Cindy may spawn more tornadoes, severe weather from Louisiana to Florida
By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
June 22, 2017, 11:57:54 PM EDT
Even though Cindy is inland and weakening, the risk of flooding and severe thunderstorms will continue along the central Gulf Coast and part of the interior South.
Cindy made landfall in Cameron Parish, Louisiana, between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. CDT Thursday with maximum sustained winds between 40 and 45 miles per hour. Cindy was downgraded to a tropical depression as of mid-morning Thursday.
Heavy rainfall and severe thunderstorms continue to extend well out from the center of Cindy, especially to its east and north.
Storm to creep northward through southern US
"Cindy will continue to move northward into Thursday evening before a curve to the northeast occurs on Thursday night and Friday," according to AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski.
Deep South at risk for major flooding
While minor coastal flooding has occurred from Louisiana to western Florida and will subside, the greatest ongoing impact from Cindy will be the risk of major fresh water flooding in the Deep South and other parts of the eastern United States.
Flooding will not only occur along some small streams, bayous and urban areas but also along to some of the rivers in the region.
Fortunately, most of the rivers in the region will peak at minor to moderate flood stage, rather than major flood stage with this event. However, there will be a few exceptions. Most rivers in the South will not crest until this weekend or early next week.
Locally heavy rain has been falling on parts of the South well in advance of Cindy since this past weekend. Some areas received 8-10 inches of rain from Sunday to Thursday morning.
Into Thursday night, the greatest risk of flooding along the interstate 10 and 20 corridors will occur in spiral bands. In these bands rainfall can be intense and quickly inundate area streets and highways.
"Total rainfall of 6-12 inches is likely over part of the central Gulf Coast states with locally higher amounts of 15 inches possible, due to the slow-moving nature of the storm," Kottlowski said.
Cities that could experience flooding problems from the storm include Pensacola, Florida; Mobile, Alabama; Biloxi, Mississippi; and New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Lake Charles, Louisiana.
Heavy rain and the risk of flooding directly associated with the storm are forecast to extend well inland over the South into this weekend.
Tornadoes to be spawned by storm
Locally gusty winds with and without thunder could down tree limbs and lead to sporadic power outages near the Gulf Coast.
"People along the upper Gulf coast will also need to be vigilant for the risk of a few tornadoes and waterspouts through Thursday night," according to AccuWeather Storm Warning Meteorologist Richard Schraeger.
As the storm continues to push inland, the risk of severe thunderstorms and isolated tornadoes will extend into northern parts of Louisiana and Mississippi, southeastern Arkansas and perhaps southern Tennessee into Thursday night.
Bathers, boaters at risk from dangerous storm
In addition to the risk of flooding and severe thunderstorms, a persistent flow of air off the Gulf of Mexico will create hazardous surf and seas.
Reports: Voluntary evacuations ordered amid Cindy’s flooding in Louisiana; Tornado strikes near Birmingham, Alabama
AccuWeather Hurricane Center: See the latest advisories
Cindy’s major flood threat to persist as storm unleashes up to a foot of rain
South-central US interactive radar
There will be an elevated risk of strong and frequent rip currents along much of the Gulf coast due to the large nature of the storm. The worst conditions will be from northern Florida to Louisiana.
Seas over much of the Gulf of Mexico may remain too rough for small craft into Thursday night.
Beyond Cindy, tropical development is unlikely over the Atlantic basin through at least the end of June.
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