As the weekend approaches, so does the powerful storm system we’ve had our eye on all week. This multi-faceted storm will pack multiple punches in the form of severe thunderstorms for the Southeast today as well as likely flooding for the Gulf Coast, Mississippi Valley, Deep South, and Mid-Atlantic. This storm won’t reach too far north, but still could drop a few inches of rain, and possibly snow, in parts of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Saturday and Sunday.

This is the Friday Edition of your Morning Briefing. Let’s see what the weekend has in store.

Severe Weather Risk For the Southeast Today:

  1. A large area of moderate convection, a rarity for this time of year, exists through a large part of the Southeast today. The highest risk for possibly damaging storms is around Central FL.
  2. Although one or two weak tornadoes are possible, the bigger concern with these storms are locally damaging winds and enhanced rainfall. Many areas already at risk for flooding could be pushed to the edge.
  3. This severe threat will diminish by the end of the night tonight. Tomorrow, only the possibility for a few pop-up thunderstorms in the Mid-Atlantic exists. 

Although thunderstorms are much more uncommon in the Winter, they are certainly possible. Warm, moist air ahead of an eastward-bound cold front is what will provide the atmosphere with what it needs to fuel some severe weather today throughout the Southeast. Scattered severe storms are most likely for Central FL, but some isolated storms are also very possible along the Southeast Atlantic coast up to NC. Although one or two weak tornadoes could possibly form as well, the main concerns with these storms are damaging straight-line winds and enhanced rainfall. Many areas in the region have already experienced minimal flooding, and an extra 1-1.5″ dropped from a severe storm could push many areas over the edge. This threat will drastically diminish tonight though, and tomorrow there remains only a chance for non-severe thunderstorms.

Heavy Rain and Possible Flooding from Arkansas to DC:

  1. Multiple flood and flash flood watches are already in effect for parts of the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic as a strong system containing tons of Gulf moisture plows through the region.
  2. As the system moves northward today, it will drop at least an inch over most of the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic. Heavy rain of 3-5″ is likely within the FL panhandle, where severe thunderstorms are also likely today. Severe storms could increase rainfall totals by as much as 3″.
  3. The Mid-Atlantic is at a risk for flooding later today into tomorrow evening and up to 5″ in rain. This will add to the 1-2″ of moisture still contained within snow pack on the ground.
  4. By the end of the day Saturday, the system will have begun its exit off the Mid-Atlantic coast, and precip will move out of the region.

Heavy rain has already began for much of the region as this strong low pressure system begins to move up the Mississippi Valley this morning. Widespread moderate to heavy rain is expected with this storm due to excessive amounts of moisture being funneled into the area from the Gulf. Heavy rain from thunderstorms is expected to cause minor flooding for parts of the FL panhandle, but much of the Mid-Atlantic is at risk for flooding because of last week’s storm. 1-2″ of water is still contained within snow pack in this area. This means an additional 1-2″ to the 2-5″ that will fall from this storm. Soil in many places in this region is still saturated from a very wet year, making flooding even more likely. While this system seems to have slowed, most precip should exit the region by tomorrow evening, leaving Sunday to recover from this storm.

Rain and Possible Snow Showers for Parts of the Northeast Saturday to Sunday:

  1. A slow down in this system’s progression means that the Northeast won’t see any precip from this system until early tomorrow.
  2. While the center of the storm will move off the DelMarVa coast early Sunday, precip will still reach further north, with light to moderate showers extending into Southern New England. Areas further south, like Long Island and NJ, can expect 1-1.5″ of rain, while areas further north will likely get less than an inch.
  3. At some point Sunday, precip will likely briefly change to snow or a wintry mix, especially for Southern New England. Accumulations are expected to be little to none.

As we said before, this system continues to slow with each model run, meaning showers likely won’t reach NJ/PA/NY until early tomorrow. Redeveloping high pressure over Quebec will block the system from advancing any further north than the DelMarVa, or possibly NJ. However, precip in the head of the cyclone will likely reach into Southern New England Sunday either way. 1-1.5″ of rain can be expected to fall in the south, such as Long Island and NJ. Further north, less than an inch of rain is likely, with a switch to snow or a wintry mix likely at some point on Sunday. Accumulations of snow or ice would likely remain very low, due to warmer temperatures before the storm’s onset. By Monday morning, the rest of the precipitation will have moved offshore, leaving high pressure to build during the week before the next storm system.

Make sure to subscribe to The Morning Briefing on the right-hand side of this article so we can send you them straight to your inbox for free.

Also remember to lookout for The Sunday Storm this upcoming Sunday evening as well as Five Things to Watch This Week next Monday.


Kathleen is a Meteorologist at WeatherOptics, where she works writing content for the website, providing accurate and detailed forecasts to clients, and consulting on various meteorological projects. Kathleen earned her B.S. in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences in 2018 from Stony Brook University. Kathleen has also done research into our changing climate by investigating theRole of Atmospheric Rivers on Arctic Amplification in 2017.

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