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Waves of rain to threaten multi-day flooding event in central US

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A slow-moving storm emerging from the Rockies will set the stage for a multi-day flooding event across the Plains this weekend and into next week.

An atmospheric traffic jam will cause this storm to sit and spin over the Four Corners region for several days, allowing a continuous stream of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico to pour into the central United States.

"The air flow high up in the atmosphere will become blocked across the eastern United States," AccuWeather Meteorologist Michael Doll said.

"The result is that this storm will get only as far east as the Rockies and High Plains and remain there over the weekend and into early next week," Doll said.

Rain will begin to ramp up from Texas to Nebraska late Friday night.

"Waves of heavy rain will then traverse these same areas throughout the weekend," Doll said.

Anyone with travel plans may face lengthy delays on the road and in the air.

Flooding downpours will create hazardous travel for drivers on interstates 20, 35, 40, 44, 70 and 80, as visibilities may rapidly deteriorate and the risk of hydroplaning will increase.

Doll warned that streams could quickly rise out of their banks, causing roads to flood.

Motorists are reminded to turn around and find an alternate route when a flooded roadway is encountered. Six inches of water is enough to stall most vehicles, quickly putting both driver and passengers in a dangerous and potentially life-threatening situation.

The rain could delay or postpone any outdoor sporting events.

Strong to severe thunderstorms may be embedded in some of the flooding downpours, adding an additional threat to the region.

The flood threat is forecast to shift into the lower Mississippi Valley early next week, an area that has been ravaged by flooding in recent months.

Only a small amount of rain in a short timespan could trigger flash flooding due to the saturated ground.

Despite its drawbacks, the rain will be beneficial to part of the central United States, especially heading into the growing season.

"Over the last 60 days, precipitation amounts have been 50 percent or less of normal across large portions of Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma," Doll said.

The rain will also diminish the elevated fire danger that will develop across the southern High Plains late this week.