Flood Watches Are Posted

Friday, May 22nd 2015, 4:08 am
By: Alan Crone

Rain and thunderstorm activity will be likely beginning today for some locations and expanding over the region at times this weekend.   While the threat for a few severe storms will remain this weekend into early next week, the main concern will be the flooding and flash flooding potential across the region due to recent heavy rainfall.   A flash flood watch is posted for a number of counties across central and eastern OK beginning this morning and continuing through the Memorial Day Holiday.   Model output suggests anywhere from 3 to 6 inches of rainfall will be possible across eastern OK this weekend into early next week.   Combined with rainfall received during the past 7 to 9 days, the flooding potential will remain high in some locations this weekend, especially those areas that have recently experienced high water.  

The first batch is expanding this morning across part of the high plains of Texas and is moving into western OK.  Little to no instability is present across northern OK today.  This means mostly rain with very little thunder across northern OK.  Some locations to the south of I-40 and east of highway 69 could miss out on this first wave.   As the system moves eastward into our area by midday, it will still encounter some dry air across far eastern OK.   This may initially limit the eastern expansion.  Regardless, we're keeping a high likelihood of showers in the area today from 10am to 6pm or so.  We'll all have plenty of opportunity this weekend for much more rain and thunderstorm activity.

Data continue to support several disturbances rotating around a western trough and impacting part of the central and southern plains with various rounds of thunderstorms this weekend.   South winds will increase low level moisture across the state and storms will become efficient rainfall producers this weekend with some additional 3 to 6 inches of rainfall a possibility.   Temperatures will remain mild with lows in the 60s and highs in the 70s this weekend and into the lower 80s early next week.   We may get a break in some, but not all locations early next week.   But additional storms will remain in the forecast for the latter half of next week. 

The timing of the weekend storm chances will remain fluid.   But data this morning suggest higher chances Saturday night into Sunday morning, and then Sunday afternoon and evening with higher chances.   We know this is a big and busy holiday weekend with a number of folks attempting to make plans at the Lake.   You are encouraged to check with local lake officials regarding camp site closures.   A number of camp sites across the eastern third of the state have been inundated with recent rainfall and some may remain closed.   Rainfall will cause creeks, streams, and rivers to quickly respond with higher water levels that could last into early next week.   Make sure your camp is on high ground.   

If you have recently experienced high water or some flooding issues this past week in southeastern or east central OK please remain aware of your weather surroundings this weekend and be prepared to seek higher ground if flooding occurs in your area.   The rain may not increase in your area until sometime Saturday, but these areas have been hit very hard with recent flooding.   Soils are saturated and flooding will quickly occur with heavy rainfall and prolonged rainfall in these areas.   Unfortunately, heavy and occasionally prolonged rainfall is forecast for part of southeastern and east-central OK from part of Saturday to Sunday, and possibly into early next week. 

Thank you for reading the Friday Morning weather discussion and blog.

Stay safe this weekend.

Alan Crone