Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Flash Flood, Severe Threats Target the Southeast Through Wednesday; Flood Watches From Georgia to Virginia

Brian Donegan
Published: May 23,2017

Locally flooding rainfall and severe thunderstorms will continue to be a threat over a large swath of the South through Wednesday.
(MORE: Summer 2017 Temperature Outlook)
There were six reports of tornadoes in southern Georgia Tuesday afternoon, including one confirmed tornado that moved through just north of Tybee Island.
Three tornadoes were reported in North Carolina, and minor injuries occurred when a mobile home overturned from one of the possible twisters near Salemburg.
(LATEST NEWS: Damage, Tornadoes Reported as Severe Weather Moves Through the South)
If that weren't enough, the streets of downtown Charleston, South Carolina, filled with knee-deep water Tuesday.
An area of low pressure will slide east along a stalled front near the Gulf Coast through midweek. That low will pull abundant tropical moisture northward from the Gulf of Mexico, providing the fuel needed for additional heavy downpours to develop.
Currently, several clusters of thunderstorms and areas of soaking rain are tracking through parts of the South from Virginia to Florida and along the northern Gulf Coast.
(INTERACTIVE: Your Local Radar Loop)

Current Radar, Watches and Warnings
The National Weather Service has hoisted flash flood watches from Georgia to southern Virginia through Wednesday, including the Atlanta, Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham metro areas.

Flood Alerts
Here's a general outlook of what to expect through Wednesday.
  • Wednesday 
    • Flood threat: Lingering showers and thunderstorms are possible in the Southeast, especially in portions of Florida, southern Georgia and southeastern South Carolina. Locally heavy downpours remain possible, which could lead to additional areas of flooding. This rainfall, however, will be beneficial for parts of the Florida Peninsula experiencing drought conditions. A flash flood threat also exists in the central and southern Appalachians.
    • Severe threat: A few severe storms are also possible through Wednesday night in parts of north and central Florida, stretching into southern and eastern Georgia and much of South Carolina.

South Outlook
Many areas in the South will pick up 1 to 3 inches of rainfall through Wednesday. However, where thunderstorm clusters stall or move too slowly, higher amounts are expected.
The best chance of greater than 3 inches of additional rain will occur in a swath from northern Florida to southern Virginia. A few places may even see more than 5 inches of rainfall.
(FORECAST: Jacksonville | Charleston | Norfolk)
The good news is that flood-ravaged Oklahoma, Arkansas and Missouri will avoid this heavy rainfall.
In addition, this rainfall will likely be beneficial in easing drought conditions that remain in place across much of Georgia, Florida and Alabama, as well as parts of South Carolina.

Rainfall Forecast Through Wednesday

Flooding Reports Since Saturday


Heavy rain led to flooded roadways in Galveston, Texas, on Monday. A tornado warning was issued for Galveston Island around midday as radar imagery indicated rotation, and reports of funnel clouds were received by the National Weather Service. No tornado has yet been confirmed, however. Galveston picked up 2.33 inches of rain in about 8 hours Monday morning.
Flash flooding was also reported Monday in Columbia, South Carolina, and in southern portions of the Jacksonville, Florida, metro area.
In Savannah, Georgia, 4.69 inches of rain fell in only two hours Monday afternoon, leading to flash flooding there, as well.


Torrential rainfall caused flooding in the Laredo, Texas, area on Sunday where some water rescues took place, according to the Laredo Morning Times. The city was also battered by large hail and strong thunderstorm winds.
In addition, a 14-year-old boy died from electrocution Sunday after he came in contact with a power line that was downed during the storms, the Laredo Morning Times reported.


In the Montgomery, Alabama, area, heavy rain resulted in numerous flooded roadways Saturday night into early Sunday. A total of 8.15 inches of rain fell in Montgomery on Saturday, making it the wettest May day on record in the city.
MORE: Severe Storms, Flooding Hit Plains, Midwest

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