Wet Pattern Will Bring Needed Rainfall to the South into Midweek

Linda Lam
Published: October 13, 2019

Rain is finally in the forecast across the South after having been in short supply for much of the region over the past few months.

The strong low-pressure system that brought record cold to parts of the West and Plains and blizzard conditions to the Northern Plains will usher in this pattern change this weekend.

The cold front that is pushing into the South will stall across the region into early in the week ahead. This stalled boundary will bring the chance for showers and thunderstorms from the Southeast to Texas into Monday.

Then, Tuesday into Wednesday, another cold front will push southeastward into the South. This system will combine with tropical moisture from the Eastern Pacific, which will enhance rainfall in the region.

(MORE: Multiple Areas Are Being Monitored for Tropical Development

Wet Forecast

Sunday into Sunday night, a few showers and thunderstorms will be found near the front from eastern Virginia into Louisiana and along the Texas coast.

Rainfall will increase Monday in the Southern Plains and Mississippi Valley as the stalled front lifts northward as a warm front. The chance of rain will also extend into the Southeast.

Moisture will increase across the South on Tuesday ahead of the next system, and widespread moderate to locally heavy rainfall is anticipated. The chance for rain will linger into Wednesday from southern Texas into the Southeast.

Many locations can expect rainfall totals of 1 to 3 inches from eastern Texas to southeastern Virginia, with locally higher amounts.


Rainfall Forecast

Drier conditions return to end the week, along with cooler temperatures.

Recent Dry Pattern

This wet pattern is a significant change from recent weather conditions and good news for drought-stricken areas.

September was the driest on record for several Southern cities, including Nashville, Tennessee; Montgomery, Alabama; Tupelo, Mississippi; Tallahassee, Florida; and New Orleans, according to the Southeast Regional Climate Center.

(MORE: A Flash Drought Is Developing in the Southeast

Atlanta has had no measurable precipitation so far in October and saw less than an inch in September, resulting in a rainfall deficit of more than 5 inches as of Oct. 11.

Charlotte, North Carolina, has reported only 0.22 inches since Sept. 1, which is more than 4 inches below average.

Only 0.03 inches of precipitation has occurred in Tallahassee, Florida, since Sept. 1, which is almost 6 inches below average.

It's not just the Southeast. Dallas, San Antonio and Austin, Texas, all have rainfall deficits of around 3 to 3.5 inches since Sept. 1.

U.S. Drought Monitor
(National Drought Mitigation Center)

The lack of precipitation has caused drought conditions to grow from Texas to the Southeast.

As of Oct. 8, 60% of the Southeast was experiencing drought conditions. This was quite a jump from the prior week, when 44% of the region was in drought.

In addition, almost 5% of the Southeast was in extreme drought, the second-highest category from the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Extended Outlook

The wet pattern may persist into late October, which would help to alleviate the dry conditions in the southern United States.

NOAA's Climate Prediction Center's latest precipitation outlook indicates the South has at least a 33% chance of above average precipitation over the next two weeks.


Precipitation Outlook

The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.


The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.