Downpours Will Increase Deep South Flooding Threat
UPDATED 12 PM EDT, August 17, 2013
UPDATED By WeatherBug Meteorologists, John Bateman and Chad Merrill
Downpours will trigger more flash flooding problems for the already saturated Deep South and eastern Gulf Coast this weekend. Not to be outdone, a tropical disturbance could expand the flash flood threat west along the Gulf Coast next week.
Flash Flood Watches remain in place from Alabama and Florida`s Gulf Coast into central Georgia and coastal South Carolina. Places such as Tallahassee and Pensacola, Fla., Columbus, Macon, and Savannah, Ga., Dothan, Ala., and Charleston, S.C., are all included. Remember, if you approach a flooded roadway, it is best to, "Turn Around, Don`t Drown."
A stalled front in the Deep South will serve as the focus for multiple waves of flooding downpours and embedded thunderstorms through Sunday. Each wave will be driven by an upper-level low pressure system that will draw copious amounts of rich-Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic moisture onshore.
The first wave will move along the front from Alabama into North Carolina today before edging into the Mid-Atlantic tonight. The second will follow a similar path Sunday.
Repeated downpours and thunderstorms producing 2 to 5 inches in a short time span will overwhelm rivers, streams and poor drainage areas in urban centers causing an enhanced flash flood risk. A few places along Interstate 10 in Alabama and Florida could see locally 8 to 10 inches of rain by Sunday night. Even up to 5 inches could fall in southeastern Georgia and the Carolinas this weekend.
The ground is already saturated in the Deep South and along the Gulf Coast thanks to a soggy pattern that has been in place. Tallahassee, Fla., is 4 inches above average for August while Mobile, Ala., is just shy of 3 inches above average for the month.
Adding to the heavy rain potential is a tropical low pressure positioned 120 miles northwest of Campeche, Mexico. The low is moving northwest, eyeing either Mexico`s Gulf Coast or the southern Texas Gulf Coast for early next week. It could become a tropical depression or tropical storm in the meantime as it swirls across the warm Gulf of Mexico water. If it becomes a named storm, it will be called, "Fernand."
Regardless of whether it becomes a depression or tropical storm, it will add to the downpour threat in the Deep South and along the Gulf Coast. Although the disturbance will likely trend towards the Mexico or southern Texas coast, all residents along the Gulf Coast should monitor the development and progress of the storm closely this weekend.
Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Erin continues to churn the eastern Atlantic this weekend. Here is the latest
on Erin`s expected track.
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