The National Weather Service has a flash flood watch in effect for the eastern portion of Texas and surrounding areas which will expire by dawn Thursday. The service is warning that up to five inches of rain could fall which will undoubtedly cause flash flooding. It is warning travelers to be prepared to take action in case of flash flooding and not to drive into water standing on roadways as it can sweep vehicles away.
There is a powerful storm system moving into the US from Mexico that’s triggering the wild weather. In addition to heavy rains, there could be lightening, wind gusts up to 60 miles per hour and an isolated tornado or two. There have already been reports of hail falling in the San Antonio area as the system moves up from the south. This type of storm is unusual for January as this sort of weather is more typical during early spring.
The worst weather may be in the hill country of Texas northeast to Dallas and southward toward Houston. This portion of the state could see very violent weather and heavy non-stop rain that could fall for 24 hours straight through Wednesday night and into Thursday. Some local forecasters are calling the approaching system a “monster rain storm” as very heavy downpours of rain are expected. In addition to heavy rains, there could be “supercells” developing within the unstable weather that could result in dangerous lightening strikes, high gusting winds and very heavy rainfall.
People living in the cross-hairs of the storm are being reminded that flash flooding is the number one cause of weather-related deaths in the state of Texas. Just six inches of rain can cause vehicles to become washed away on roadways. Motorists are being encouraged to reduce their speeds during their commute to and from work Wednesday as some roadways could flood very quickly.
Sleet may fall over some parts of Louisiana Wednesday which will result in roadways being very treacherous, according to the National Weather Service. There is a flood watch in effect for the Baton Rouge area as widespread rain is being forecast to fall there Wednesday into Thursday. Some portions of southern Louisiana may see four to six inches of rainfall totals before the storm system tracks north, including the Arcadiana and Lafayette areas. That much rain falling in a few hours is sure to cause flash flooding issues in many flood-prone areas.