Storm to drench Gulf Coast to Midwest and southern Appalachians Alex Sosnowski•A storm is forecast to form and deliver drenching rain and localized flooding from a large part of the South to the Tennessee and Ohio valleys.A general 1-3 inches of rain is forecast to fall from central and coastal Texas and Louisiana late this week, northeastward to Ohio and West Virginia this weekend.
However, patches of 3- to 5-inch rainfall can occur along the Texas coast and in part of the Tennessee Valley from the storm. Within these locations, an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 6 inches can occur with urban and poor-drainage area flooding.
The storm is forecast to take a track west of the Appalachians in the Southern states. This means that while some rain will fall over northeastern Gulf and southern Atlantic coastal areas, the bulk of the rain will fall west of the mountains.
Major urban areas likely to be drenched by the storm with the risk of street flooding include Houston, Beaumont and Lufkin, Texas; Lake Charles, Baton Rouge and Shreveport, Louisiana; Jackson and Tupelo, Mississippi; Huntsville, Alabama; Memphis and Nashville, Tennessee; Jonesboro, Arkansas; and Lexington and London; Kentucky.
„The large rainstorm and areas of low clouds and fog that accompany it can slow travel on the highways and lead to airline delays,” according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Bob Smerbeck.
„Some outdoor plans, such as Friday night and Saturday football games, could be saturated,” Smerbeck said.
The storm should move out of eastern Texas by Friday evening, and it is not likely to spread into the Ohio Valley until late Friday night and Saturday.
Southeastern Conference college football games in Knoxville, Tennessee; Lexington, Kentucky; and Tuscaloosa, Alabama; are likely to be wet at least for part of the time on Saturday.
Rainy conditions are in store for the Big Ten matchup between Wisconsin and Ohio State at Columbus, Ohio, on Saturday. Rain should hold off for the Penn State and Michigan Stage game in East Lansing, Michigan, during Saturday afternoon.
As a severe weather outbreak unfolded across the south-central United States on Sunday night, the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles played a critical football game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
At the same time the game was playing out on the field, a large and destructive EF3 tornado was wreaking havoc across the North Dallas area, roughly 20 to 30 miles away. The game, which was being broadcast on the local NBC affiliate, KXAS-TV, was not immediately interrupted to broadcast a severe weather warning, much to the dismay of some local viewers.
On Monday, the station issued an apology to the community in which its decision-makers recognized that they had made a mistake by not interrupting the game sooner to deliver the crucial weather information.
„We made a mistake by not immediately interrupting the football game with a tornado warning,” the station said in a Monday evening statement. „When it comes to dealing with severe weather, we know that seconds matter. We should have broken into football programming sooner. We apologize and want you to know that we’re doing everything in our power to make sure this does not happen again.”
KXAS said it had been streaming live weather coverage on its website while also alerting the football audience to the live stream throughout the game on the network. The network delayed breaking into the football game, which drew the second-highest TV ratings for a „Sunday Night Football” broadcast this season, for six minutes.
„We look forward to regaining the trust of anyone we may have disappointed,” the station said.
The AccuWeather mobile app can fill gaps in the alerting system as it delivers official National Weather Service warnings automatically to the public at no cost, something that is central to the company’s core mission of saving lives and protecting property, Christopher Patti, who is a meteorologist and Chief Technology Officer at AccuWeather, pointed out.
„Our processing systems allow for critical near-instant delivery of severe weather notifications,” Patti said, „which is important when seconds count in getting life-saving alerts to our users so they can take immediate action.”
The largest of the tornados to hit the Dallas area, with wind estimates as high as 140 mph, inflicted damage to homes, businesses and schools, and cut power to more than 150,000 residents. Three injuries were reported, but miraculously, no one was killed.