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Tropical rainfall to funnel into Texas, Mexico threatening flooding

By Courtney Travis, Accuweather.com

Meteorologists warn that a tropical system will continue to bring flooding rainfall through southern Texas and northern Mexico in the coming days before impacting yet another portion of the United States midweek.

AccuWeather forecasters began monitoring a budding tropical rainstorm since the middle of last week. Even without becoming an organized tropical system, it began to bring heavy, tropical rainfall to the southern U.S.

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The National Hurricance Center says there is 0% chance of cyclone formation in the next 48 hours.

On Saturday, pockets of convection existed across the northwest Gulf of Mexico and Texas coast, although the storm's appearance was rather disorganized. On Sunday morning, more persistent rounds of rainfall began to push into the southern Texas coast.

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As of midday on Sunday, Port Aransas, Texas, located right on the Gulf Coast, reported just over 4 inches of rainfall. The Corpus Christi area reported 3 inches of rain during that time.

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The corridor of heaviest rain is likely to follow along the storm's path over the next several days.

A wide swath of heavy rain is likely to follow the path of the storm, totaling as much as 4-8 inches from southern Texas into northern Mexico.

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Heavy rainfall is expected to be the main impact from the tropical system, threatening flooding along its westward path. This will be especially true in the higher terrain in northern Mexico, which is likely to trap a lot of the tropical moisture and an AccuWeather Local StormMax&trade of 10 inches of rain is possible. In this area, downpours could be heavy enough to wash away roads and to cause mudslides.

Due to the isolated threat for flooding, this tropical rainstorm is rated as less than one on the AccuWeather RealImpact&trade Scale for Hurricanes.

AccuWeather meteorologists warn that the rainstorm will still have the potential to bring a few stronger wind gusts and even an isolated tornado.

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While the rainfall could be heavy enough across portions of Mexico and southern Texas to lead to flooding, the rainfall, in the long run, could be beneficial.

An astounding 88% of the state of Texas is in severe drought, and more than two-thirds of the state is in extreme drought, according to the United States Drought Monitor.

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Since June 1, rainfall over South Texas ranges from 10-20% of normal near the coast to barely a few percentage points farther Inland prior to the tropical rainstorm. Laredo, Texas, has received only 0.61 of an inch of rain since the start of June, compared to a normal amount near 4 inches, and all of that fell in August.

"The tropical rainstorm is expected to eventually become a non-trackable feature across northern Mexico later on Tuesday," said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Adam Douty.

A lot of the moisture from the tropical rainstorm is expected to be lost in the mountains of northern Mexico as the storm dissipates however, just enough could sneak into the southwestern U.S. by way of the North America Monsoon.

The annual weather pattern has brought rounds of downpours into portions of New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Utah and Colorado for weeks, helping to alleviate the drought conditions in the region as well as causing episodes of flooding.

Las Vegas, in the middle of the city's wettest monsoon season in 10 years, was deluged with rainfall on Thursday, turning the famous strip into a river.

A bit of lingering moisture from the tropical rainstorm could get picked up by the monsoon pattern midweek, helping to enhance the rainfall across the southwestern U.S., particularly along the Arizona-New Mexico border.

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The extra surge of moisture could lead to heavier downpours with thunderstorms that develop in this area during the afternoon, and perhaps lead to an increased risk for flooding Wednesday and Thursday.

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