By Renee Duff, AccuWeather meteorologist
August 12,2017, 10:34:29AM,EDT
Heavy thunderstorms will raise the risk of property damage and flash flooding across a portion of the south-central United States through Saturday night.Several weak systems emerging from the Rockies will give a boost to thunderstorm development over the Plains states.
The danger of severe thunderstorms will be accompanied by an increasing flood threat.
Areas along Interstate 40 from the Texas Panhandle to Oklahoma, and southward along the Red River will be at greatest risk for flooding rainfall and locally severe storms through Saturday night.
“Heavy rainfall rates up to 2 inches per hour at times will cause flash flooding in some communities,” AccuWeather Storm Warning Meteorologist Brian Koochel said.
The enhanced threat for flooding includes some larger cities, namely Oklahoma City and Amarillo, Texas.
To the south of the downpours, intense thunderstorms will ignite during the heating of the day and carry over into the nighttime hours.
Severe thunderstorms are expected to congregate near and to the south of the Red River, including in Dallas and Wichita Falls, Texas. Flooding will not be the only hazard in this corridor as the strongest thunderstorms could contain hail and damaging winds.
A separate zone of severe weather may erupt over west-central South Dakota and Nebraska at the start of the weekend.
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“Widespread rainfall totals of 1 to 3 inches are expected, with localized areas that see more persistent thunderstorm activity receiving up to 6 inches,” Koochel said.
This amount of rainfall will easily run off soil that is already saturated, causing rises on small streams and rivers.
Individuals with plans to travel across the Plains along stretches of interstates 20, 30, 35, 40 and 44 should be aware of the threat for adverse weather to affect a portion of their trip.
Some roads, especially those that drain poorly and are low-lying, could be impassable due to high water.
The core of heaviest rainfall will shift toward the lower Mississippi Valley by the end of the weekend.
Downpours may become even more frequent across the South as the storm continues to sweep eastward early in the week.