March 10, 2011

Powerful Thunderstorms Hit the Gulf Coast

Violent thunderstorms struck cities and towns along the central Gulf Coast on Wednesday.

Today, cities and towns primarily eastward of the I-95 corridor from southeastern Virginia to the coast of South Carolina could be pounded by dangerous thunderstorms.

These storms will be capable of producing wind gusts past 40 mph as well as hail. The howling winds could down trees and power lines and damage buildings.

Isolated tornadoes will also be possible in the strongest thunderstorms.

On Wednesday, 3.83 inches of rain doused New Orleans, La., in just 61 minutes, with 1.01 inches of this falling in a mere eight minutes.

While rainfall totals from today's storms may not be as extreme, an inch or two of rain in a matter of hours could still trigger major flooding headaches.

Flash flood waters could submerge area roadways and even surge into homes and businesses. Poor drainage and low-lying areas will be especially at risk for flooding problems.

Motorists are reminded to never attempt to drive through flooded streets, as it doesn't take much flowing water to sweep a vehicle away. Water on roadways could also hide washed out portions of pavement.

On the other hand, the wet weather in these areas will aid in relieving the recent rainfall deficits that many locations are currently experiencing.

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, a large portion of the Southeast is in the grips of a moderate drought.

By Katie Storbeck, Meteorologist –

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