A dangerous and potentially life-threatening flooding situation will unfold in and around the lower Mississippi Valley during the second week of March.
The same storm that will pound California with more rain and snow on Monday will move into and stall over the south-central United States on Tuesday.
The storm's proximity to the moist and humid air over the Gulf of Mexico will direct a fire hose of moisture into the South Central states for consecutive days.
"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 the lower Mississippi and Ohio valleys," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said.
A plume of moisture will focus on the region spanning Tuesday into Friday, dumping a month's worth of rain in a matter of days in some cities.
"Waves of heavy rain will deluge eastern Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas and southern Missouri from Tuesday to as late as Friday," AccuWeather Meteorologist Courtney Spamer stated. "By late in the week, the heavy rain will cross the Mississippi River, reaching Mississippi to southern Indiana."
Severe thunderstorms could spark in some of the same locations that are under the flood risk.
Cities that should remain on alert for major flooding this week include Houston and Tyler, Texas; Baton Rouge, Shreveport and New Orleans, Louisiana; Little Rock, Arkansas; and Memphis, Tennessee.
Communities surrounding these cities should not let their guard down.
Flash flooding is also possible under heavier downpours that set up across central Texas and the mid-Mississippi and lower Ohio valleys.
"This system will lead to widespread rain amounts of 6-12 inches from eastern Texas to Louisiana and northward to Arkansas," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Matt Rinde explained. "Three to 6 inches of rain will expand as far north as southern Illinois [later this week]."
Those living in low-lying and flood-prone areas should make preparations now in case evacuations are mandated later this week. Having an emergency preparedness kit on hand can save valuable time in the event of an evacuation.
The torrential downpours could cause streams and rivers to rapidly rise and overflow their banks, making it vital for residents to heed local warnings.
Motorists should prepare for road closures and are reminded to never drive through a flooded roadway. Airline passengers could face lengthy delays at local airports.
Any flooding that occurs on Tuesday or Wednesday will worsen as rounds of rain could slowly train over the same areas as the week progresses.
At late week, a system moving into the West Coast will help push the rain away from the central U.S.
Rain will move into the Northeast and Southeast this weekend, where its duration and intensity is expected to be far less severe.