Rounds of wet weather to be double-edged sword for southern US early this week

Renee Duff

While the southern United States is in need of rain, forecasters say too much may fall too quickly and lead to localized flooding this week.

While the weekend started on a tranquil note, showers and thunderstorms increased in coverage on Sunday from portions of the lower Mississippi Valley to the Carolina coast as a storm system moved through the area.

Due to inclement weather, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama on Sunday afternoon was postponed until Monday. The first stage of the race had been completed when the rain first started to roll into the area.

Another storm system will develop along a stalled front across the region on Tuesday.

It's expected to yield beneficial rain from the southern Plains through the Southeast, according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Tyler Roys.

A large corridor from central Texas to southern Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, eastern Tennessee and interior portions of the Carolinas are in the midst of abnormally dry to extreme drought conditions, according to the latest outlook released by the U.S. Drought Monitor.

"However, in most cases, the rain will be of little use for this year's crops that have been hit hard and damaged by heat and drought over the past couple of months," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.

While the upcoming rain will help to water lawns and gardens and ease dry conditions, AccuWeather meteorologists are concerned that too much rain may fall over these areas.

"Some of this rain could be heavy, leading to localized flooding," Roys said.

Moisture from a brewing tropical system in the eastern Pacific Ocean will be drawn northeastward by the early-week storm system, enhancing downpours across the region.

A widespread 1-3 inches of rain, with locally higher amounts, are forecast from eastern Texas to South Carolina.

Motorists will need to be wary of the heightened risk of hydroplaning while traveling at highway speeds during the downpours. Reduced visibility is also likely along stretches of interstates 10, 20, 55, 59, 65, 75, 85 and 95.

Weather-related airport delays can occur at the major hubs of Atlanta and Dallas as the wet weather moves through.

During the latter half of the week, an area of high pressure is forecast to push in from the center of the country and promote a drying trend over the Southern states.This high will help to usher in the coldest air yet this season for the Northeast late this week.

The air will not be nearly as chilly, but rather more seasonable, by the time it reaches the Deep South.


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