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Dangerous, life-threatening “high risk” flood threat targets East Texas, Louisiana

HOUSTON – A dangerous and potentially life-threatening flooding event is expected Thursday in East Texas and Louisiana, a region already heavily saturated by unrelenting heavy rain in recent weeks.

Forecasters at NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center (WPC) have placed the region at a rare level of 4 out of 4.high risk“Flood risk described as a “nightmare scenario”.

This area is experiencing flooding of numerous rivers, with up to 25 inches of rain falling in the last 30 days. Some rivers have swelled to levels not seen since Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Any additional rain could lead to severe flooding.

“Flood warnings extend into Mississippi,” said FOX weather meteorologist Britta Merwin. “A lot of this will happen tonight when people are sleeping. So that’s the problem here. Aside from the significant risk of flooding, it will continue after sunset and that is very frightening.”

Further heavy showers and even strong to severe thunderstorms are expected across the region on Thursday. This moisture will be impressive, the FOX Forecast Center said. Rainfall water, which measures the amount of moisture in the atmosphere, rises to over 2.25 inches, which is about as high as it gets in this region this time of year.

The combination of this moisture, the slow movement of the storms and the saturated ground is expected to result in widespread and potentially significant flooding that will continue overnight into early Friday.

There is currently a level 4 out of 4 “high risk” flood threat. This level of risk accounts for 39% of flood-related deaths and 83% of flood-related damages in the continental United States

WHY RARE “high risk” flooding days need to be taken seriously

Of particular concern is the Piney Woods area of ​​East Texas, where over 20 inches of rain has fallen in the last two weeks alone. Severe weather is possible there on Thursday, with potential rainfall amounts of up to 3 inches per hour.

“Dangerous and life-threatening flash flooding is likely in the Piney Woods high-risk area,” the WPC said in its strong warning Thursday.

Numerous rivers remain in flood stage, with record or near-record flooding occurring along the Lower Trinity River. This additional rainfall is expected to extend the length of the flood phase of these rivers. In rivers whose levels have already fallen, the water level may rise again to flood level.

The flood threat will shift eastward Friday and early Saturday, with the Level 3 out of 4 flood risk concentrated in southeast Mississippi and central and southwest Alabama. The region will begin to dry out this weekend.

Overall, an additional 2 inches or more of rain will fall across a wide area from Texas to the Carolinas, with the heaviest rain expected from East Texas to central Alabama. More than 5 inches of rain is certainly possible in these areas.

36 million are at risk from strong winds, hail and tornadoes

Severe thunderstorms are expected to continue sweeping across the southern United States through the end of the week. While these storms are not expected to reach the intensity of recent weeks, there is still a risk of them producing damaging winds and hail.

According to the FOX Forecast Center, numerous thunderstorms are expected across Texas on Thursday, many of which will be strong to severe, before moving into Louisiana overnight.

The morning will feature increasing storms across North Texas. In addition to torrential rain, these storms can produce quarter-sized or larger hail and wind gusts of more than 60 miles per hour.

As the day progresses, the threat of damaging winds and embedded tornadoes will increase throughout the afternoon. On Thursday evening, the group of storms will move across East Texas and into Louisiana, with the potential for damaging winds and one or two tornadoes remaining.

Additional storms are also expected to develop across West Texas, potentially producing the largest hail of the day – perhaps up to the size of a baseball – as they move across the Texas Hill Country.

By Friday, the severe weather threat will shift to the lower Mississippi Valley and much of the central Gulf Coast, bringing the risk of strong wind gusts, hail and some tornadoes.

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