Sign in to comment!

Fox News Weather Center

Slow-moving storm unleashes flooding along Gulf coast with rain totals exceeding 1 foot in Florida

Topic driven playlist

A slow-moving storm system will spread the risk of flooding downpours westward along the central Gulf of Mexico coast through the end of the week.

Areas from Tallahassee, Florida, and Mobile, Alabama, to Biloxi, Mississippi, and New Orleans will receive several inches of rain from repeating showers and thunderstorms.

"A general 3-6 inches of rain will fall from the Florida Panhandle to southeastern Louisiana with local amounts potentially topping 8 inches," according to AccuWeather Storm Warning Meteorologist Alex Avalos.

"Rainfall rates will be high enough to cause flooding in low-lying areas, along small streams, bayous and perhaps some of the rivers," according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Becky Elliott.

In some cases, a couple of inches of rain could fall in as many hours.

New Orleans has an extensive pumping system to handle heavy rainfall, but some of the other towns and cities along the central Gulf coast could take on water for a time.

Motorists should prepare for excess water on area highways, including Interstate 10, I-20, I-55 and I-65. Slowing down during heavy rain will reduce the risk of hydroplaning.

Even though the structure of the storm is vastly different when compared to a tropical system, the result will continue to be nearly the same as a slow-moving tropical depression or tropical storm along the Gulf coast in terms of rainfall.

People wanting to spend time at the beach will have to make alternative plans.

The storm has unloaded a foot of rain on part of Florida since this past weekend and will continue to tap into tropical moisture through the upcoming weekend.

As the core of the heaviest rain shifts westward through Friday, showers and thunderstorms will still riddle portions of Florida and may cause additional flooding.

While the greatest risk of flooding will be concentrated near the central Gulf coast through Friday, highly localized flash flooding can also occur hundreds of miles to the north.

Most of the large rivers, such as the Mississippi and Pearl, will handle the rainfall with no trouble.

During the weekend, the storm system and the core of the heavy rain will begin to move northward toward the Ohio Valley with the risk of flash flooding.