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Severe weather rattling parts of southeastern US on Mother's Day

By Kristina Pydynowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
May 13, 2019, 2:07:34 AM EDT

Residents celebrating Mother's Day outside across the southeastern United States have to remain alert for thunderstorms, some of which are causing damage.

Flash flooding and locally damaging wind gusts will be the main dangers. Hail can pound a few communities, and there can be a brief tornado or two.

As much-needed dry weather sweeps into the South Central states, a stormy Mother's Day is unfolding across the Southeast with showers, thunderstorms and pockets of steadier rain.

"A widespread outbreak of severe weather is not expected, but there can be localized incidents of damaging wind gusts," according to AccuWeather Storm Warning Meteorologist Brian Knopick.

Strong thunderstorm winds downed numerous trees across the southern half of Dale County, Alabama, on Sunday morning.

The locally violent thunderstorms can threaten southeastern Virginia, as well as the coast of the Carolinas into Sunday evening.

"More of the thunderstorms on Sunday will produce heavy rain," Knopick said.

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Motorists may encounter slowdowns due to poor visibility from the downpours and spray from other vehicles. Use caution on wet roads, where the risk of vehicles hydroplaning increases when traveling at highway speeds.

As was evident in New Orleans on Sunday morning, the heaviest downpours can trigger flash flooding in low-lying and urban areas.

The city was inundated with nearly 5 inches of rain since Saturday evening with 3 inches falling alone early Sunday morning.

Officials were forced to close multiple roads in New Orleans due to the flooding.

Lightning is another danger to anyone spending time outdoors, even in the absence of severe weather warnings.

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Lightning flashes in the background as the Houston Fire Department responds to a house fire on Thursday evening. (Twitter/@HoustonFire)

Remember that as soon as thunder is heard, the risk of being struck by lightning is present.

Download the free AccuWeather app to stay alert of severe weather watches and warnings, as well as AccuWeather MinuteCast® to know when to seek shelter.

Keep checking back for updates on and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.

On Monday, a push of dry air will suppress showers and thunderstorms to the Carolina coasts, southern Georgia and Florida with a separate area of spotty showers set to dot the southern Appalachians and points eastward to Virginia.

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Widespread dry weather will span most of the South on Tuesday as high pressure builds in and showers and thunderstorms are suppressed farther to the south in Florida.

Attention will then turn toward an outbreak of severe weather that will threaten the central U.S. at the end of this week.

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