Most of the area continues in either a severe or extreme drought as we start the new year. A soaking rain mid-week will help start to put a dent in those drought conditions, although it will take many more heavy rain systems to finally break the back of this drought that continues to rage on from the summer of 2012.
A strong upper level system will move in from the west coast late Tuesday night and Wednesday.
South winds will increase moisture in the area ahead of this system. This combined with the slow movement of the upper level system will set the stage for soaking rain. The rain will start during the early morning hours of Wednesday from south to north.
Heavy rain will continue off and on throughout the day Wednesday before starting to taper off on Thursday. Generally, at this point, we are looking at most of the area picking up on soaking rains. Rain totals will range from around 1 inch to locally higher amounts of 2 to possibly 3 inches of rain, especially in the River Valley and the Ouachitas.
The rain will take a break on Friday as temperatures warm up to near 60. A cold front will bring another chance of beneficial rain on Saturday. Behind this system a big cool down will drop highs back into the 30′s and 40′s.