Multifaceted storm to bring drenching rain to southern US through late this week
By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
January 02, 2019, 3:20:58 PM EST
The stormy pattern that began the final week of 2018 will continue into 2019 as the first major storm of the new year will spread a swath of soaking rain across the Southern states late this week.
The storm threatens to restrict travel as millions head home from their holiday ventures and return to work and school.
Download the free AccuWeather app to see the details on the next storm to roll across a large part of the nation.
Just enough cold air may sneak in at low levels of the atmosphere to produce a swath of ice, snow and dangerous travel in portions of central Texas to parts of Oklahoma and Arkansas.
Enough rain may fall from a portion of the Texas coast to the lower Mississippi Valley to aggravate flooding.
Many small streams and large rivers are running well above average for this time of the year, following the wettest year on record for some in the South. Some rivers have been and will remain above flood stage.
Storm to impact Ohio Valley, Southeast from Wednesday to Friday
One batch of rain will race northeastward across the interior South into Wednesday night. However, the main storm will follow later Thursday.
The area of ice from the southern Plains may disappear over the Mississippi and Ohio valleys as the structure of the storm changes and less cold air is likely to be found in the lowest part of the atmosphere.
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2018 was one of the least active years on record for US tornadoes; No twister rated EF4 or higher
However, rain may change to wet snow in part of this area as the storm moves along and colder air is drawn in on the back side.
Drenching rain will be a major factor with this storm over parts of the Southeast and Ohio Valley.
These areas, like that of the South Central states, may receive enough rain to cause urban, small stream flooding and renew river flooding.
Severe weather possible in southeastern US
As is the case with most potent storms that track well inland and pull warm and humid air northward, this feature may carry the risk of severe thunderstorms as well.
The possibility of heavy, gusty and perhaps locally severe storms will extend from the lower Mississippi Valley during late Thursday and Thursday night and on Friday along the southern Atlantic Seaboard.
At this time, the greatest threat of severe weather may stem from strong wind gusts and flash flooding. However, when severe thunderstorms occur there is almost always a chance of a tornado being spawned.
Storm to bring rain and some ice and snow to Northeast at week's end
A batch of moisture will race northeastward ahead of the main storm into Thursday with a bit of snow, and even an icy mix, for parts of the central Appalachians and New England.
The main storm is forecast to affect the Northeast over the weekend.
A lack of Arctic air will limit the amount of snow and ice in the Northeast with the main storm to end the week. For cities such as Boston, New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., this would be a rain event and not snow to start the weekend.
Just enough cold air may be present to allow some ice and snow at times in parts of upstate New York, northern Pennsylvania and New England.
Enough cold air may be drawn into the storm at the end to bring a change to wet snow over the higher elevations of the central Appalachians.
2018 was a record-breaking year for extreme weather events and storms. Extreme Meteorologist and Storm Chaser Reed Timmer talked to us about his top five chases of the year. He discussed some of his most dangerous experiences, what it's like to be out in the field and the moments he'll never forget.
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