Flash flooding concerns grow in Texas, Louisiana as rainfall mounts

There have been more than 20 reported tornadoes in four states this week.

There were four more reported tornadoes on Wednesday, bringing the count from this outbreak to 26 in 4 states (Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas).

The threat for severe weather will continue across parts of the Mississippi River Valley on Thursday, and some of the strong storms will reach the East Coast by Friday. However, a multi-day flash flood threat is also about to get underway in parts of the hard-hit South, including Texas and Louisiana.

The threat for severe weather continues across the south today for 18 million Americans from Texas to Alabama.

A line of severe storms moving through Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama early Thursday afternoon has prompted a Tornado Watch. Severe storms will become more widespread from Corpus Christi to Houston by Thursday evening with mainly a large hail threat and possible damaging winds.

The storm system will drag severe storms across the Mississippi River Valley through the day Thursday, with damaging winds, large hail and brief tornadoes possible from Louisiana to Tennessee.

Then, another disturbance will bring a round of severe weather to southeast Texas and Louisiana at night, with damaging winds, large hail and brief tornadoes possible.

However, the biggest concern for this next disturbance is torrential rain. Rainfall rates in parts of southeast Texas could exceed 2 inches per hour Thursday evening, which could cause flash flooding on saturated grounds.

On Friday, strong storms with locally gusty winds will move into the Appalachians and impact parts of the Northeast. At this time, the severe threat looks to be marginal, but the forecast could change as the system evolves Thursday.

Meanwhile, yet another blast of heavy rain will move into southeast Texas and southern Louisiana Friday and bring more rainfall rates that could exceed 2 inches per hour.

Locally, 6 to 10 inches of rain is forecast through the end of the week and into the weekend across parts of southeast Texas and Louisiana. Given that some of this area -- especially near Houston -- already saw 6 to 10 inches of rain this week, there is growing concern for major flash flooding through the end of the week.

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