Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Severe T-Storms on Tap from SE Texas / Louisiana Gulf Coast into Arkansas Today...

Just after 8 o'clock this morning a line of strong thunderstorms extended from just West of Shreveport to near Houston, and on back into the mid-Texas coast.  This activity continues to spread slowly toward the East, with a large shield of moderate to heavy rain extending well back to the West of the initial line.

As expected, very heavy rainfall, as much as 9-10 inches, fell over portions of central Texas in association with this activity overnight:

Doppler radar estimated rainfall overnight - Austin Radar Site

As the storm system continues to the East today, the threat of severe weather will shift into the region encompassing much of Louisiana, extreme southeast Texas and up into portions of Arkansas. The latest severe weather outlook from the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) is shown below, with the severe weather risk outlined in yellow:

Large hail, damaging wind gusts and a few tornadoes are possible with severe storms in this region today.  The highest risk will take place from midday into the afternoon, as the low level atmosphere heats up and becomes more unstable.

Very heavy rainfall capable of producing flash flooding will also continue along and ahead of this system today:

As you can see, as much as an additional 6 to 8 inches of rain is forecast from northcentral Louisiana into portions of Arkansas, where heavy rains already fell yesterday.  This will only further aggravate an already dangerous flooding situation in this region.

If you live within or near the severe weather outlook areas, remain alert today.  Listen to local media or another trusted source for the latest updates and possible warnings.  Make sure to identify your sheltering location ahead of time, that way you can get there quickly if a warning is issued for your area.

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