Fox News Weather Center

Tropical downpours to raise threat of localized flooding in southeastern US

The risk of localized torrential downpours, disruptions and flash flooding will increase over part of the southeastern Unites States to end the week.

Tropical moisture will flow northward from the Gulf of Mexico.

The weather pattern will deliver heavier-than-average summer storms to parts of the South.

Slow-moving downpours, some associated with gusty thunderstorms, have the potential to bring a few inches of rain in as many hours to some communities.

While Emily left central Florida for the Atlantic Ocean early Tuesday morning, a swath of tropical downpours remained over South Florida and caused localized flooding in Miami Tuesday afternoon and evening.


At the very least, disruptions to outdoor activity and travel are in store.

The upcoming downpours can be heavy enough to cause runoff to collect in low-lying areas, including portions of Interstate 10, I-16, I-26, I-45, I-65, I-75 and I-95.

Streets in some neighborhoods will take on water.

Into Wednesday night, the downpours will congregate from Texas to Florida along the Gulf coast. A batch of locally drenching rain will also affect parts of north-central and northeastern Texas and northern and central Louisiana.

Static Wednesday Southeast US Plain Language


During Thursday, the downpours will continue along the upper Gulf coast and begin to expand inland across portions of Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia, as well as into coastal areas of North and South Carolina.

Most of the downpours will remain south of I-20 on Thursday.

Static SE Thursday Friday Downpours


During Friday, storms from the Plains and Midwest will join in across the Tennessee Valley and southern Appalachians, so that a mosaic of downpours will cover more of the lower Mississippi Valley and interior Southeastern states.

Embedded within the stormy pattern will be weak tropical swirls that can greatly enhance the rain at the local level and bring isolated gusty winds.

Southeastern US near-shore waters bear watching for tropical activity

There is a slight chance of near-shore tropical development in the southeastern U.S. over the next few days.

"Emily was born from one of the weak features over the Gulf of Mexico on Monday," according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Brett Rosio.

Emily formed rapidly and only a few dozen miles offshore during the early morning hours on Monday and moved ashore during Monday midday near the entrance of Tampa Bay, Florida.

The central and northeastern Gulf of Mexico as well as the coastal waters of Georgia and the Carolinas will be watched closely for a last-minute tropical depression through Friday.

Small craft operators along the northern and eastern Gulf coast and the southern Atlantic coast should be prepared for changing weather conditions and monitor bulletins as they are issued. Gusty squalls and waterspouts may develop with little notice.

"Working against tropical development in this area will be strong winds aloft that may get stronger over time," Rossio said.

The same storm system poised to deliver thunderstorms and cooler air from the Midwest to the Northeast will help to stir up the winds aloft in the Southeast states.