Drought in ArkLaTex could lead to flash flooding with next storm system

Updated: Apr. 3, 2017 at 12:21 PM CDT
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(KSLA) - I'm sure you've already noticed that it's spring and the growing season is upon us. Many of us have already worked those flower beds and have that garden planted. The yard grass is coming back to life and I, for one, am wanting to fertilize my yard. But I try to time it with a nice spring shower to soak in the yard's nutrients. Seems that all we are getting are storms, usually severe with locally heavy rain. This is a trend the last month or so. We call it a "progressive weather pattern" giving us a round of storms roughly every three days followed by several days of sunshine. However, despite the pattern, we are in a slight to moderate drought.

Shreveport, by last Friday, March 31st, should have received 12.95 inches of rain for 2017. It's almost a shocker that we have gotten only 5.59 inches leaving us with 7.35 inches deficit. The National Weather Service has much of Northwest Louisiana in a moderate drought. Compare that to last year on that date when we had a whopping total of almost 18 inches. That's what historic flooding will do to you. Texarkana fares a bit better with 11.32 inches of rain as of last Friday, which is very close to where they should be: 11.44 inches.

We have a little lull in our progressive weather pattern with the next significant chance of rain not until the first of next week. If we have another storm event it could bring some heavy rain of 2-4 inches with isolated higher amounts. Too often, heavy rain will not completely soak in. Some will but much of it may run of causing some flooding of the usual low-lying areas as well as ponding of water in roadways. And, while it will help our rain deficit, it can cause a nightmare for motorists as well as freshly tilled gardens. Always try to plant your garden in a higher part of your property or, if it a smaller garden, use landscape timbers to contain the soil and repel the flowing water. On roadways, never try to drive through flooded areas. Find an alternate route. Motorists should reduce their speed since ponding water can cause hydroplaning. Always make sure your tires are inflated properly and that the tread is good before facing a drive in heavy rain. Common sense goes a long way.

And lastly, but of great importance, be prepared for the threat of strong to severe storms. Have a plan for shelter should the need arises. If you are out and about, be aware of your surroundings and ready to seek shelter. One life saver is a weather radio to alert you of severe weather. Also, a great weather safety tool is our KSLA StormTracker 12 Weather App on your smartphone and portable devices. You'll get all your alerts for watches and warnings as well as frequent updates from your StormTracker 12 Weather Team. You can download our weather app from Google Play or your Apple app store or just click here from your mobile device. And, yes, it is free.

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