Flash Flood Watch issued for our holiday weekend

AUSTIN (KXAN) —  A Flash Flood Watch has been issued for all of Central Texas starting Saturday evening.  The watch is expected last through Sunday afternoon, as conditions have become particularly favorable for rapid rises in local waterways.  

After weeks of rain, more heavy downpours are forecast over the Memorial Day holiday weekend. While there will be dry periods for barbecues and other outdoor activities, it is highly likely a couple of rounds of rain and storms will develop in the Saturday-Monday time frame, possibly leading to more river, and flash flooding.

While Lake Buchanan was mostly unaffected by recent rain, Lake Travis has risen another foot in the last 24 hours, and is forecast by the LCRA to rise “several more feet” over Memorial Day weekend. Travis is up 12 feet since January 1.

Today marked the 19th-consecutive day with rainfall in the KXAN viewing area, as numerous light showers pushed through from time to time. More than 9 inches of rain has fallen at Camp Mabry in May, more than double the average for the entire month. Nearly 22 inches of rain so far this year at Camp Mabry is more than double the normal year-to-date rainfall, and this is the 7th-wettest spring ever recorded in Austin (8th-wettest at ABIA).

With 2-4 inches of additional rain, and isolated locations possibly reaching 6″+ over the weekend, residents who will be driving near low water crossings or camping outdoors should exercise extreme caution. Never camp near a creek, as rapid rises can occur overnight. Remember, when approaching a flooded road, Turn Around, Don’t Drown.

Rain chances are expected to continue through at least the next week, as a continuing series of upper level disturbances track from the western United States toward Texas, tapping into a tropical jet stream from the Pacific and moisture from the Gulf of Mexico. This weather pattern is unlike anything we’ve seen in years and will continue to ease drought conditions in the Hill Country. The drought has already ended elsewhere in Central Texas.

Stay tuned to the KXAN First Warning Weather team for the latest on this stormy weather pattern. Also, make sure to download the free KXAN Weather App on your smartphone for storm tracking and up to date hour-by-hour forecasts.

Severe storm season continues through the month of May, which is why every family, school, and business should have a NOAA Weather Radio. KXAN is partnering with Austin area H-E-B and Academy stores to make the radios available for a discounted price. Click here for more information.

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