Have you had a chance to dry out from Rainpocalypse 2015? I hope so! We’re getting ready to see significant amounts of rain across the central U.S. in a short amount of time, and flash flood watches are in place in anticipation of this environmental ablution as we trudge through the first full week of July.
Oklahoma looks to be on track to see the heaviest rain, with a bullseye of six or more inches possible along and east of Interstate 44, according to the Weather Prediction Center. This would be unwelcome news for the Oklahoma City and Tulsa metro areas, the former of which saw historic flooding just a few months ago.
Look for the rain to start from west to east beginning today and lasting through early Thursday morning—the above precipitation map shows the WPC’s precipitation forecast between 7:00 AM CDT today and 7:00 AM CDT on Thursday.
The heavy rain will come from a confluence of factors, the most obvious of which is a ridge of high pressure setting up shop over the southeastern U.S. Areas along the edge of a ridge tend to see heavy rain and severe thunderstorms, and this is no exception—the sharp cutoff on the map above gives you a clue as to where the ridge ends. A trough in the jet stream over the northern Plains will aid in the development of a series of relatively weak surface lows, which will help trigger showers and thunderstorms along their paths.
Fortunately, the ground has had a chance to dry out during the lull between Rainpocalypses (Rainpocalypsii?), but so much rain falling in such a short amount of time will overwhelm the abilities of both the environment and infrastructure, leading to the likelihood of flash flooding.
Flash flood watches are in effect for just about everyone expecting heavy rain, lasting through Wednesday night in most cases. Most flash flood deaths occur as a result of people driving through flooded roadways, an action that stems from ignorance or hubris (or both). Even a little bit of water can carry away people and vehicles, so never assume you can make it.
Keep an eye on the weather just in case you need to head to higher ground or find a different route to get where you need to go. Everyone should be used to this by now. You’ll see the sun again someday.
[Image: AP | Maps: author]