Flash Flood Threat From New Jersey to Georgia

By Brian Lada, Meteorologist
June 18, 2013; 5:24 PM
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Play video A look at the weather forecast for the Southeast.

The risk of flash flooding will expand from the South into the mid-Atlantic on Tuesday, threatening Atlanta, Ga., Raleigh, N.C., and Atlantic City, N.J.

An area of low pressure moving from the Tennessee Valley toward the Chesapeake Bay will pull warm, moisture-rich air from the South, providing fuel for heavy thunderstorms on Tuesday and into Tuesday night.

This is the same system that spread flooding thunderstorms farther west on Monday, causing rivers and creeks to jump their banks and roads to close due to high water.

In urban areas such as Atlanta, Charlotte, Raleigh, Richmond, Dover, Del., and Atlantic City, N.J., there is a risk of street and highway flooding, which can cause major delays for commuters.

While the threat of flash flooding reaches from southeastern New England to the Deep South, the heaviest rain will be centered from southern New Jersey and the Delmarva Peninsula, southward to North Carolina. In this swath, repeating thundery downpours can bring a general 1 to 3 inches of rain.

Heavy thunderstorms elsewhere can still easily produce over an inch of rain in less than an hour, leading to flash flooding. This area extends from southern Ohio to southern Pennsylvania, central New Jersey southward to eastern Tennessee, the rest of South Carolina and northern and eastern Georgia.

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During the mid-afternoon Tuesday, there have been numerous reports of flash and urban flooding over central and southern New Jersey to central Maryland. Earlier in the day Tuesday, similar incidents were reported from south central Pennsylvania to portions of West Virginia and western Virginia.

Locally gusty, drenching thunderstorms were also pushing across southeastern New England.

Many areas in the eastern United States have already received well above their normal amount of precipitation for the month of June.

Some cities that have already topped their monthly average include Atlanta, Charlotte, N.C., Richmond, Va. and Philadelphia.

With so many areas well above their normal rainfall for the month, flash flooding can occur rather quickly. With the ground already saturated with water, heavy rainfall will easily runoff into small streams, causing them to rise rapidly.

Small creeks can quickly turn into dangerous, fast-flowing bodies of water. Caution should be used when approaching these creeks as well as roadways that are covered with water.

Story by AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Brian Lada.

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