Sign in to comment!

Fox News Weather Center

Odile's Heavy Rain, Flood Risk May Reach Central US

While Odile will weaken upon moving inland over the mainly southwestern United States, its remnants have the potential to bring heavy rain and flooding to parts of the Plains and Midwest.

Odile will unload heavy rain and cause flash flooding in the southwestern U.S. this week as it unwinds and draws tropical moisture northward.

While rainfall is needed in portions of western Texas to western Kansas and eastern Colorado, amounts could be excessive if the tropical moisture interacts with a system sagging southward from Canada.

According to AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions Senior Vice President Mike Smith, "The heaviest rains will occur if and where the remains of Odile interact with a front."

"If that occurs, rainfall amounts can exceed 10 inches."

While heavy rain and flooding from hurricanes originating from the Gulf of Mexico are more common, they can be unleashed by systems originating from the eastern Pacific. Much of the rainfall is often squeezed out over the Rockies. However, under certain conditions, the rainfall can survive and in some cases enhance east of the Rockies.

"For the first time since the 1980s, we will see a heavy rain (equal to or more than 5 inches in 24 hours) event from a Pacific hurricane in the Plains," Smith said.

There were several flooding events during the 1980s over the Plains that were produced, at least in part, from hurricanes originating from the eastern Pacific. These included Norma (1981), Tico (1983), Waldo (1985) and Paine (1986).

At this stage, in addition to those people in the Southwest, communities from northern Texas to Colorado, northeastward to Illinois and Wisconsin should keep track of the rainfall as the week progresses.

There is a risk heavy rain will fall on areas hit by drenching rain and flooding earlier this month. These states include Missouri and Iowa.

For example, Kirksville, Missouri, has received nearly 10 inches of rain so far this month, compared to a normal rainfall of approximately 2 inches through the middle of September.

The speed at which the rain moves is one of several variables that will factor into how much flooding may occur.

There is a chance the moisture remains separated from the front and would be more scattered in nature. There is also a possibility the heaviest rainfall takes a more southern route over the southern Plains and into the middle part of the Mississippi and Ohio valleys.

Once Odile moves onto the mainland of northern Mexico and the southwestern U.S., more details on the path and intensity of the rainfall will unfold.

Keep checking in at AccuWeather.com for updates on the potential for flooding rain with Odile.