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Severe Thunderstorm Watch

Barry's downpours to drench areas from St. Louis to Pittsburgh into Wednesday

By Kristina Pydynowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
July 17, 2019, 4:18:51 AM EDT

Downpours will spread from the mid-Mississippi Valley to the Ohio Valley through Wednesday with localized flood dangers.

After Barry made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane at midday Saturday, the storm has significantly lost wind intensity.

Barry weakened to a tropical depression Sunday afternoon and to a tropical rainstorm on Monday as its bands of rain and thunderstorms expand farther to the north into the mid-Mississippi and lower Ohio valleys.

Barry Track 1 pm

"The rain will move into the upper Ohio Valley and Northeast Wednesday and Wednesday night," according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Max Vido. "The primary threat to these regions will be heavy tropical downpours."

Downpours in parts of Arkansas approached 10 inches as of Tuesday morning.

Rain and thunderstorms should become more showery in nature on Wednesday.

That should result in rainfall totals diminishing from 3-6 inches around southeastern Missouri and western Tennessee to 1-2 inches across eastern Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia and western Pennsylvania. However, locally heavier rainfall can occur.

Residents and motorists planning to travel through the Ohio Valley will still want to remain alert for flash flooding, as well as travel hazards. An isolated tornado cannot be ruled out.

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A quick 1-2 inches of rain can cause low-lying, poor drainage and urban areas to flood. Small streams may rapidly rise out of their banks for a few hours.

Midwest Barry

"The Ohio River and most of its major tributaries are not running high and can handle the amount of rain expected from Barry," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.

"However, we remain concerned about significant small stream and urban flooding along Barry's path and not only in the Midwest, but also the Northeast," Sosnowski said.

Downpours can dramatically reduce visibility for a time on stretches of interstates 55, 64, 69, 70, 71, 75 and 77. Motorists may also face a heightened risk of vehicles hydroplaning when traveling at highway speeds.

While flooding incidents will be localized, many more outdoor plans will be in jeopardy across Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio; Charleston, West Virginia; and Pittsburgh.

NOAA goes east photo barry remains

What's left of former Hurricane Barry is seen across the Mississippi and Ohio valleys on July 16, 2019. (Photo/NOAA GOES East)

Anyone outside is reminded to seek shelter as soon as thunder is heard to avoid being struck by lightning.

"Parts of the Corn Belt, particularly far western Illinois and Iowa, will miss out on Barry's rain," Vido added. "These areas will stay very hot and mostly dry through the week."

As Barry shifts eastward and helps to fuel downpours across the Northeast and mid-Atlantic, the door will open for sweltering heat and humidity to surge across the Ohio Valley later this week.

The week may end with widespread highs in the 90s with AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures soaring between 95-105 F during the midday and afternoon hours.

AccuWeather meteorologists are concerned for clusters of severe thunderstorms to erupt along the northern rim of the late-week heat and threaten parts of the Midwest.

Download the free AccuWeather app to stay alert to severe weather watches and warnings. Keep checking back for updates on and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.

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