Fox News Weather Center

Flood Threat Shifts Over Arkansas, Mississippi

The zone of unsettled weather that brought beneficial rain to drought-stricken areas of the Plains will shift over the lower Mississippi River Valley to close out the week.

The slow-moving system responsible for this batch of rain will focus on Arkansas on Thursday then Mississippi and Louisiana for Friday.

Umbrellas will be put to good use as rainfall totals range from 1 to 2 inches through Friday from eastern Oklahoma to central Mississippi; this will be enough rain to cause localized flooding.

Little Rock, Arkansas; Shreveport and Monroe, Louisiana; and Greenville and Jackson, Mississippi, are just a few cities that will be affected by the heavy rain.

Areas located near rivers, streams, ponds or other bodies of water should take extra precautions as the rain causes water levels to rise and possibly result in flooding issues.

Although some flooding is anticipated, major flooding is not expected with locations in close proximity to bodies of water feeling the main effects from the heightened water levels.

In addition to the flooding rain, this system will also bring below-normal temperatures.

Highs are forecast to run 5 to 15 degrees below normal on Thursday and Friday across the same area affected by the rain.

This includes high temperatures in the lower 70s for Little Rock, Arkansas, compared to the city's normal high of 93 F.

Those looking for drier conditions and near-normal temperatures will have to hold out until the weekend as the system progresses to the East Coast.

If you are planning on hosting a barbecue, accomplishing yard work or partaking in an activity in the outdoors this weekend, Sunday looks to be the better day weatherwise as a few showers and thunderstorms will linger around the lower Mississippi Valley on Saturday.

However, it does not appear like Saturday will be a complete washout with much of the day being dry.

Monthly Rainfall
Normal Rainfall
% of Normal
Little Rock, Arkansas 7.04 3.27 215
Russellville, Arkansas 7.08 3.64 195
Oklahoma City 4.12 2.93 141
Lake Charles, Louisiana 6.61 5.63 117
Alexandria, Louisiana 5.15 4.39 117

July has already been a wet month for the region with this rain adding to monthly totals.

Little Rock, Arkansas, has received some of the highest rainfall amounts across the lower Mississippi Valley this month with over 200 percent their normal precipitation for July.

As a result, much of the soil across the area has an above-normal soil moisture content across the area.

The heightened soil moisture is a contributing factor to how easily flooding can occur when heavy rain events like this track across the area.

However, it appears as though much of the region will be dry to kick off the first week of August in the wake of this system.

The exception to this will be areas along the Gulf of Mexico where showers and thunderstorms develop during the afternoon.

Showers and storms of this nature are not uncommon along coastal areas during the summer month as they often develop as a result of interactions between the air over the ocean and over the land.