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Fox News Weather Center

Texas, Plains Next in Line for Odile's Torrential Rain

Soon after unloading torrential rain and causing life-threatening flooding in New Mexico and Arizona, heavy rain and the risk of flooding from Odile will spill onto Texas and parts of the southern and central Plains.

Rainfall is needed in portions of western and central Texas, much of Oklahoma and Kansas to eastern Colorado. Part of this region is experiencing extreme to exceptional long-term drought with a rainfall deficit exceeding 10 inches since last year in some locations.

Rain is not needed farther to the northeast over the Central states, where near- to above-average rains have occurred since the spring.

Regardless of whether or not rain is needed in one location versus the other, rainfall amounts are likely to be excessive in a narrow zone that extends northeastward from the deserts of the Southwest.

Within this zone, moisture from Odile will interact with a front sagging southward from Canada. The cool air seeping in will allow the tropical moisture to be wrung out of the atmosphere.

The speed at which the system moves will factor into how much rain will fall and how much flooding may occur.

Rainfall Forecast

Enough rain will fall on portions of the central and southern Plains to cause flooding in low-lying areas of fields, as well as flash, urban and small stream flooding. Enough rain may fall to bring significant rises on the major rivers.

A swath of 3- to 6-inch rainfall is likely to extend across the northern Texas Panhandle, across northern and western Oklahoma, southern and eastern Kansas and into neighboring portions of Missouri and Arkansas. Locally higher amounts are possible within this swath.

According to AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions Senior Vice President Mike Smith, "Rainfall amounts can exceed 10 inches."

Cities in the path of excessive rain and potential flooding problems include Amarillo, Texas; Springfield, Missouri; Oklahoma City; and Wichita, Kansas.

A swath of 1-3 inches of rain may encompass an area that reaches into central Texas, southern Colorado and northern Kansas. There is the potential for locally heavy rainfall to extend to and beyond the Mississippi Valley as it is drawn northeastward along the frontal zone.

Odile Impacts on Agriculture

The rainfall will have positive and negative impacts on agriculture in the region.

According to AccuWeather Agricultural Meteorologist Dale Mohler, "The rain will benefit some areas of the winter wheat, which is planted this time of the year over the southern Plains."

"Conversely, where cotton bolls have opened in portions of Arizona and the northern Texas Panhandle, heavy rains can have a negative impact."

There is a risk that heavy rain will fall on areas hit by drenching rain and flooding earlier this month. These states include Missouri and Illinois, where many areas have received two to three times their normal rainfall for the month so far.

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 prior and upcoming rainfall in these areas could delay harvest and could cause flooding of some fields.

How Often Does a Former Pacific Hurricane Visit the Plains?

While heavy rain and flooding from hurricanes originating from the Gulf of Mexico are more common, they can be occasionally 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).