Much needed rain could damper a few outdoor plans - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Much needed rain could damper a few outdoor plans

By Grant Dade - bio | email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Over the past few weeks much of East Texas has fallen further behind in average rainfall with much of the area now 6 to 8 inches below normal.  This rainfall deficit has dried out the soil from fall and winter rains to produce dry vegetation.  This also has been allowing for our temperatures to be well above normal the past few days with highs reaching the lower to middle 90s across East Texas.

Well all this is about to change this weekend.  Now we are not expecting to knock out the rainfall deficit but in a few areas, a major dent in the deficit will occur.  This morning we are tracking a cold front out to our west.  Strong thunderstorms producing very heavy rain and hail are developing to our west late this morning and will be heading towards our area later today. 

Now for most of East Texas today looks dry.  We will see a few isolated storms develop during the peak daytime heating hours, especially over our western counties.  The cold front will move into and stall out across our area during the day Friday.  As this happens, showers and storms will develop.  The heaviest concentration of rain will be north of I-20 where the greatest amount of moisture and lift will be available.  But areas across our southern counties could even see a few thunderstorms develop Friday afternoon thanks to greater daytime heating and instability.

Overall it looks as though areas north of I-20 could receive 1 to 2 inches of rain this weekend with greatest amounts near the Sulphur Springs and Mt. Pleasant areas.  As the front continues to sag south, a greater chance of thunderstorms will occur across the Nacogdoches Lufkin and Hemphill areas on Saturday producing up to or slightly over 1 inch of rain.  So we will not make up our rainfall deficit this weekend but take a big step towards getting closer to normal.

As for the threat of severe weather with this system, the overall threat looks fairly weak.  There is a slight chance one or two storms could become marginally severe producing hail and gusty winds but the atmosphere right now appears it will not be conducive for severe storm development.  Stay tuned to your East Texas News Leader for the latest.

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