A series of powerful storms is forecast to unleash torrential downpours, flooding, and severe thunderstorms with the risk of tornadoes across a large swath of the Southeastern U.S. over the next several days.
Meteorologists are closely monitoring the evolution of these storms, which could significantly impact the region through the weekend and into early next week.
The same sprawling storm system that is predicted to blanket parts of the Ohio Valley and Northeast in snow will simultaneously produce heavy rain and thunderstorms from the Gulf Coast across the Deep South.
The excessive rainfall will be welcomed in areas suffering from ongoing extreme to exceptional drought, especially in parts of the lower Mississippi and Tennessee Valleys.
However, the rain could also trigger flash flooding, river flooding, and poorer drainage flooding in both urban and rural areas.
In addition to the deluges of rainfall, the storm system will spark locally gusty thunderstorms as it traverses the Southeast. Forecasters say some of the storms could reach severe limits, producing damaging winds capable of downing trees and power lines.
There is also a non-zero risk of a few tornadoes accompanying the turbulent weather, especially near the Gulf Coast on Friday and across the Florida Peninsula on Saturday, according to Meteorologist Joe Bauer.
At Least 5 Inches of Rain Expected
Residents across the Southeast should be prepared for multiple rounds of wet weather and storms extending through the weekend and into early next week.
The unsettled pattern could lead to rainfall totals of over 5 inches in some locales, exacerbating flood concerns. People living in flood-prone areas should take steps now to protect property and have an emergency plan ready to go.