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Gusty, drenching storms to push through south-central US into early next week

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Following a week of icy winter weather and springtime rain alike, the south-central United States will continue to deal with a disruptive weather pattern into the third week of January.

A storm expected to move over Southern California early this weekend will intensify as it pushes eastward into the central U.S.

The South Central states can expect almost continuously rainy weather leading up to the arrival of this system.

However, this particular storm will be a change of pace for the region. As a cold front forms and barrels through Texas and Oklahoma on Sunday, potentially strong afternoon and evening thunderstorms are expected to form.

“To the south of the storm’s track, a large area of rain and potentially severe thunderstorms will erupt on Sunday afternoon in western Texas and race eastward during the overnight hours,” said AccuWeather Meteorologist Kyle Elliott.

Winds will howl out of the south into Texas ahead of the system, allowing plenty of moisture and warmth to surge northward into southern and central Texas ahead of these storms.

These factors will combine to produce heavy downpours and damaging winds within any thunderstorms.

“Models are showing some decent instability in central and south Texas, which may be enough to cause some severe weather…and perhaps an isolated tornado,” said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Frank Strait.

Residents throughout Texas, Oklahoma and southeastern Kansas should keep an eye on the sky and on local weather alerts as the weekend comes to a close.

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“Cities such as Midland, Dallas, Fort Worth, and San Antonio, Texas, may be targeted by damaging winds and locally heavy downpours on Sunday and Sunday night,” said Elliott.

Flight delays and snarled traffic could ensue as storms pass through these cities, resulting in decreased visibility and pooling water on roadways.

“Areas hit by the most destructive storms may experience both property and roof damage, as well as flooding concerns,” said Elliott.

North of this area, freezing rain will continue to coat roads and power lines in the central Plains.

“In locations hit by the worst of the freezing rain, as much as 1.5 inches of ice will down trees and power lines and make traveling a nightmare, if not utterly impossible,” said Elliott.

As the cold front barrels eastward, the threat of damaging storms will move with it into eastern Texas and hone in on the Mississippi Valley.

“This system is certainly a rain and wind maker, with potentially a severe thunderstorm or two as this storm moves into some pretty warm air,” said Strait.

While the Dallas and Houston areas could again be subject to disruptive storms on Monday, the stronger afternoon systems are expected to spark to the east of these major hubs.

“Wind gusts to 60 mph cannot be ruled out as this line of storms barrels eastward overnight Sunday and into Monday,” said Elliott.

The Texarkana region, Little Rock, Arkansas, and Springfield, Missouri, are within the swath where conditions will be right for heavy storms to form on Monday afternoon.

While these storms may not be immediately followed by sunny skies, a stretch of dry weather can be anticipated sometime during the middle of next week.