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Scant rain chance expected from Gustav over North Texas

Only an outside chance of "beneficial" rain lingered for North Texas as Hurricane Gustave started to break apart Tuesday over the Ozarks.

The storm's outer band swirled Tuesday afternoon over northeast Texas, said Dan Shoemaker, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Fort Worth.

Gustav flung tropical moisture into North Texas Tuesday, but afternoon heating was needed to spark scattered showers, Shoemaker said, and that had not yet happened by 2 p.m.

There was a 40 percent chance for rain Tuesday afternoon in North Texas, and chances were expected to fall to 30 percent Tuesday night.

"We're really not going to get a whole lot from this thing," Shoemaker said. "It is tracking more towards Clarksville and Paris."

He explained that moisture usually pours into the region from southerly winds off the Gulf of Mexico.

This time, however, north winds launched by Gustav carried the humidity, which is rare, Shoemaker said.

Paris, he noted, recorded about a half-inch of rain during a six-hour period that ended around 1 p.m. Tuesday.

Gustav was expected to collapse over the Ozark Mountain region of northwestern Arkansas and southern Missouri, Shoemaker said.

On Monday the storm hammered southern Louisiana, although early reports indicated that it was less fierce than Hurricane Katrina, which inflicted widespread destruction three years ago on Louisiana and Mississippi.

The hurricane season was not quite half way through on Tuesday. "Ike" is the next big storm pointed toward the gulf, Shoemaker said.

"Ike will be a player," he said, "but it's a week away, I'd guess."