Severe weather threatens parts of the southeastern US to end this weekend
By Courtney Spamer, AccuWeather meteorologist
May 05, 2019, 4:01:26 PM EDT
Residents of the southeastern United States will have to remain alert for severe thunderstorms, including isolated tornadoes, to end the weekend.
The same storm that brought severe weather to Texas on Friday and Friday night and parts of the Southeast on Saturday is shifting eastward and acting as the trigger for thunderstorms into Sunday evening.
In addition to frequent cloud-to-ground lightning, the primary severe weather threats will be damaging wind gusts and torrential downpours that could lead to flash flooding.
A heavier downpour, combined with gusty winds, could lead to reduced visibility, which could be especially treacherous to motorists driving through a thunderstorm.
An isolated tornado, as well as a few incidents of hail cannot be ruled out.
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"There is concern for locally severe thunderstorms to erupt east of Interstate 95 in southeastern Virginia and the Carolinas to southeastern Georgia on Sunday," according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Brett Rossio.
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These stronger thunderstorms may target Norfolk, Virginia; Wilmington, North Carolina; Myrtle Beach and Charleston, South Carolina; and Savannah, Georgia.
As strong thunderstorms rolled through Jacksonville, Florida, during the midday hours of Sunday, a plane crashed near the Dames Point Bridge. First Coast News reports that the pilot and passenger of the plane escaped without injuries.
Winds at the Jacksonville Naval Air Station gusted to nearly 50 mph shortly before noon EDT.
Even in the absence of damaging winds, lightning could force people to move any outdoor plans inside throughout the Southeast. If you find yourself caught outside in a thunderstorm, be sure to find the right kind of shelter to keep you safe.
Where severe weather does not cause damage, much of the rain could end up being beneficial for much of the region.
As of the latest U.S. Drought Monitor update on Thursday, parts of the Southeast were identified as being in a slight or moderate drought.
This distinction includes South Carolina, the southern half of Georgia, southeastern Alabama and most of the Florida Panhandle, including the cities of Charleston, Augusta, Savannah, Tallahassee and Pensacola.
Diminishing drought conditions during the spring are important for helping to keep the ground and any brush wet enough to prevent a higher fire threat later in the season and into summer.
According to the AccuWeather U.S. Summer forecast released on May 1, hot and drier conditions are anticipated for parts of the Southeast into the summer.
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