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Chantal to Prolong Rain, Flood Risk for South, East

Additional rounds of rain and the potential for flash, urban and small stream flooding will continue in a large swath along the East coast and into part of the Appalachians this weekend, due in part to Tropical Rainstorm Chantal.

While flooding problems are likely to be isolated over most of this area, the ongoing downpours and locally strong thunderstorms will continue to bring travel delays, road closures and interruptions to vacations, ball games and construction projects.

A flow of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean will not be in a hurry to leave from northern Florida to parts of Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey.

Throw in Tropical Rainstorm Chantal in part of this area and the situation could get worse before it gets better.

An observation over the years among AccuWeather.com meteorologists is that old tropical systems and their impact are slow to diminish, despite official government classifications. In short, these systems often retain some sort of circulation, continue to produce rainfall and can flare up on occasion. Because of this, AccuWeather.com has chosen to continue to track Chantal even though the system was downgraded from tropical storm status late Wednesday.

Even without Chantal, enough Gulf and Atlantic moisture will remain in parts of the South and the East to continue a risk of sporadic flash, urban and small stream flooding.

Where Chantal's leftover moisture becomes involved, somewhere between northern Florida, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, flooding could be more widespread and potentially more serious.

Many areas from Georgia to New England have received close to a foot of rain since June 1. This rainfall is between two and three times that of normal for the approximate 40-day period.

The ground is saturated in many areas. Much of any additional rain that falls over next several days will run off quickly into streams and then the rivers.

During Thursday and Friday, the bulk of Chantal's drenching showers and thunderstorms were moving up east of the Florida Peninsula.

Steering winds are likely to drive that rainfall onshore from Georgia to North Carolina this weekend. From there that enhanced rain area could reach back into the southern and central Appalachians.