Tropical Storm Don to provide drought relief in Texas

July 28, 2011 at 10:40 AM
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CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas, July 28 (UPI) -- Tropical Storm Don is expected to bring beneficial rain to parched southern Texas this weekend, forecasters said. Tropical Weather and Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski said Don could even become a Category 1 hurricane before moving inland near Corpus Christi, as long as dry air across northern and western Texas don't factor into the equation.

Despite Don's projected strength, meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said the storm is just the prescription Texas needs for heat and drought relief, bringing much-needed rain to coastal Texas Friday, then will spread to central Texas Saturday. Up to an inch of rain could fall in central and coastal Texas currently in the grip of an extreme to exceptional drought.

However, Sosnowski said rainfall totals near and just north of Don's expected track inland could exceed 4 inches and trigger flash flooding.

In Chicago, weather officials said two storms Wednesday officially made July the wettest month in the city's history -- and more wet weather expected, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The storms interrupted power to thousands of residents and raised fears of flooding, officials said.

The wave of storms lifted July's rainfall total to 9.75 inches, surpassing the previous record of 9.56 inches set in July 1889.

With more stormy weather on the way, the record could go higher, the National Weather Service said.

"Ten inches isn't out of the question," NWS meteorologist Andrew Krein said.

Strong thunderstorms were expected to move into the Chicago area late Thursday, the NWS said, issuing a flash-flood watch effective through Friday morning.

The weather service said rain could fall at the rate of 1 to 3 inches an hour and could lead to rapid flooding, the weather service said.

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