Coastal Flood Advisory

Atlanta, Nashville among cities at risk for flooding in southeastern US during late February

By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
February 16, 2019, 2:14:32 AM EST

The track of several storms over the next couple of weeks will bring rounds of flooding rainfall over roughly the same area from the lower Mississippi Valley to the Interstate-95 corridor in the South.

"A southward shift in the storm track over the central United States will give parts of the Ohio Valley and Ozarks somewhat of a break from rain, but it will also cause the risk of flooding to shift southward toward the Tennessee Valley," according to AccuWeather Lead Long-Range Meteorologist Paul Pastelok.

This, as many streams and rivers in the Ohio River basin and part of the Mississippi River basin are above flood stage.

Kentucky river flooding (AP) 2/12/2019

This aerial image shows the flooded Ohio River in Cincinnati on Monday, Feb. 26, 2018. The National Weather Service said the river crested at its highest point since 1997. (DroneBase via AP)

Runoff from prior rain and melting snow has already set into motion moderate to major flooding along parts of the lower Ohio and Mississippi rivers.

River Flooding

Rainfall on the order of 4-8 inches with locally higher amounts may occur during the last two weeks of February from part of Louisiana and much of Mississippi to southern Kentucky, southern Virginia and the Carolinas.

Flooding Risk Next Week 8 am

Much of this rain may fall in one or two storms over a total period of 24-48 hours, which would be a problem in terms of quick runoff.

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In many areas, the ground is already quite wet. With a few exceptions in this swath, rainfall is close to or well above average from the past six weeks to the past several months.

For example, since Jan. 1, 2019, Nashville, Tennessee, has received over 11 inches of rain, compared to an average of about 5.85 inches, or twice that of normal.

Following rounds of rain this weekend, multiple storms will then follow next week and raise the risk of flooding in parts of the South.

How much rain fall with each storm will determine whether flooding is limited to urban and small stream concerns or expands to that of some of the rivers not yet experiencing flooding in the region.

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