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Rain to provide drought relief to south-central US early this week

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Drought-stricken areas of the south-central United States will receive some welcome rain early this week.

"The most recent high pressure system that has kept the South Central states dry will slowly shift east into Monday and Tuesday," AccuWeather Meteorologist Jake Sojda said.

This will allow the stormy weather affecting western Texas and New Mexico through Sunday to slide east into the lower Mississippi Valley, he said.

Areas of rain are expected to expand across eastern Texas on Monday and continue eastward to engulf Louisiana by Tuesday.

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, much of eastern Texas and Louisiana are currently under moderate-to-severe drought conditions.

Houston has received only 0.19 of an inch of rain since Oct. 1, compared to the average expected rainfall of 6.46 inches between Oct. 1 and Nov. 5.

Rain will become more widespread across the Houston area through Tuesday, which will provide some much-needed drought relief.

The drought is more severe east of the Mississippi River. Jackson, Mississippi, is facing near-extreme conditions.

"If rain reaches Jackson, Mississippi, on Tuesday or Tuesday night, it would the first rainfall in over two weeks," AccuWeather Meteorologist Renee Duff said.

Where the ground is particularly dry, increased runoff will heighten the threat of localized flooding in low-lying and poor-drainage areas.

Water ponding on area interstates and highways will heighten potential for vehicles to hydroplane.

The amount of moisture available in the atmosphere will determine how far east the rain extends on Tuesday night and Wednesday.

Another shot of dry air will move south through the region, which would squash the showers and storms before they are able to make it into parts of northern Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia, Sojda said.

This will limit any beneficial rain to the immediate Gulf Coast, he said.

The rain may fizzle before reaching Pensacola, Florida, where the last measurable rainfall was recorded on Sept. 27. From Sept. 27 to early November, the city usually receives over 6.5 inches.

By Thursday morning, mainly dry conditions will dominate the region's weather once again.

Story written by AccuWeather Meteorologist Faith Eherts