Memorial Day observers, grillers and boaters in North Texas should keep an eye on the sky — forecasters say isolated storms could pop up, though the greatest chances are for Monday night and Tuesday.
A quick but intense downpour dropped 1.76 inches in less than an hour Sunday afternoon at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, one of several tropical-style storms across the state.
Other parts of Tarrant County weren’t so lucky. The TCU area in Fort Worth had just 0.28 inches of rain, Benbrook recorded 0.22, Colleyville 0.04 and north Arlington 0.16.
Chances for rain remain at 40 percent Sunday evening and drop to 20 percent during the day Monday.
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“Some will see scattered storms on Monday, but the widespread rains will arrive Monday night,” said meteorologist Eric Martello at the National Weather Service office in Fort Worth on Sunday. “These are tropical-type rain storms where they will dump a lot of rain in a very short time.”
Forecasters are calling for a 50 percent chance of rain Monday evening and 60 percent Tuesday with some severe storms.
The soggy weather is coming from a slow-moving storm system crossing Texas and bringing desperately needed relief to some drought-starved regions.
Storms started dumping heavy rains on the South Plains on Friday.
The system is spinning slowly and bringing rain, thunder and hail to West and Central Texas, which is in the fourth year of a drought, National Weather Service meteorologist Jonathan Guseman in Lubbock said Sunday.
Midland received about 2 inches of rain early Saturday, and half of it fell in an hour, weather service meteorologist Rick Hluchan said. Flash-flood warnings in the Midland-Odessa area were scheduled to end Sunday afternoon.
Vance McMorries farms about 4,500 acres in the Midland-Odessa area, and said Sunday that he has measured about 2 inches of rain in the past two days.
“The drought has been really tough. We’ve had four years of really hard drought. … The rain is very welcome,” the rancher said. His field absorbed most of the rain, though he said there are a few spots where water is still standing.
While the rain will “put a dent on the drought,” Hluchan said, it’s been so long that the ground isn’t ready to absorb all of it.
“It is like concrete. We have a lot of standing water,” Hluchan said.
The small town of Ralls, northeast of Lubbock, has received 5.4 inches of rain over the past three days, while San Angelo has received 4.2 inches and Lubbock has seen just under 4 inches, Guseman said.
A flood watch has been issued throughout most of West Texas and southeastern New Mexico. The system should move into Oklahoma by Tuesday.
Rain chances are in the forecast every day this week in North Texas, according to the NWS Fort Worth office website Sunday.
This report contains information from the Associated Press.