Texas, Louisiana to face renewed threat of heavy thunderstorms

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Less than a week after tornadoes tore through parts of Houston and New Orleans, a new threat of flooding and locally severe thunderstorms will return on Sunday and into the new week.

As the deadly California storm swings eastward and taps into moisture from the Gulf of Mexico, showers and thunderstorms will erupt across central Texas and Oklahoma as the weekend comes to a close.

While there can be a spotty shower or thunderstorm beforehand, the majority of the strongest thunderstorms will wait until closer to sunset before erupting.

The thunderstorms will then slowly press eastward and evolve into more of a widespread band of heavy rain and embedded thunderstorms across eastern Texas, eastern Oklahoma, western Arkansas and Louisiana on Sunday night through Monday.

Texas Feb 18

“Heavy rain will likely be the primary threat with local flash flooding a concern,” AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions Storm Warning Meteorologist Alex Avalos said. “But a few damaging wind gusts will occur to end the weekend.”

Hail can also pound some communities later on Sunday into Sunday night, and it is not out of the question for a very isolated and brief tornado or two to be spawned.

Despite the isolated nature of the risk, Avalos cautioned that it only takes one tornado to endanger lives and property.

The heavy thunderstorms will target San Antonio and Dallas to close out the weekend before threatening to cause a nightmare for the Monday morning commute in Houston.

The potentially flooding downpours will also slowly advance to Shreveport, Lake Charles and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Monday before reaching New Orleans at night.

With Monday being a federal holiday, some residents will be able to stay home from work and school and not have to worry about venturing out into the adverse weather.

The severe weather danger in terms of hail and damaging winds will wane for Monday, but an isolated severe thunderstorm or tornado is still possible.

Avalos is not even ruling out an isolated tornado spinning up farther north around Iowa on Monday.

Early week Feb 18

A total of 1-3 inches of rain may fall from eastern Texas and southeastern Oklahoma to Louisiana. There can be locally higher amounts where there are repeated rounds of downpours and thunderstorms.

The hardest-hit areas may be subject to road closures and flight delays and cancellations. Streams could overflow their banks and inundate neighboring land and homes.

Even where flooding does not ensue, the downpours will create slower travel and hazards for motorists by reducing visibility and heightening the risk of vehicles hydroplaning when traveling at highway speeds.

This includes on stretches of interstates 10, 20, 30, 45 and 49.

Dry and warmer weather will quickly follow the storm, which is expected to dive southward and could deliver welcome rainfall to Florida at midweek.

Any severe weather that ignites with the next storm to emerge from the West later next week would likely threaten more of the central Plains and Midwest than areas closer to the Gulf Coast.