Fox News Weather Center

Heavy Rain to Begin Week Along Gulf Coast, Help Battle Drought

After turning dry and tranquil for most of the weekend, a new storm is set to emerge along the Gulf coast as the weekend winds down and the new week arrives.

Feeding off the water from the Gulf, the storm will pack plenty of moisture as it slowly slides along the Texas coast to the Florida Panhandle and into the Southeast.

Steady rain will begin as early as Sunday afternoon and will become heavier into Sunday night from Brownsville, Texas, to Houston and will carry over into Monday for much of southeastern Texas.

Other cities that could get a soaking rainfall on Monday as this storm expands eastward include New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Jackson, Mississippi; Mobile and Birmingham, Alabama; and Atlanta.

A thick cloud cover along with the rain will put a cap on temperatures and will keep daily highs 5 to 15 degrees below normal.

For those heading to work Monday and needing to go outside, an umbrella will certainly be useful to help stay dry.

Areas along the coast could receive a general 1 to 2 inches of rainfall through the early part of the week, although isolated higher amounts cannot be ruled out.

There is some concern that the rain could become heavy enough to cause isolated flooding in low-lying and poor drainage areas, mainly near the coast.

"In some areas, rainfall amounts will be more than the ground can absorb and runoff will cause some flooding," said Meteorologist Mike Doll.

Motorists are urged to avoid areas of high water and to find alternative route in their travels if they do come across high water.

While the flood risk will be mainly localized, this may be a situation where the widespread benefits of the rain outweigh the risks.

"Many locations in the western Gulf states have only had one-quarter to one-third of their normal rainfall since Feb. 1, so the rainfall will be beneficial," said Doll.

A Dry February for Many

Rainfall Observed (in.)
Normal Rainfall (in.)
Percentage of Normal
McAllen, Texas
Houston, Texas
Austin, Texas
McAllen, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
New Orleans, Louisiana
Mobile, Alabama

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, a large portion of Texas remains in some form of drought, expanding from moderate to exceptional.

Although areas facing extreme and exception drought across north-central Texas will likely miss out on most, if not, all of the rain, areas in southeastern Texas to the southern portions of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama will get some relief.

The main core of the storm will take off towards the mid-Atlantic on Tuesday, bringing a soggy day to Raleigh, North Carolina, and Richmond and Norfolk, Virginia.

Lingering moisture will continue to bring the risk of rain along parts of the Gulf coast into the middle of the week.