Forecast RGV rainfall, July 1 through 5, 2008 (click to enlarge)

Showers and Thunderstorms May Reduce Drought

The combination of pooled deep atmospheric moisture with a weak and nearly stationary upper level disturbance will maintain the likelihood of numerous showers and a few thunderstorms across the Lower Rio Grande Valley and the adjacent Gulf of Mexico waters into the July 4th holiday weekend. Already on July 1st, widespread rains, some locally heavy, doused portions of the area during the afternoon. Higher storm totals occurred in west central Cameron County, in Starr county near Rio Grande City, and in Kenedy County. In Olmito, 2.61 inches was recorded by a CoCoRaHS observer.

Through noon on July 2nd, light rains continued across the eastern portion of the Lower Rio Grande Valley and into the adjacent Gulf waters. On July 3rd and 4th, showers and storms will continue to wax and wane as deep moisture and the upper level disturbance remain parked across the area. Current data suggest that rainfall across the area will average from 2 to 4 inches by Saturday. However, the potential continues for a few thunderstorms to produce rapid rainfall accumulation up to 2 inches per hour; locations affected by stronger cells could see 6 inches or more. The best chance for large rain totals appears to be across the western Lower Rio Grande Valley out toward the Rio Grande Plains, including Starr, Jim Hogg, and Zapata County, but perhaps edging into Brooks and Hidalgo County as well.

In rural areas, such rains can produce rapid rises of rural streams, creeks, and arroyos along with localized flooding of low water crossings. In populated areas, urban flooding of poorly draining locations is possible should torrential rains occur. Residents of Deep South Texas and the Lower Rio Grande Valley should continue to monitor weather conditions through the holiday weekend, and remain alert to flood watches, warnings, or advisories for their area.

If high water is observed, do not drive your vehicle into areas where the water covers the road. The depth of the water may be too great to allow you to cross safely. If travels take you near known poor drainage locations, consider bringing a life jacket along. Always remember: Don't become a statistic. Turn around, Don't DrownTM!

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