Wet weekend in the South brings floods, severe weather threats – AccuWeather.com/ar/
After a quiet start to the week across the South, a looming pattern change will bring a threat of heavy rain and multi-day flooding that will extend into next week.
Similar to a classic El Niño phenomenon, a persistent rainfall pattern across the South has made a significant impact on drought conditions across the region this winter. Over the past three months, coverage of drought conditions has nearly halved, going from 80.7% in early November to 42.8% in early February, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.
Further improvement in the drought is expected as storms creep across the South, but it will also come with the risk of localized flooding and strong thunderstorms.
An influx of warm, humid air from the Gulf of Mexico is expected to bring rain from Texas across the southern United States on Friday, beginning a multi-day period of wet weather in the region.
A rainy weekend ahead of us
Rain is expected to continue in many of the same areas in the south through Saturday, dampening outdoor plans and potentially causing travel delays.
Severe thunderstorm components could materialize by Saturday night across parts of Central Texas as well. People in and around Austin and San Antonio will face at least some risk of damaging wind gusts and a potential isolated tornado Saturday evening.
Heavy rain and thunderstorms will continue to fall through Sunday across the South. In addition to the increased concern for flooding due to several days of rain, there may be another area to watch for severe thunderstorms across East Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi.
As these thunderstorms move east along the Gulf Coast, they could bring the potential for locally damaging winds, hail, and isolated tornadoes again.
The threat of severe thunderstorms will continue to press eastward across the Southern states on Monday. Areas from northern Florida to South Carolina will likely see storms with winds of 60-70 mph and locally higher. Heavy rains can lead to flash flooding in urban areas.
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There is a possibility that the severe weather will extend north toward the southern Appalachians or a separate pocket of severe weather will develop in the eastern parts of Tennessee and Kentucky.
Conditions will slowly dry out across Texas and Louisiana before the start of the new week, but the slow-moving storm will continue to produce persistent rain across much of the Southeast on Monday. Places like Charlotte, North Carolina, and Atlanta could experience rain that disrupts commuting travel on Monday.
Factoring in a multi-day stretch of wet weather, many areas across the South could receive more than an inch of rain between Friday and next Monday. An area within these regions extending from eastern Texas into Louisiana, southern Arkansas and Mississippi, northern Alabama, southern and eastern Tennessee and into southern Appalachia could pick up 2-4 inches of rain.
When the most persistent heavy rains occur, an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 10 inches of rain can be achieved.
Cold air rushes in next week
Cold air flow on the back side of the storm is also expected to create a narrow corridor of snow accumulation heading into the new week. This snow will fall north and west of the heaviest rain, including parts of northern Texas, Oklahoma, northern Arkansas, Missouri and Illinois.
Difficult travel conditions are possible along the Interstate 44 corridor extending from east of Tulsa, Oklahoma, through north of Cape Girardeau, Missouri, on Monday, as the storm is expected to produce a band of 3 to 6 inches of snow in the area. Within this area some areas are possible to receive snowfall totals approaching the AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 10 inches.
By Tuesday, the storm is expected to accelerate and bring dry conditions back to the south, which may remain until late in the week.
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