Shaun Tanner has been a meteorologist at Weather Underground since 2004.
By: Shaun Tanner , 6:46 AM GMT on March 20, 2012
As Weather Underground meteorologists watched and reported on the progress of a cold front that moved through Texas and Oklahoma on Monday, we were asked several times via our twitter account by people in Dallas, "where is this heavy rain and thunderstorms we were promised?" True, the cold front moved agonizingly slow across the Lone State State and its neighbor to the north, but it eventually did reach the Dallas/Fort Worth area with extremely heavy rain and severe thunderstorms. Over 2 inches of rain fell in Dallas Love Air Field. But, this was just the tip of the iceberg. The airport at Oklahoma City reported nearly 3 inches of rain, while areas to the east, including Tulsa, reported several more inches of rain. Thus, while there were tornadoes in parts of Texas, including a strong tornado that ripped through Devine and damaged some 50 houses, the most damaging part of the storm from Monday was the flooding it caused. Flash Flood Watches and Flood Watches and Warnings were posted from southern Texas through Missouri because of this heavy rain. When rain this heavy falls on any sort of ground, the ground simply cannot absorb it fast enough. Thus, it runs right off as groundwater that floods streets very easily.
The bad news is this storm was not a one-day event. As we have stated for several days, this storm will be a marathon event as it moves very slowly eastward. On Tuesday, expect the heaviest rain and strongest thunderstorms to move into Louisiana, Arkansas, and Missouri. Amazingly, the HPC forecast for Tuesday below is showing a bull's eye of rain of greater than 6 inches along the border of Louisiana and Arkansas. But, rain up to 3 inches are expected as far north as southern Missouri.
In addition, the Storm Prediction Center has issued a slight chance for severe weather for the Arkansas, Louisiana, eastern Texas area on Tuesday. The main worry for this area is the potential for very strong, possibly severe thunderstorms in the area. Strong tornadoes cannot be ruled out, but there is a decent chance that any tornadoes that do form will be mild. The severe thunderstorms that are expected will be accompanied by large hail that by themselves can cause great damage to the area.
With regard to temperature, the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest will finally see a bit of a cooldown, but record setting temperatures are still possible, as noted in the maximum forecast temperatures below. Seasonally warm temperatures will also continue along the eastern seaboard.
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