Heavy rain and locally severe thunderstorms will advance across the southeastern United States to close out the weekend.
Thunderstorms that threaten to turn severe over the lower Mississippi Valley into Saturday evening will progress eastward on Sunday.
While the threat for severe weather will wane significantly from Saturday to Sunday, thunderstorms could be strong enough to cause sporadic power outages, break weak tree limbs and induce minor structural damage. Outdoor plans may be canceled or delayed.
“There is some concern for isolated severe thunderstorms to pop up Sunday afternoon,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Frank Strait said.
The severe weather threat will target western and central South Carolina through central Georgia and perhaps extending as far south as the Florida Panhandle.
Another batch of soaking thunderstorms will erupt farther south over the Florida Peninsula, which will help to douse raging brush fires across the region.
Some of the thunderstorms could retain their intensity as they move towards the Coastal Empire and Low Country areas of Georgia and South Carolina into Sunday evening, according to Strait.
“Locally damaging winds and hail are the main things to watch out for with these storms,” Strait said.
Frequent lightning strikes will threaten anyone who is caught outdoors. Seek shelter as soon as thunder is heard or lightning is seen to avoid a life-threatening situation.
Water can pool on roads under the heavy downpours, and motorists along stretches of Interstate 10, I-20, I-75 and I-85 will need to slow down in order to lessen the risk of hydroplaning.
“The greatest threat for flash flooding will be across the southern Appalachians,” Strait said.
An expansive area of soaking rain will fall to the north of the severe weather threat zone from the Tennessee Valley through North Carolina and Virginia on Sunday. Small streams and rivers could overflow their banks.
Flooding can occur despite the drought plaguing much of this corridor.
“This storm in the Southeast will be slow to move away,” Strait said.
Soaking rain and the threat for flooding will linger over eastern North Carolina, southeastern Virginia and perhaps into the Delmarva Peninsula through Monday.
The clouds and wet weather will slowly drift northward by the middle of next week.