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Fox News Weather Center

El Nino-Fueled Rainstorms to Frequent Southeast US Into December

More rain will drench much of the Southeast states this weekend into next week and beyond as the effects of El Niño ramp up moving into winter.

There is no sign of a lengthy break in the wet pattern from Louisiana to the Carolinas and part of Florida through November and December.

Severe Weather and Flooding for Texas

According to AccuWeather Chief Long Range Meteorologist Paul Pastelok, a parade of storms will continue to move eastward from the Pacific Ocean.

"There has been and will continue to be tropical moisture feeding into the storms time and time again in November, and we can attribute a significant part of the pattern to El Niño," Pastelok said.

During El Niño, warm tropical Pacific waters produce stronger and more frequent storms over the same ocean. The storms can then grab more moisture from the tropics upon moving eastward over land.

The forward speed of the storms will slow upon reaching the Southeastern states. The storm system this weekend into early next week will be no exception.

While the greatest risk of flooding is likely to be centered on Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama this weekend, enough rain can occur to cause new rises on area small streams and rivers. Localized urban flooding is also a possibility.

In part of the lower Mississippi Valley, from 2 to 4 inches of rain is likely Saturday and Sunday.

Farther east, the rain is likely to be less intense but it will last longer. From much of Alabama to Georgia, South Carolina, southern North Carolina, southeastern Tennessee and northern and central Florida, a general 1 to 2 inches of rain, with locally higher amounts, is in store from Friday night through Tuesday.

"Beyond early next week, we expect two to three additional big wet storm systems to impact the Southeastern states during November," Pastelok said.

There will be a break between the storms, which will last a couple of days, so it will not rain constantly. However, with lower evaporation rates during the late autumn, the ground will stay soggy. As a result, streams and rivers can rise with even a moderate rainstorm, leading to bouts of flooding.

When it is not raining, the damp ground could lead to episodes of widespread morning fog.

Looking ahead to December, Pastelok is not optimistic about the region drying out.

"Winter, especially December, is likely to be worse than the fall in terms of big wet storms and severe weather," Pastelok said.

As El Niño strengthens, the storms will get stronger and wetter in the Southern states.

The tropical influence thus far has been responsible for high humidity and above-average temperatures in much of the region thus far this autumn.

The majority of the Southeast will have to wait until the heart of winter for a few significant cool and dry outbreaks. The flow on the backside of strong and large-scale systems may be enough to get that accomplished.