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South to endure another round of drenching storms

AccuWeather logo AccuWeather 6 days ago Jessica Storm

Even though the phrase "April showers" is used often this time of year, AccuWeather meteorologists say there will be heavy April downpours across the Southeast instead.

This week began with warm, dry weather across much of the region. Easter Sunday was the start of a warm trend across the Southeast as many cities' temperatures bounced above normal that day and the above-normal warmth continued into midweek.

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By Tuesday, the high temperature in both Nashville and New Orleans peaked at 81 degrees Fahrenheit. In contrast, Nashville usually sits at a high of 68 in early April. Atlanta is also forecast to hit 81 on Wednesday, which is over 10 degrees higher than average. Charlotte, North Carolina, has the potential to climb to 84 on Wednesday, which would be 14 degrees above normal.

These high temperatures are likely to hit a roadblock soon, however, as a storm that has been bringing severe weather to the Plains since late Monday is anticipated to move into the Southeast late Wednesday through Thursday morning.

"It looks like the Southeast will get rain and thunderstorms with this storm over the Plains into the end of the week," AccuWeather Meteorologist Maura Kelly said.

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The cooler air accompanying this storm will weigh temperatures down a bit but not enough to put them below average.

Nashville's high temperatures will dip back into the 70s on Thursday, at 76, before rebounding to 81 on Friday after one storm has moved past the city. Atlanta, however, is not expected to have temperatures above the 70s again for the near future. New Orleans will barely be affected by the cooler trend as its temperatures will likely remain around 80 both Wednesday and Thursday and are forecast to hit 82 on Friday.

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Residents in the path of this storm, though, should be prepared for more than just cooler weather. This storm can bring lightning, damaging winds and heavy rain, which may cause flash flooding. This is forecast to occur Wednesday through early Thursday morning in cities such as Jackson, Mississippi, and Nashville and Memphis, Tennessee.

Unfortunately, it appears as though a reprieve from the rain is not yet in store for the Southeast.


"Another storm will track through on Friday and Saturday," Kelly said.

This second storm will not only be reminiscent of the first, but it is also expected to bring an even heavier deluge to the Southeast.

"By Saturday, rainfall totals can reach as high 4-6 inches somewhere along the central Gulf Coast. Exactly where will depend on where the center of the second storm tracks," Kelly said.

Such intense rainfall can cause flash flooding problems with the already high water levels in the region.

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Large sections of the Mississippi River from Tennessee to Louisiana continue to be under flood warnings as a result of a large amount of precipitation the South received last month, according to Accuweather Meteorologist Mary Gilbert.

"As downpours drench the area to end the week, many gauges along the Mississippi River will likely remain in at least minor flood stage, and waters will be slow to recede," Gilbert said.

Last month, Bristol, Tennessee, reported twice its normal precipitation amount for March, at almost 7 inches. At the end of the month, NASCAR had to postpone multiple races due to severe storms and heavy rain.

Nashville received three times its normal precipitation for March, reporting 12.28 inches total, good for the second-highest March total in the city's history. The heavy rainfall caused devastating flooding across the city near the end of the month, which resulted in several deaths and prompted officials to declare a state of emergency.

Fortunately, there is an end in sight for this week's downpours as the second storm is expected to move over the Atlantic Ocean from Sunday night into Monday morning. High pressure will then move into the region, keeping conditions dry for a time and bringing temperatures back to generally around or slightly below normal.

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