Heavy rains blanketed much of the southern United States over the holiday weekend.New Mexico hits with heavy snow

Strong and steady rains could complicate planning for Thanksgiving travelers and Black Friday shoppers, as a major storm is expected to hit much of the southern United States starting Thursday night.

Parts of Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas were already covered in rain by Thursday afternoon, with more rain expected on Friday, forecasters said.

A large system is also expected to bring snow to eastern New Mexico and western Texas.

National Weather Service meteorologist Mark Chenard told USA TODAY that the storm is being driven by a low pressure ball that has subsided in southeastern New Mexico after passing over the Rocky Mountains.

“When the system swoops down the Rocky Mountains from south to east, it’s kind of a time of intensification,” Chenard said.

Similar weather systems typically travel with the jet stream, moving rapidly across the country from west to east, Chenard says. But this system was “separated from the northern stream” and “no longer connected with that westerly stream, so it slowed down and kind of closed and became this closed cyclone that we’re seeing. .”

As a result, parts of New Mexico and Texas could receive 4 to 8 inches of snow Thursday night. According to the Japan Meteorological Agency.

The more isolated snowfall is a relatively extreme event for the region, Chenard said.

“This is a pretty heavy snowfall in southeastern New Mexico. In some areas, it could be close to a November record on this system,” he said.

Thursday morning’s weather service warned travelers in New Mexico and Texas. saying on twitter“Plan ahead if traveling as the roads, especially bridges and overpasses, can be smooth and dangerous.”

Further east, travelers and holiday shoppers have been warned that there may be delays due to rain-induced flooding.

Four to six inches of rain could fall across the southeast Thursday through Sunday, with up to 12 inches of rain possible in the wettest areas. AccuWeather Forecaster Predictions.

“As the storm unfolds Thursday through Friday, rain will fill some rain gauges in the lower Mississippi and southeastern regions, particularly from East Texas to northern Georgia, northern South Carolina, and western North Carolina,” AccuWeather said. senior meteorologist Bill Deger said.

After Thursday’s torrential downpours, the southeastern states will receive a second rainfall, Chenard said.

“It will be reloaded and another round will be deployed tomorrow,” he said.

Flash flood risk is highest in southeastern Texas, according to National Weather Service forecasts. Chenard said people traveling to parts of Louisiana should also be careful to avoid flooded roads.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY. Blizzard hits Texas and New Mexico on Thanksgiving