Severe thunderstorms and torrential rains will threaten areas from Texas and the Southern Plains to the Mississippi Valley and the Deep South early this week as a cold front joins tropical humidity from the former Hurricane Roslyn to create an environment conducive to storms.
As Roslyn’s circulation has dissipated over Mexico, its limited moisture and upper-level energy is being pulled north by the advancing cold front and sweeping into the south-central United States.
Rain developed Monday morning across the southern plains and moved through the mid-Mississippi Valley Monday afternoon as the cold front slid eastward. Overnight, the FOX Forecast Center said the cold front would be bolstered by a powerful storm system rolling out of the northern plains, which brought strong winds and accumulated snow over the weekend.
Current watch and warnings
A Tornado watch was issued for Central Texas until midnight CT.
HOW TO WATCH FOX WEATHER
Threat of severe storm overnight
Severe thunderstorms are possible Monday through Tuesday night from central and eastern Texas eastward to the mid and upper Texas coast, Ark-La-Tex and far western Texas. Louisiana. This includes the metropolitan areas of Dallas, Houston, Austin and San Antonio.
Damaging gusty winds are the main threat from these storms, but a few tornadoes are also possible after dark.
“The problem with severe weather at night, of course, it’s too dark to see anything, so if something happens, like a tornado, in one of those areas, it’s going to blow while you sleep” , FOX Weather explained meteorologist Britta Merwin. “Also, we have fewer spotters that are outdoors. Often when we follow tornado warnings, we rely on those spotter reports to really know if we have something on the ground, and that gives us help track this tornado as it passes through cities. Not really an option if everyone is already home sleeping.”
NIGHT TORNADOES ARE MUCH MORE LIKELY TO BECOME DEADLY THAN DAYTIME TORNADOES
Severe storm threat on Tuesday
Strong to severe thunderstorms are expected Tuesday from the lower Mississippi Valley and from the south-central to the deep south. This includes cities such as Memphis in Tennessee, Baton Rouge in Louisiana and Birmingham, Montgomery and Mobile in Alabama.
Devastating gusts of wind are the main threat, but a few tornadoes are also possible.
“Something you want to consider … is making sure you have an easy way to get your family to that safe place — an indoor bathroom or a closet,” Merwin said. “Most people (in some southern states) don’t have a basement…so it’s a good idea to make sure you know where that safe place is.”
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Threat of heavy rains in the southern Plains, lower and middle Mississippi Valley
In addition to extreme weather, the FOX Forecast Center will also be watching for the threat of heavy rains that could lead to flash flooding early this week.
A widespread area of 1 to 3 inches of rain is expected from Texas and Oklahoma to the lower and middle Mississippi Valley. Isolated amounts greater than 3 inches are possible in some locations.
While rain is beneficial for many communities experiencing drought conditions, flash flooding could become a concern if too much rain falls in a short period of time.
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Rain eases drought in parched central US
Nearly 95% of the region spanning the states of Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee is currently experiencing drought conditions, with many areas experiencing a rainfall deficit of more than 10 inches for the year.
The lack of rain has caused some tributaries of the Mississippi River to dry up, and nearly 400 miles of the waterway is at extremely low levels.
By Wednesday, some places that desperately need rain will have received several inches of precipitation.
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The FOX Forecast Center said the rain wouldn’t be enough to restore the river’s level, but it would likely keep the waterline from dropping further.
After the early week system heads east, the next significant chance of rain is not expected until the end of the work week.