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    Rain in the South: Beneficial and Disruptive

    By By Alex Sosnowski, Expert Senior Meteorologist.
    March 12, 2013, 9:44:37 AM EDT

    A swath of rain will continue to soak areas from the upper Gulf Coast of Florida to the North Carolina coast into the weekend.

    While the rain will bring further drought relief to areas in the region, it also raises the risk of urban flooding, small stream flooding and rises on some rivers.

    Downpours will result in poor driving conditions on the highways, while low cloud ceilings can lead to flight delays at area airports.

    Through Saturday, portions of southern Alabama and the western part of the Florida Panhandle to portions of North Carolina will receive a general 2 to 4 inches of rain. However, a few locations within this swath can pick up a half a foot of rain.


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    Many locations within this swath have had a very wet month. In some cases, rainfall has been double the normal amount.

    So even though some reservoirs may be running below normal levels, this type of rainfall can bring small streams that feed them up in a hurry.

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    Use extra care when venturing along streams that are near bank full. The stream bank may give way. Never drive across flooded roadways. Water has tremendous force and can sweep your vehicle away.

    The corridor of rain will slide to the south and east and diminish with time Saturday afternoon so that areas that were wet to start the weekend will dry out later Saturday. However, the remnant zone of rain crawl southward over the Florida Peninsula Sunday.

    As a result, rain will be in the vicinity of Daytona Beach, Fla., with one of auto racing's biggest event for the 2013 season: the Daytona 500.

    The rain affecting the South into the weekend was part of a massive storm that affected the Plains with everything from heavy snow to sleet, freezing rain, plain rain and gusty thunderstorms Wednesday into Thursday.

    As moisture moved into the southern Appalachians and Piedmont, it froze on some surfaces during the first part of Friday.

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