Another dose of rain aims for the South to close out January, helping to alleviate drought

Courtney Spamer

A storm, set to strengthen in Texas, will spread rain, and the threat for flooding along the Gulf coast through the middle of the week.

"A storm emerging from the Rockies will strengthen over Texas and Oklahoma late Monday night into Tuesday," said AccuWeather Meteorologist Alyson Hoegg.

An injection of cold air on the northwestern side of the storm will allow for some snow to fall across the southern Plains during this timeframe. Farther south and east, all rain is in store.

This storm looks to spread rain across much of Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas into early Wednesday.

Overall, the rain is not expected to be heavy, although isolated downpours will be possible.

Widespread amounts of half of an inch of rain are likely, with some areas that could reach 1-2 inches of rain.

"Any area that receives multiple downpours may experience urban or localized flooding, particularly in low-lying and poor drainage locations," added Hoegg.

The exact location of the heaviest rain will be very dependent on the track of the storm after it emerges in Texas.

At this time, a swath of steady rain is likely to travel along the Interstate 10 to I-20 corridor in the Southeast Tuesday night through Wednesday.

The storm will reach Florida with some rain late Wednesday or Wednesday night.

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The wet weather will likely be welcome for much of the Florida Peninsula, given how dry the region has been as of late. Cities like Orlando and Tampa are running well below normal as far as precipitation amounts so far in January. Both cities have had less than their normal rainfall for the month.

A storm that spread rain across the Gulf of Mexico this past weekend, weakened as it approached the Florida Peninsula during late Sunday and Sunday night. Spotty showers riddled South Florida and the Keys on Monday from this fragmented storm.

However, parts of the south-central U.S. that started in a minor-to-moderate drought at the beginning of the year, have been making up that rain deficit thus far in January.

During the second half of 2019, Dallas finished the year off with 66% of the average rainfall. San Antonio, Texas was even drier, ending the second half of the year with only 44% of the normal rainfall.

January was a turning point for these cities and others in the region.

Dallas, through Jan. 25, recorded just shy of 4.5 inches of rainfall, more than double the normal around of rainfall for the entire month. Oklahoma City, during the same time frame, recorded more than 150% of the normal rainfall for the month.

The additional rainfall anticipated in these areas before the start of February could put these cities in a more susceptible position for flooding. However, should the rain remain light and steady, it could improve the drought across southern and eastern Texas.

According to the update from the U.S. Drought Monitor on Jan. 23, the drought in this area has lessened given the additional rain, but the "South" still had about 27% of the region in a moderate, severe or extreme drought. Another 35% of the region was distinguished as "abnormally dry".

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