Fox News Weather Center

Excessive rainfall to trigger flooding in central US next week as severe storms barrel over region

The same storm set to drench California this weekend will produce flooding rain, thunderstorms and the risk of severe weather over the central United States, beginning early next week.

Those with travel plans or outdoor activities in the South Central states will want to monitor the weather conditions next week. Severe weather could impact airline operations at major hubs, while flooding may force some roads to close.

Severe weather to threaten southern, central Plains states Sunday to Tuesday

Following a major warmup with record-challenging temperatures over the Plains this weekend, severe thunderstorms are likely to ignite over western Texas, the Oklahoma Panhandle and near the Colorado/Kansas border during Sunday afternoon.

"During Monday, the risk of severe thunderstorms will extend near and east of Route 83 corridor in west-central Texas to Interstate 35 in Oklahoma and Kansas," according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Becky Elliott.

Storms could extend as far to the northeast as Wichita, Kansas, and Omaha, Nebraska, by Monday evening.

"Following the potential for severe weather in Dallas and Oklahoma City from late in the day Monday and Monday night, the risk of severe thunderstorms may expand into more of southern and eastern Texas by Tuesday," Elliott said.

The storms will likely bring the risk of large hail, damaging wind gusts and a few tornadoes from late Sunday to Tuesday.

Flooding to become main threat over lower Mississippi Valley next week

Depending on the speed and track of the storm as it spins from northern Mexico toward Texas, the risk of both flooding rainfall and severe thunderstorms will increase in coverage over the South Central states during Monday to Friday.

The storm next week is likely to move very slowly, while a tremendous flow of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico develops over the Mississippi Valley. Multiple days of rain will result.

The slow movement of the storm and moisture will enhance the risk of excessive rainfall from portions of the southern and central Plains to parts of the lower Mississippi and Ohio valleys.

"Some areas in the South Central states could receive two times their average rainfall for March during this storm alone," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist John Gresiak said.

In Memphis, Tennessee, for example, the average rainfall for March is around 5 inches. Rainfall next week has the potential to approach a foot in part of the lower Mississippi Valley.

"Flash and urban flooding are likely to develop, along with small stream flooding and rises on some of the major rivers," Gresiak said.

Severe weather may expand eastward later next week

The potential for severe thunderstorms and tornadoes in the vicinity of the lower Mississippi Valley may be limited at first, due to extensive cloud cover and excessive moisture.

However, as some dry air attempts to move in toward the middle of the week, enough sun could break through to warm the air and grow the type of thunderstorms necessary to produce strong wind gusts and perhaps tornadoes farther east over the Mississippi Valley.

Multiple days of severe thunderstorms could occur, especially from Texas to parts of the central Plains, where some sunshine can break through at times.