marches east. It already has produced upward of 10 inches of rain in spots, and similar, isolated totals are likely as it progresses east or other bands develop in the soupy air mass.
Rain is falling on already-saturated soil. Rainfall surpluses for 2019 to date are on the order of several inches, with even wetter conditions compared to normal over the past few months. Houston dealt with several flooding episodes in May, as have other places in the region.
Rainfall risks will move eastward in the days ahead. A “moderate risk,” or level three of four, of excessive rain will center on southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi on Thursday, then Mississippi to the western Florida Panhandle on Friday.
Though this portion of the extended rain event will also carry a risk of flash flooding, the heavy rain is not all bad news as it travels farther east.
Much of the country has been in a long-term wet spell, as seen in the wettest 12 months on record nationally, but parts of the Gulf Coast and Southeast are running rain deficits. With high pressure dominating, the Southeast has also been scorched by record heat in recent weeks.
It has been dry enough that in parts of the Florida Panhandle, abnormally dry conditions were reported in the latest update of the Drought Monitor.
AccuWeather highlights places such as Atlanta, Montgomery, Ala., Jacksonville, Fla., and Savannah, Ga., where rainfall deficits are growing. These places will undoubtedly enjoy a few raindrops if they come their way. But it could still end up too much.
Given the tendency for a pattern of blocking high pressure to dominate and cause a logjam in the hemisphere, indications are that rain could last into early next week across parts of the region. Some places might go from drought to flood over the next several days.