Burn bans

Arkansas counties depicted in red are under bans against outdoor burning.

It remains hot and dry in Southwest Arkansas but there is some relief on the way, according to a prediction by the National Weather Service in Shreveport.

Rain is in the forecast for today, Friday and Saturday. Tropical Depression Imelda will bring heavy rainfall to portions of East Texas and West Louisiana.

Tropical Depression Imelda quickly developed near the Texas coast Wednesday and is slowly moving inland across Southeast Texas.

Imelda is expected to produce the following rainfall amounts through Friday:

Across the Upper Texas Coast into far southeast Texas, an additional 5 to 10 inches with isolated storm totals of 25 to 35 inches.

Across portions of southwest Louisiana, additional 3 to 5 inches with isolated totals of 10 inches.

Rest of East Texas, 2 to 4 inches with isolated totals around 8 inches.

These rainfall totals may produce significant to life threatening flash floods.

However, rain would be welcome in South Arkansas. High temperatures and lack of rainfall have led to burn bans, extremely dry and moderate drought conditions.

As of Thursday, the Arkansas Forestry Commission showed burn bans in effect for Columbia, Lafayette, Hempstead, Miller, Nevada, Ouachita and Union counties.

Also as of Thursday, Columbia, Calhoun, Lafayette, Hempstead, Miller, Nevada, Ouachita and Union counties were in "high wildfire danger" status.

The United States Drought Monitor's September 12 map shows most of Columbia County in "abnormally dry" status, with a small area in "moderate drought" status.

USDM data shows neighboring Southwest Arkansas counties in similar status.

Lafayette and Miller Counties both show partly "abnormally dry" and partly "moderate drought," while Union County shows mostly "moderate drought" with a small area "abnormally dry." The lower portions of Hempstead, Nevada, Ouachita, and

Calhoun Counties are showing "abnormally dry."

An updated USDM map and forecast is expected to be released later this week.

The NWS forecast for the remainder of the week is as follows.

Today: A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 7 a.m. Partly sunny, with a high near 88. Light southeast wind increasing to 5 to 15 mph in the morning. Winds could gust as high as 25 mph.

Tonight: Showers likely. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 70. Southeast wind around 5 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70 percent.

Friday: A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Cloudy, with a high near 82. Southeast wind 5 to 10 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph.

Friday night: A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms before 1 a.m. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 69.

Saturday: Partly sunny, with a high near 89. Light south wind increasing to 5 to 10 mph in the morning.

Saturday night Partly cloudy, with a low around 68..

Sunday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 90.

Sunday night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 69.

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