Downpours, locally strong storms to return to southern US this weekend
By Renee Duff, AccuWeather meteorologist
March 11, 2018, 3:21:02 AM EDT
The southern United States will face a new round of soaking rain and locally strong thunderstorms into Sunday.
Given the quick-moving nature of the storm, the risk of flooding will be present; however, it will not be as high as recent rain events.
Those hoping to spend time outdoors may have to adjust their plans and take cover indoors for a time to avoid the stormy weather.
The same storm will drop snow in the southern Appalachians and evolve into another disruptive nor'easter for the mid-Atlantic and New England.
An area of rain and thunderstorms will progress eastward from the lower Mississippi Valley to the Deep South and southern Atlantic Seaboard through the balance of the weekend.
“The most likely area for heavy rain will be from Arkansas to northern Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Ryan Adamson said.
The downpours will heighten the risk of hydroplaning and lower visibility along interstates 10, 20, 22, 40, 55, 59, 65, 75, 85 and 95. Airline passengers at the major hubs, including Atlanta and Charlotte, North Carolina, are likely to experience lengthier travel times due to flight delays.
“There is also a threat for locally severe storms,” Adamson said.
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Thunderstorms produced hail the size of golf balls and baseballs in portions of southeastern Mississippi and central Mississippi on Saturday night.
The threat for locally gusty thunderstorms will shift to the I-10 corridor from Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle on Sunday.
Flooding is possible but will not be widespread, according to AccuWeather Lead Long-Range Meteorologist Paul Pastelok.
The ground has had an opportunity to dry out a bit following the deluge during the end of February that triggered extensive flash, urban and river flooding across the Mississippi and Ohio valleys. Thus, any incidents of urban or small stream flooding are likely to be localized with this event.
“Not enough rain is likely to fall to impact river levels significantly with this particular storm,” said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.
Water levels along the lower portion of the Mississippi River are projected to remain at moderate to major flood stage through the upcoming week, according to hydrologists at the National Weather Service.
On Thursday morning, the Bonnet Carre Spillway in St. Charles Parish, Louisiana, was opened for only the 12th time in its 87-year history in order to relieve strain on levees and prevent possible flooding in New Orleans, according to NOLA.com.
Fortunately, no renewed flooding concerns are expected beyond the weekend storm as an extended period of tranquil weather conditions will settle in for much of the new week.
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