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Soaking Rain May Trigger Flooding Across the South This Weekend
Published: December 8, 2018
Heavy rain will soak parts of the Deep South into the weekend and will likely trigger flash flooding and river flooding from Texas to Georgia.
Last weekend, multiple rounds of torrential rain triggered major flooding in parts of north Florida and south Georgia. In Georgia, parts of Brooks and Lee counties picked up over 10 inches of rain. Flooding reached the doors of homes in Waycross, and in nearby Blackshear, a dam failed on the Lakeview Country Club lake Monday night.
The next soggy scenario is the warmer side of Winter Storm Diego from the southern High Plains to the East.
Rain has spread across much of the South, including areas of heavy rain in parts of the lower Mississippi Valley.
Current Radar, Watches and Warnings.
High water rescues were reported near Houston Friday night and many roadways and highways in eastern Texas were impassable at times due to flooding.
Almost 7 inches of rainfall was measured near Liberty, Texas, and 6.2 inches was recorded just northwest of Houston. Near Plain Dealing, Louisiana, 6.5 inches of rainfall was measured.
Several rivers along the Texas coast are expected to climb to major flood this weekend as rainwater drains into the riverways along the coast from Victoria to Houston, Texas.
(Winter Storm Diego News: Rain Blamed For Fatal Crash In Texas)
A southward plunge of the jet stream will pivot through the South this weekend. Cold air will limit the northward penetration of warm, humid air and deep tropical moisture. This will keep any severe weather threat to immediate Gulf Coast or over the Gulf of Mexico, but it won't limit the threat of additional heavy rainfall in the Deep South.
Rain is expected across the Southeast, including waterlogged parts of south Georgia and north Florida, Saturday night into Sunday.
The chance for rain, however, will linger through Monday in the Carolinas and Georgia.
(MAPS: 7-Day U.S. Rain/Snow Forecast)
Up to an additional 1-3 inches of rainfall are anticipated from Alabama into northern and central Georgia and into South Carolina. Areas toward the Gulf Coast can also expect locally heavy rainfall at times.
These amounts will likely lead to flash flooding, particularly if bands of heavy rain and thunderstorms set up over urban and flood-prone areas.
Flash flood watches have been posted from southern Alabama and the western Florida panhandle into much of Georgia.
This heavy rain and its resulting runoff is triggering river flooding in parts of southeastern Texas that may last for several days, according to NOAA's West Gulf River Forecast Center. Several locations are expected to reach major flood levels in southeastern Texas this weekend into next week.
Moderate flooding is also possible across eastern Texas into early next week.
Some rivers will climb into Sunday as water runs off into area river networks.
Several cities – including Dallas, San Antonio, College Station and Shreveport – are coming off their wettest autumns on record. NOAA's November U.S. climate report found Texas smashed its previous record wet autumn that had stood since 1919. As a result, rivers in central and eastern Texas remain either above or much above average for early December.
Locally heavy rainfall will likely trigger flash flooding in at least a few spots in south Georgia and north Florida because saturated ground is unable to absorb much rain. It will also aggravate and prolong ongoing river flooding in these areas.
Gusty winds associated with Winter Storm Diego and this heavy rain may help bring down some trees.
Check back with us at weather.com for updates to this forecast through the weekend.
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