Coastal Flood Advisory

Southern US flood risk to continue as new storm brings more downpours

By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
April 07, 2019, 6:54:53 AM EDT

A new storm will elevate the risk of flooding in the short-term, while additional storms may keep the risk going in the long-term over parts of the south-central and southeastern United States.

On the heels of one storm that triggered flash flooding in several parishes in southern Louisiana during Thursday, a new storm will spread from Texas to the Southeast into Tuesday.

"The new storm is likely to bring another dose of heavy rain to the South Central states and into part of the Southeast," according to AccuWeather Lead Long-Range Meteorologist Paul Pastelok.

The combination of the rainfall from two storms only a few days apart may be too much for area streams and rivers to handle.

Areas that are hit by repeated downpours into Tuesday from eastern Texas to the Tennessee Valley will be inundated with 3-6 inches of rain with an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ to 10 inches.

SE Downpours Static

At the very least, some small streams will periodically flood, and flooding in low-lying areas and urban locations is likely.

The wet pattern may just be getting started.

"We expect a very active storm track from the Pacific Ocean to continue, and that storm track will remain suppressed enough to the south to cause rounds of severe weather and above-average rainfall through portions of the South Central and Southeastern states through much of April," Pastelok said.

The anticipated wet pattern will increase the risk of reoccurring flooding over part of the South this spring.

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While many of the secondary rivers east of the Mississippi River in the South had receded or were in the process of receding following heavy rain from the winter, the pattern is likely to lead to new rises and the potential for moderate to major flooding in the weeks ahead.

This may include the Pearl, Tennessee and Alabama rivers.

Some rivers west of the Mississippi over the South Central states are also likely to experience problems from rising water and possibly more serious flooding.

Rivers at risk for significant rises in the pattern west of the Mississippi include the Arkansas, Red and Sabine.

This more southern storm track might be some good news for the northern tier of the Plains and Midwest, where heavy snow fell this winter and runoff from that snow was just now triggering flooding on its own.

Heavy rainfall on top of melting snow could have made matters worse for the northern tier, as it did in recent weeks over the central Plains.

The storms are still likely to track far enough to the north to aggravate flooding problems over the central Plains and middle Mississippi Valley.

The combination of rain in the South Central states and the middle part of the Mississippi basin can be enough to keep water levels running high on the lower portion of the Mississippi River for weeks.

Download the free AccuWeather app to see how wet your area is expected to be in the coming days.

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