Daily downpours to drench the southern US ahead of humidity relief for some

By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
July 06, 2018, 8:13:26 AM EDT

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Rounds of thundery downpours and locally gusty winds will affect the Deep South, especially the Interstate-10 corridor, through this weekend and beyond.

While spotty, heavy storms are no stranger to the southern United States in the summertime, the weather pattern will bring more frequent storms than usual along much of the Gulf coast and parts of the southern Atlantic seaboard.

Frequent storms to grill parts of the South into this weekend

The storms threaten to not only spoil outdoor activities, but pose some risk to people on the road, on the water or just hanging out at the beach or in the backyard.

The showers and thunderstorms are moving in an east-to-west motion which, while common for South Florida, is somewhat unusual for the Deep South.

Following downpours and locally gusty thunderstorms from the coastal areas of the Florida Panhandle to southeastern Louisiana during Thursday night, the latest disturbance will carry another round of downpours into coastal Texas on Friday.

Static Friday South Central

The storms are moving along the southern side of an area of high pressure that is largely responsible for the major, ongoing heat wave in the Midwest and Northeast. The circulation around the high is what is pushing the storms westward.

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A disturbance, that has since moved into northern Mexico, brought flash flooding to part of the New Orleans metro area on Tuesday morning. From 1-3 inches of rain fell in as many hours. Some motorists became stuck in high water, according to WGNO-TV.

During Independence Day, the same disturbance triggered flash flooding in the Houston area. Two westbound lanes of I-10 on the west side of Houston were flooded. Roads were flooded in the Galleria area and around NRG stadium as well.

"Close proximity to land will likely prevent the disturbances from organizing into tropical depressions or tropical storms," said AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski.

In addition to raising the risk of urban flooding, breezy conditions and localized strong wind gusts can occur, especially over coastal waters.

Motorists may encounter high water on their travels and boaters may be hit by sudden squalls. Lightning strikes are also a risk during the storms with many more people outdoors for the remainder of the week and upcoming weekend.

People are urged to promptly leave the beach or get off the water and move indoors at the first rumble of thunder or darkening skies. Beach activities and fishing rank high on the list of fatalities during thunderstorms. During the afternoon, showers can evolve into thunderstorms in a matter of minutes.

A break from storms, high humidity coming for some in the South

A change in the weather pattern forecast to bring cooler and less humid conditions to much of the Midwest and Northeast to end this week will impact parts of the South later this weekend and early next week.

Static SE Relief Weekend

While no relief is in sight for much of the I-10 corridor on south in terms of heat, humidity and thundery downpours, a press of dry air may provide a break in the high humidity for some areas farther to the north in Dixie.

Temperatures that are forecast to lower by a few degrees and humidity that is expected to dip by several percentage points may feel refreshing to some, especially during the morning, evening and overnight hours.

For example, highs in the upper 80s to near 90 F around Atlanta are likely to be replaced with highs in the lower to middle 80s and nighttime lows in the middle to upper 60s.

Such conditions are likely to make their way into Nashville, Tennessee; Little Rock, Arkansas; Atlanta; and Charlotte, North Carolina; over the course of this weekend. However, prior to the arrival of the slightly cooler and less humid air, an uptick in showers and thunderstorms is foreseen.

In places such as Shreveport, Louisiana; Memphis, Tennessee; Greensboro and Raleigh, North Carolina; and Richmond, Virginia; some of the storms may become rather feisty for a time from Friday to Saturday.

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