Already Soaked Central U.S. Faces More Severe Thunderstorms

By Brian K. Sullivan | April 28, 2016

More severe thunderstorms, tornadoes and heavy rain are expected this weekend.

Through the next few days, four to 8.5 inches (10 to 22 centimeters) of rain could fall from the Great Plains to the Gulf of Mexico, with most of that coming in eastern Texas, and parts of Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma, according to the U.S. Weather Prediction Center.

“There is a lot of rain and a lot of severe weather,” said David Roth, a forecaster at the center in College Park, Maryland. “There will be a repetition of this pattern for the next week or so.”

To make matters worse, there is a 10 percent chance of tornadoes through parts of Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma, areas with a total population of 4 million people, according to the U.S. Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma.

And at least two more systems are stacked up behind Tuesday’s storm front.

“The one this weekend is expected to be more concerning than today and tomorrow,” Roth said.

Devastating floods last week caused by spring rains swept across Houston killing at least seven, according to CNN. More than 100,000 people lost power, the city’s light rail network was shut down and President Barack Obama declared a major disaster for parts of the state freeing up funds to help rebuild.

Record Rain

Houston set a daily record of 9.92 inches of rain on April 18. While Tuesday’s system is tracking a bit farther north, it is following the same basic pattern that caused the flooding earlier this month, Roth said.

“Each time there has been a flash flood episode it has been this pattern,” Roth said.

While the storms aren’t unusual for this time of year, the effects have been exacerbated for some areas because their paths haven’t changed much leading to repeated hits in the same places.

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