Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Rain, coastal hazards to persist in eastern US as Irma weakens

By Faith Eherts, AccuWeather meteorologist
September 12,2017, 2:29:43PM,EDT
 Despite weakening to below hurricane strength on Monday, Irma will still bring disruptive weather to part of the eastern United States through Tuesday.
“As Irma pushes northward, it will try to squeeze out every last drop as heavy rain Tuesday into Wednesday,” said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Mike LeSeney.
Rain left over from this storm will continue to soak parts of the South Central and Southeastern states, while also spreading into the southern Ohio Valley and southern mid-Atlantic by Tuesday afternoon.
For the duration of the storm the heaviest rainfall is expected to fall over parts of eastern and northern North Carolina, southern Virginia, western Mississippi, eastern Arkansas and northeastern Louisiana. A general 1-2 inches of rain will fall will localized amounts of 2-4 inches.
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“Of particular concern will be the mountainous areas where even lower rainfall amounts can lead to a flooding problem,” LeSeney said.
Localized flash flooding could lead to flooded buildings and road closures. Motorists should be careful not to attempt to traverse closed or flooded roadways.
While flooding is expected to be the main threat posed by Irma through Tuesday, coastal areas hundreds of miles from the center of the system will still feel its impacts from locally gusty thunderstorms.
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“Soil that becomes saturated due to heavy rainfall may combine with stronger wind gusts to bring down some trees, power and utility lines,” LeSeney said.
Millions of customers are without power across Florida, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina in Irma’s wake.
After prompting over 70 tornado warnings in Florida on Sunday, the threat of spin-ups within Irma’s rain bands has decreased significantly.
Even so, waterspouts and small tornadoes are not out of the question along the beaches of North Carolina and southeastern Virginia through Tuesday evening.
Coastal flooding, rough surf and strong rip currents will also remain threats through midweek.

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