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The already soaked southern US to be further drenched through midweek as rivers continue to rise

AccuWeather logo AccuWeather 1/14/2020 Renee Duff

An unsettled weather pattern will keep the southern United States contending with rounds of stormy weather through Wednesday. After already receiving heavy rainfall and now dealing with damage from this past weekend's severe weather, more rain is the last thing the region needs.

After last week's storm, a surge of water is flowing down the Mississippi River after the storm dumped heavy rainfall across the Ohio and Mississippi valleys. Lower portions of the Mississippi River will reach minor to moderate flood stage during the second half of January, according to hydrologists at the National Weather Service. Flooding is already ongoing along some of the smaller rivers, such as Big Black, Pearl, Tombigbee and Yazoo.

Additional rounds of rainfall through the middle of the week are likely to slow the recession of the rivers and may send a new surge of water into small creaks and streams. The risk of flash flooding will also be heightened given the saturated state of the ground.

a close up of a map © Provided by AccuWeather

A stalled storm system draped across the area will continue to promote rounds of showers and even a few thunderstorms, according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Carl Babinski.

The downpours will extend from eastern Texas through the Tennessee Valley and into the Carolinas. Heavy showers and storms were already lining up along this corridor early Tuesday morning.

Reduced visibility and ponding of water on the roadways will be hazards to motorists on stretches of interstates 20, 30, 40, 55, 65, 75 and 85. Remember to never attempt to drive over a flooded stretch of roadway.

a close up of a map © Provided by AccuWeather
This radar image showers showers and thunderstorms lining up across the Southern states early Tuesday morning.

While the bulk of the stormy weather will be north of the I-10 corridor, drivers along this stretch will need to be wary of dense fog that can limit visibility to near zero.

AccuWeather meteorologists cannot rule out the potential that some of the storms in the area could turn damaging, with damaging winds and hail being the primary threats.


"A few of the storms can be become severe," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said. "Of these a couple of the strongest storms could spawn a brief tornado."

On Monday, an EF1 tornado with estimated wind speeds of 90 mph crossed the Loris High School campus in Loris, South Carolina. In Sampson County, North Carolina, a microburst, or violent rush of sinking air from a thunderstorm, caused a partial roof collapse at a school, sending three students to a local hospital to be treated for minor injuries.

Since the ground is already saturated, even a moderate wind gust of 40-50 mph within a thunderstorm could be enough to knock over a shallow-rooted tree.

"Despite the showers around, daytime temperatures are expected to remain well above the seasonal averages," Babinski said.

High temperatures in the 70s F will challenge daily records in Atlanta; Montgomery, Alabama; Nashville; New Orleans; and Tallahassee and Pensacola, Florida, on Tuesday and/or Wednesday.

Drier, cooler air is expected to press down from the north on Thursday, which will push the stormy weather towards the I-10 corridor.

The next chance for widespread rainfall across the region will come with a weekend storm that will bring wintry hazards to the Midwest and Northeast.

Keep checking back on and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.


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