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Heavy Rain & Storms Return to the Gulf Coast, Southern Plains & Midwest

22 Mar 2021, 7:00 am

Sunny skies and above average temperatures in the Plains and Midwest will give way to a dynamic storm system during the first half of the upcoming week. As high pressure moves into the Northeast, a potent trough will move east of the Rockies and deepen starting Monday, with heavy rain, flooding, severe storms, and snow possible.

The Weather Prediction Center’s Day 3-7 Hazard Outlook highlights the chance for heavy rain (green) and flooding (pink/purple) in the Plains and Midwest, in addition to heavy showers across the Southeast around the mid-week timeframe. On Monday, a few severe storms may be possible, mainly between I-20 and I-40 in Texas and Oklahoma. The main concerns with potential severe weather would be damaging winds as storms organize along and ahead of the front.

Severe thunderstorms will be possible in the Gulf Coast states and Lower Mississippi Valley Tuesday through Thursday.


Showers will move east across the Northern Plains on Sunday but more widespread precipitation will begin Sunday night into Monday across the Central Plains. As snow falls along the Front Range in Colorado, heavy showers will increase along the frontal system between Texas and Wisconsin. By Monday afternoon, energy across the Southern Plains could help spur a few severe storms.

The surface low associated with the upper-level trough will be slow to move on Tuesday as colder air builds behind the system. This will lead to ongoing chances for heavy rain across the Mississippi Valley and Upper Midwest, while Gulf moisture helps to fuel some heavy downpours and thunderstorms in the Southeast Tuesday night. As more cold air is pulled into the system, rain will likely turn to snow on the NW side of the low Tuesday night, mainly across the Dakotas and Minnesota.

Rain totals could approach 2-3 inches across the Plains and Midwest from Kansas through Wisconsin. Meanwhile, snow potential tops 3 inches around Eastern South Dakota into Minnesota, though confidence in the placement and amounts of snow at this point is still on the lower side. Heavy rain will also be possible along the Gulf Coast.

Flooding Threats

The intensity of the storms will lead to localized ponding. The WPC has issued outlook for excessive rain leading to flash flooding on Monday through Wednesday. The widespread amount of rain over saturated soils will create the additional flooding in areas still dealing with high water.

Be sure to check this article for additional updates, it will be refined as additional model data become available. You can always get the latest forecast for the North Central region at 30 past the hour.

About the author

Rob grew up in South Florida, where daily afternoon storms and hurricanes piqued his interest in meteorology early on. That interest was fostered by his teachers and his father, who one time brought him onto the roof of their home to watch a funnel cloud move through the Everglades several miles away. ... Load MoreYears of filmmaking and tv production in high school gradually pushed him toward broadcast meteorology at Florida State University, where he joined and eventually led the student run daily weather show. After graduating with a Bachelors of Science in Meteorology, he began his career at KESQ in Palm Springs, California before heading to KFSN in Fresno and WLOS in Asheville, North Carolina. He has covered a diverse array of extreme weather events, including haboobs and flash flooding in the desert, extreme snow in the Sierra, hurricanes, and Appalachian ice storms. He also enjoys telling stories and reporting about weather issues.