Southeastern US to face more flooding downpours regardless of tropical development
By Kristina Pydynowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
May 22, 2018, 2:46:31 AM EDT
Regardless of whether an organized tropical system takes shape in the Gulf of Mexico for the Memorial Day holiday weekend, the southeastern United States will remain at risk for flooding downpours.
There is no end in sight to the unsettled weather pattern that has developed over the Southeast.
Showers and thunderstorms will continue to jeopardize sporting events and outdoor plans in most communities on a nearly daily basis through the end of May. As is typical, the afternoon and early evening hours will be the most active times of the day.
A disorganized system in the western Caribbean is expected to be the culprit behind residents facing more storminess instead of welcoming bright sunshine through the holiday weekend.
"There is some chance this system might become better organized later this week," AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski said.
The window for the system to form into a tropical depression or minimal tropical storm will open if the system tracks over the central Gulf of Mexico, where Kottlowski states water temperatures are warm enough to support some tropical development.
2018 Atlantic hurricane outlook: 4 US impacts predicted amid another active season
5 expert tips for protecting your home against hurricane damage
Memorial Day weekend outlook: Plans may be spoiled by tropical downpours in East, showers in Northwest
Hurricane proof your yard with these expert wind-resistant tree planting tips
In the scenario of the system taking shape, the risk of seas building and becoming rough for small craft will increase.
Conditions may be less conducive for development if the system targets Florida.
"Regardless of development, this system will continue to produce heavy rainfall that will lead to flooding over parts of Florida and the rest of the southeastern United States during the next several days," Kottlowski said.
"This system has already brought over 10 inches of rain to parts of Florida during the past few days, and there are indications that rainfall during the next seven days could total at least another 10 inches," according to Kottlowski.
One weather reporting station near McIntyre, Florida, measured 8.79 inches of rain in just six hours on Sunday night.
The scenario of the system targeting Florida, with minimal development potential, would yield the highest rainfall totals for the state's peninsula.
A track across the central Gulf of Mexico would shift the area of heaviest rain toward the upper Gulf Coast, including Mobile, Alabama, and New Orleans. However, flooding downpours may still stream across the Florida Peninsula in this solution.
In either scenario, tropical moisture may still spread across the East during the Memorial Day holiday weekend. The resultant showers and thunderstorms that erupt can spoil holiday festivities.
While the rain is erasing the drought in the Southeast, repeated downpours can do more harm than good.
“There can continue to be instances where too much rain will fall too quickly and lead to localized flash flooding,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Rob Miller said.
Low-lying and poor drainage areas that have recently been hit repeatedly by heavy rain will be most at risk for flooding incidents.
Even where flooding does not ensue, the downpours can create hazards for motorists by reducing visibility and heightening the risk of vehicles hydroplaning when traveling at highway speeds.
Flight delays may result, impacting those heading to their Memorial Day holiday destinations.
Residents and visitors are reminded to seek shelter as soon as thunder is heard. The danger of being struck by lightning is then present.
The prospect of an organized tropical system developing before Memorial Day should serve as a good reminder for those in the South that now is the time to review hurricane preparedness tips with the season set to ramp up in the coming months.
Comments that don't add to the conversation may be automatically or manually removed by Facebook or AccuWeather. Profanity, personal attacks, and spam will not be tolerated.
More Weather News
Weather News - December 15, 2018, 6:09:26 AM EST
Rain, wind, mountain snow and rough surf will take aim at the Northwest and California at the end of the weekend as the barrage of Pacific storms continues.
Weather News - December 15, 2018, 2:14:45 AM EST
Residents of northern Queensland are enduring a second and more severe strike by Severe Tropical Cyclone Owen to start the weekend.
Weather News - December 14, 2018, 1:10:54 PM EST
Holiday shopping plans and festivities can be disrupted as a period of snow or icy mix is anticipated to cause slick travel from northern France to Germany this weekend.
Weather News - December 15, 2018, 9:32:04 AM EST
A deep depression in the Bay of Bengal is on track to strengthen into a tropical cyclone with eventual impacts to eastern India into early next week.
In case you missed it: Deadly snowstorm pummels South; Strongest Tennessee earthquake in 45 years shakes Atlanta
Weather News - December 14, 2018, 11:30:28 AM EST
The strongest earthquake to hit the southern U.S. in 45 years rattled Tennessee to Georgia this week while a snowstorm wreaked havoc from the Carolinas to Virginia.
What can homeowners in high-risk areas do if they're struggling to obtain, keep wildfire insurance coverage?
Homeowners in wildfire-prone areas could potentially find themselves struggling to get insurers to cover them.
Weather News - December 15, 2018, 7:33:40 AM EST
A storm will bring rain, fog, ice and a wintry mix to parts of the northeastern United States this weekend.
Weather News - December 15, 2018, 9:00:53 AM EST
Storm Deirdre is taking aim at the United Kingdom, threatening to cause widespread travel hazards and disruptions this weekend.