This Independence Day weekend is not going to be a lot of fun for many people living in the Southeast and especially for those planning outdoor activities. A serious flash flood threat is now developing over a large portion of the country from parts of Florida up into the Appalachians. As of late Wednesday, portions of Florida and Georgia have already received a lot of rain. In one area of Florida’s Panhandle, already over 9 ½ inches of rain fell and it all came down in just a 12 hour period.
Between four and six inches of rainfall came down over portions of northern Georgia Wednesday as heavy thunderstorms pushed over the state, causing the flooding of numerous roadways. The ground is already soggy across most of the Southeast with some areas having between eight and sixteen inches above average rainfall so far this year.
In the Appalachians, between forty and fifty-five inches of rainfall have already come down during the first half of 2013. That much rain makes that region of the country very vulnerable for serious flash flooding over the next few days. The National Weather Service is warning that up to five inches of rain can fall over the Independence Day weekend in parts of the Southeast. And, in those areas where very heavy thunderstorms prevail, up to eight inches of rain could come down which could result in dangerous flash floods.
Anyone in the Southeast who’s planning on being outdoors over the holiday weekend should steer clear of low-lying areas and areas susceptible to flooding such as points along streams and creeks as flash flooding can begin very quickly once waterways reach their maximum capacity. The storms which are sweeping across the Southeast are also capable of producing dangerous cloud-to-ground lightening and strong gusts of wind that could take down trees and powerlines. And, to add insult to injury, it’s also possible that a few tornadoes can develop out of the unstable weather pattern.
A flash flood warning was put into effect Wednesday for the metropolitan Atlanta area as up to six inches of rain fell in some spots. The warning was dropped Wednesday night but additional warnings are very likely on Thursday as forecasters are calling for more heavy rains. In Tallahassee, the National Weather Service put a flash flood watch in effect through Friday morning as extremely heavy rain started falling there Wednesday afternoon. The NWS warned residents of the Tallahassee area that between four and eight inches of rain could come down through Friday morning which can cause life-threatening flash floods.