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Downpours to drench Houston, San Antonio early this week

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Downpours will spread from the lower Mississippi Valley to eastern and central Texas early this week, delivering needed rain but raising the concern for flash flooding.

A westward-tracking storm system will combine with moisture from the Gulf of Mexico to deliver downpours in the south-central United States.

After ending the weekend over the lower Mississippi Valley, the downpours will focus on eastern Texas on Monday before spreading to central Texas by Tuesday.

"Places like Lake Charles, Louisiana, and Houston and Waco, Texas, will all be under the threat of these heavy thunderstorms," AccuWeather Meteorologist Brett Rossio said.

Other cities at risk include Shreveport, Louisiana, and Austin, San Antonio and Corpus Christi, Texas.

The slow-movement of the drenching showers and thunderstorms threaten to trigger localized flash flooding.

"The reason these storms will be slow-moving is because of the very weak winds that will be present several thousand feet above the ground," Rossio said.

"This will prevent thunderstorms from moving very quickly and remain over the same locations for long periods of time," he said.

Since the region has had little rain recently, the ground may have a difficult time absorbing heavy rain and further contribute to flash flooding.

Low-lying and poor drainage areas, as well as places along small streams will be most susceptible to any flooding problems.

Even if no flash flooding ensues, commuters should prepare for slower travel. The downpours will create hazards for motorists by reducing visibility and heightening the risk of vehicles hydroplaning when traveling at highway speeds.

Anyone planning to spend time outdoors should seek shelter as soon as thunder is heard to avoid being struck by lightning.

Despite the negative aspects of the downpours, the rain will have longer-term benefits to the region.

Rainfall has become more sparse in Louisiana and Texas this summer after an extremely wet spring.

San Antonio has had barely any rainfall this July, recording only 0.01 of an inch through July 23. A total of 2.74 inches is more common this month.

Since the middle of June, rainfall has been held to 17 percent of normal in Houston.

The wet weather and accompanying clouds early this week will work to hold high temperatures to the upper 80s and lower 90s. That comes after the weekend heat that delivered Houston its first 100-degree day of the year.

The reprieve from high temperatures will not be accompanied by a reduction in humidity. It will remain sticky with AccuWeather RealFeel® temperatures climbing above actual temperatures.

Beyond Tuesday, AccuWeather meteorologists will be monitoring another system tracking westward from Florida to bring additional locally drenching thunderstorms to the western Gulf of Mexico states at midweek.