Gulf Coast Downpours Continue, Headed Northward

June 11, 2012; 6:59 PM
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Photo by Jorgen Udvang/Photos.com.

The tropical downpours that soaked the central Gulf Coast and Southeast over the weekend will continue to expand northward through Tuesday, eventually reaching the Northeast.

More drenching showers and thunderstorms will stream into parts of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South and North Carolina through today. Rain that falls along the central Gulf Coast will just add to the extreme rain totals that inundated Pensacola, Fla., and Mobile, Ala., Saturday.

Saturday is now Pensacola's second wettest day on record with a total of 13.13 inches. The 5.79 inches that soaked Mobile Saturday shattered the day's rainfall record of 1.39 inches from 1968.

Additional bouts of heavy rain that followed Sunday morning put roads under one to two feet of water near Covington, La., located just north of Lake Pontchartrain.

Flash flooding remains a serious concern across the central Gulf Coast and the Southeast as the drenching showers and thunderstorms persist and move northward.

Low-lying and poor drainage areas and places along streams and rivers are most susceptible.

Rip currents are another danger for those beachgoers braving the storminess along the central Gulf Coast. Three swimmers caught in a rip current on Sunday were pulled from the Gulf of Mexico at Pensacola Beach, Fla. One person did not survive.

The rip current danger will remain high today as more showers and thunderstorms, some of which will be heavy, invade the central Gulf Coast.

As the steamy air contributing to the downpours surges northward, showers and thunderstorms are following suit.

The storminess will encompass more of the South and the central Appalachians into today.

Showers and thunderstorms will also spread over the Ohio Valley and central Great Lakes during this time, while the western Great Lakes become the target of a cold front's potentially severe thunderstorms today.

The drenching showers and thunderstorms will then slowly press through the Northeast Tuesday into Wednesday.

While a repeat of the 13.13 inches of rain that inundated Pensacola Saturday is not expected, any of the showers and thunderstorms spreading away from the central Gulf Coast to the Northeast this week are capable of unleashing flooding downpours.

Even where flooding does not ensue, foiled outdoor plans and slow travel can be expected.

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