HOUSTON – Severe weather is expected to return to Texas on Thursday as a soggy setup brings plenty of rain to the South and Southeast into the weekend, providing beneficial moisture and drought relief from the Gulf Coast states to Florida.
Starting Thursday, an area of high pressure will shift east as clockwise winds around the high allow a southerly flow to send moisture from the Gulf of Mexico to Texas and the Gulf Coast states.
As the rain event begins in the Lone Star State, it will include a risk for severe thunderstorms, including tornadoes, damaging winds and large hail. This slow-moving storm system will continue bringing rain from Louisiana to the Carolinas through the weekend.
Severe weather threat for Texas, Gulf Coast states
There are threats of severe weather and flash flooding on Thursday and Friday.
The severe weather threat is expected to develop during the late-morning hours on Thursday and continue into the evening, with the highest threat of severe storms focused over southeastern Texas, including parts of the Houston metro area.
Forecasters with NOAA's Storm Prediction Center (SPC) have issued a Level 3 out of 5 risk for severe thunderstorms on Thursday over a small portion of southeastern Texas, including College Station, The Woodlands, Bryan, Conroe and Spring.
The highest risk will be from late Thursday morning through mid-afternoon across southeastern Texas, according to the SPC, with severe storms and a few tornadoes possible.
There is a Level 2 out of 5 risk for severe weather on Thursday in other parts of southeastern Texas, including Houston, and eastward into southwestern Louisiana, including Lake Charles.
Scattered thunderstorms will shift the severe weather threat into the central Gulf Coast states on Friday, where there is a Level 1 out of 5 risk for severe thunderstorms in New Orleans and Baton Rouge in Louisiana and Birmingham, Montgomery and Mobile in Alabama.
Storms could also produce flash flooding
Rain needed to lift drought conditions
The South has some of the driest cities in the U.S. right now, including Chattanooga in Tennessee, Jackson in Mississippi and Birmingham in Alabama. In Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, rain totals have been more than 7 inches below average since Sept. 1.
By Friday, the system will stall over the Gulf Coast, setting Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama up for back-to-back rainy days.
Multiple inches of rain is likely from southeastern Texas to the Florida Panhandle as the wet weather sticks around through Sunday.
This wet pattern will likely continue next week as the FOX Forecast Center is tracking more moisture surging into the South.