Tropical Downpours Soaking the Deep South

September 17, 2012; 7:39 AM ET
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Photo of rain in Texas tweeted by Megan Tatum on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012.

Up to 4 inches of rain is expected to fall over parts of the Deep South through Tuesday as a moisture-laden storm system takes shape.

The excessive amount of rain from storms could lead to flooding in some areas, while other storms could turn severe.

A potent combination of strong atmospheric energy approaching from the west and rich moisture flowing off the Gulf of Mexico will be the impetus for explosive thunderstorm development.

Tropical downpours with rain falling at the rate of more than an inch an hour can be expected at times through into Tuesday from the central Gulf Coast north into the Tennessee Valley and southern Appalachians.

The end result in many areas will be 2 to 4 inches of rain, falling fast enough to cause street and low-lying flooding problems.

In addition, the strengthening storm system could turn some of the thunderstorms severe with an enhanced threat for damaging wind gusts and even isolated tornadoes expected late Monday over the central Gulf Coast and then from from the eastern part of the Florida Panhandle to South Carolina Tuesday into Tuesday evening.

A portion of southern Mississippi, southern Alabama, the western part of the Florida Panhandle will be at risk for these dangerous storms, which could last beyond sunset.

While a widespread severe weather outbreak is not expected, anytime tornadoes are possible the public should stay alert and keep up to date with the changing weather.

The threat for severe weather will expand to the north and east into Tuesday, reaching the I-95 to part of the mid-Atlantic.

West of the I-95 corridor to the Appalachians, the risk for flooding will persist as well into Tuesday.

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