A surge of moisture across the eastern third of the nation means bad news for those with weekend plans, but good news for farmers and gardeners.
Drenching showers and thunderstorms will be common into Sunday across a wide part of the Deep South, Ohio Valley and Northeast. While a washout of a weekend is not expected in most areas, the storms will be to provide at least minor relief to some of the driest parts of the country.
Severe or extreme drought conditions currently exist over a large part of the lower Midwest and mid-South from Arkansas to Indiana. An even larger surrounding area extending from the Tennessee Valley to the upper Ohio Valley is considered to be in a drought.
Fortunately, some of these areas are on target to experience some of the heaviest rain through early next week.
Some places from the northern Gulf Coast to the Ohio Valley and mid-Atlantic have the potential to receive one to two inches of rain through Sunday night. There could be locally higher totals, due in large part to what are expected to be slow-moving, heavy thunderstorms.
While it may sound significant, much more rain will ultimately be needed to put a sizable dent in the drought, especially across areas expected to be to the west of the downpours this weekend over the Nation's Heartland.
Unfortunately, AccuWeather.com meteorologists do not foresee much meaningful relief for the rest of the summer either.
"New and frequent waves of near 100-degree temperatures and stingy rainfall will further stress crops over Iowa, Illinois and Nebraska into mid-August," says AccuWeather.com Expert Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.
Driving the showers and storms this weekend, which will be most numerous in the afternoon and evening hours, will be heat coupled with humidity.
Afternoon temperatures from the upper 80s into the lower 90s and expected high humidity levels will make for AccuWeather.com RealFeel® temperatures as high as 100 degrees in some areas.
The heat and humidity will make the atmosphere unstable, thus providing fuel for thunderstorm development.
While it may only rain for less than two hours all day in some areas, rainfall amounts could be heavy, leading to runoff that will cause highway, low-lying and small stream flooding.
With water levels running below normal, widespread and significant river flooding is not expected from the storms.
Along the Interstate 95 corridor, AccuWeather.com meteorologists are especially concerned for downpours to flood low-lying and poor drainage areas in and around New York City and Philadelphia.
Drier weather will return to the Northeast for the first half of the upcoming workweek, but so will hotter temperatures.
Big changes are on the way for parts of the Western and Central states late this week and into this weekend.
Similar to the days prior to Thanksgiving, the worst weather will focus on the days prior to Christmas as millions of travelers take to the roads and skies in the U.S. and southern Canada.
Warm air is forecast to surge into much of the eastern half of the nation by the weekend and will be accompanied by heavy rain and flooding risk in some locations.
Thunderstorms in parts of the South this weekend may become strong enough to threaten lives and property.
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Despite some sun on Thursday, rain will make a comeback in the city in time for the weekend.
Lancaster, CA (1984)
Ended up with about a foot of snow. One spot in Kern County (North of LA) had 19" of snow.
Riverside RS (Yellowstone Park), WY: -59 degrees, lowest U.S. temp in December.
Flagstaff, AZ (1967)
End of record 7-day snowstorm; total 83" snow.