Rounds of rain will spread across the Gulf Coast and Tennessee Valley this week, heightening flood concerns for some, but providing drought relief for others.
Rain closing out this weekend across southern and eastern Texas and western Louisiana will become heavier Sunday night through Monday.
Rain amounts will average a general 2 to 4 inches with locally higher totals, which could trigger flash flooding. That is especially true in low-lying and poor drainage areas.
San Antonio, Houston and College Station, Texas, and Lake Charles, Louisiana, are among the communities at risk for the flooding downpours.
"Motorists are urged to avoid areas of high water and to find alternative route in their travels if they do come across high water," stated AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Jordan Root.
Even if flooding does not ensue, the downpours will pose hazards for motorists by reducing visibility and raising the danger of vehicles hydroplaning at highway speeds. Airline passengers should prepare for flight delays.
The rain will also expand across more of the lower Mississippi Valley through Monday before spreading to the Tennessee Valley, West Virginia and the mid-Atlantic through Tuesday. Thanks to the recent surge of milder air, these areas will escape a return of snow or ice.
While focusing on Shreveport, Louisiana, Monday night, flooding downpours will then tend to wane as the rain expands northeastward. However, the combination of the rain, melting snow and already saturated ground could renew flooding issues around West Virginia and Kentucky.
Travel slowdowns and disruptions to those wishing to enjoy the milder air outdoors will still occur in New Orleans, Nashville, Charleston, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C.
While the early week band of rain will clear most of Texas by Tuesday and the mid-Atlantic at midweek, periods of rain will continue to stream into the lower Mississippi Valley on Wednesday as a new storm takes shape in the Gulf of Mexico.
This storm will bypass Texas, but will spread its rain across the South and to the Tennessee and Ohio valleys later in the week as thunderstorms rumble along the Gulf Coast.
A new round of disruptions to travel and outdoor plans will accompany the storm. The threat for flooding downpours will have to be monitored, as will the prospect of flooding rain, ice and snow in the Northeast late Friday through this weekend.
Despite the disadvantages of the rounds of rain this week, the wet weather will be welcome by the parts of Texas, Arkansas and central Gulf Coast that are currently experiencing a drought.
Last Thursday's update from the U.S. Drought Monitor reported that the zone from east of Lake Charles, Louisiana, to New Orleans to Pensacola, Florida, was suffering from a moderate drought.
While the heaviest rain earlier this week will bypass the communities of Texas that are experiencing the worst drought conditions, the rain will prove beneficial in the corridor from San Antonio to Victoria.