Thirsty North Texas welcomes soaking rainfall

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by PETE DELKUS

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WFAA

Posted on January 8, 2013 at 11:18 AM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 9 at 3:52 AM

DALLAS - Widespread rain has arrived in North Texas.

Scattered light rain started falling across parts of North Texas on Tuesday morning, with about a 30 percent coverage. That became more widespread (70 percent) as the day progressed, with all of the area seeing a more intense rain on Tuesday evening.

The heaviest of the rain was forecast to fall overnight into Wednesday morning. Rainfall rates should stay below one inch per hour. But because the rain will be continuous, excessive runoff is likely, which is why a Flash Flood Watch was issued for Dallas, Tarrant and Collin counties and areas to the east and southeast of Dallas-Fort Worth.

The National Weather Service issued a flood warning for White Rock Creek near Greenville Avenue in Dallas through late Wednesday night or until the warning is canceled. The creek was expected to rise above flood stage early Wednesday morning and continue to rise another two feet.

Heavy rain this time of year produces more runoff than in the warmer months because most of the vegetation is dormant; and in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, urbanization is more sensitive to heavy rainfall.

Forecast rainfall totals for North Texas will range from one inch to over four inches with two to four inches expected. For some perspective, the last time North Texas recorded significant rainfall, two inches or more, was Easter Sunday of 2012, which was when 2.23 inches fell.

The severe weather threat should be confined to areas well to the south and southeast of the Dallas-Fort Worth area. And even in Waco to Athens to Tyler and southeast of the line, the chance of damaging wind and large hail looks minimal.

Rain will slowly end from southwest to northeast Wednesday afternoon/evening, with dry weather in the forecast Thursday.

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