Skip to content

Flash Flooding Remains An Ongoing Concern In Southern US

It will rain in the lower Mississippi and Tennessee valleys, flooding areas where there has already been enough rain.

Additional rain will fall across the lower Mississippi and Tennessee valleys this weekend, further inundating areas that have received plentiful amounts of rainfall since the middle of the week, AccuWeather forecasters say.

The feature responsible for the frequent downpours across the southern United States is a sluggish cold front tracking slowly along the Gulf Coast to the east. This front will gradually push eastward off the Carolina coast through Saturday night and spread additional heavy rain along its path.

Some parts of southwestern Louisiana reported 24-hour rainfall amounts ranging from 2-4 inches from Thursday morning to Friday morning. Totals soared even higher around Lake Charles, Louisiana, where a whopping 6.77 inches of rain was recorded in a day. Numerous flash flood watches were put in place across eastern Texas and Louisiana, and they are scheduled to last through Saturday.

Widespread showers and a few thunderstorms are expected to spread from southern and eastern Texas into southern Virginia on Friday. By Friday night, the threat of additional heavy rain will shift out of southern Texas and focus on areas eastward, including Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, northern Georgia and the Carolinas.

“Heavy rain will continue to impact portions of southern Louisiana and Mississippi through Saturday with an additional 1-3 inches of rainfall possible on top of what has fallen in the previous days,” explained AccuWeather Meteorologist Nicole LoBiondo.

Up to an additional 1-3 inches of rain might fall on top of what has already dropped in the previous days as parts of southern Louisiana and Mississippi continue to see heavy rain through Saturday. ACCUWEATHER

After the heavy rainfall that saturated parts of southwestern Louisiana Thursday into Friday, any additional rain through Saturday could quickly cause localized flash flooding.

On Thursday, a new daily maximum rainfall record was set for Shreveport, Louisiana, after the city recorded 3.07 inches. This broke the previous record of 3.04 inches set back in 1940. Another daily maximum rainfall record was set in Lufkin, Texas, on Thursday after it received 4.20 inches of rain, smashing the previous record from 1938 by 2 inches.

Some creek and river gauges in northeastern Texas and southern Louisiana have reached minor flood stages, including the Vermilion River near Lafayette, Louisiana, as well as Cypress Creek, Neches River and Angelina River near Lufkin, Texas. As additional rain spreads over parts of eastern Texas and Louisiana through Friday night, there are growing concerns that additional rivers and streams will climb to minor flood stage, with the potential for some elevated waterways to reach moderate flood stage.

Throughout the day on Friday, rainfall can become enhanced by the terrain of the southern Appalachian Mountains. This will be particularly true near locations along the border of Tennessee and North Carolina where the western slopes of the mountains can provide what meteorologists call “orographic lift” and heavier rain amounts can be observed.

Vacationers and outdoor enthusiasts staying around the Smokey Mountains and nearby towns such as Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, Tennessee, could see rain amounts through Friday night totaling between 0.50 and 1.00 inch. Forecasters say that locations south and east of the southern Appalachians can total even higher amounts as the frontal boundary shifts to the coast.

“The rain will advance into the Carolinas Friday to Saturday, where another corridor of 1-3 inches of rainfall is possible. Major cities like Charlotte and Raleigh are expected to be in this corridor of heavy rain,” said LoBiondo.

Thunderstorms and heavy rainfall could impact those attending the 87th Masters Tournament in Augusta, Georgia, this weekend. Periods of rain and even a thunderstorm are forecast, and delays are possible through Saturday. Forecasters say that conditions will trend drier by the end of the weekend.

Regardless of a rain or lightning delay, those attending the tournament will notice cooler conditions compared to what is typically observed in Georgia for mid-April. After settling in the middle to upper 80s Fahrenheit on Wednesday and Thursday, daytime highs will fall to the lower 50s F by Saturday in Augusta, roughly 20-25 degrees below the historical average. Into early next week, however, temperatures will slowly rebound into the 70s F, closer to the typically observed temperatures this time of year.

There may be gusty gusts, severe rip currents, and rough surf from the central South Carolina coast to parts of Virginia Beach this weekend as the slowly moving storm system changes away from the coast of the Carolinas. ACCUWEATHER

As the slow-moving storm system shifts away from the coast of the Carolinas this weekend, there can be gusty winds, strong rip currents and rough surf from the central South Carolina coast to portions of Virginia Beach. Winds will predominately be out of the north-northeast and may gust to 30-50 mph at times as this feature shifts offshore.

The next feature forecasters are monitoring for the Southern states will be a zone of low pressure that is likely to develop off the Gulf Coast by the middle of next week. AccuWeather meteorologists say this system will bring increased rain activity and thunderstorms to the Gulf Coast region and southeastern U.S., as well as gusty winds.

“There is a chance this system could acquire some tropical characteristics as it drifts westward. Whether it becomes a subtropical system or not, it may trigger drenching showers and thunderstorms across the Gulf Coast and Florida Peninsula,” explained AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Courtney Travis.

Produced in association with AccuWeather

Recommended from our partners