February 15, 2012

Much-Needed Rain for the Southeast This Weekend

A storm system expected to take shape this weekend could spoil outdoor plans across the Southeast with potentially heavy rainfall targeting the region.

The rain will come with a silver lining though, providing some relief to parts of the region that remains in drought conditions.

Energy from the storm will be provided in part by the inside slider hitting the Southwest today. As it emerges off the eastern Texas coast late in the week, it will pick up steam and plenty of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico.

Initially, a few showers will dampen the Gulf coast region as early as Friday, with the drenching rain expected to hold off until Saturday and early Sunday, reaching to Georgia and the Carolinas.

Some uncertainty remains as to when and where the heaviest rainfall will take shape, though it looks as though it will be a damp weekend for millions.

Such confidence cannot yet be afforded to the potential for snow farther north from the Appalachians to the Northeast.

With mild air in place, rain will be the only type of precipitation paying a visit to the South, with the potential for a wide area to receive 1 to 2 inches through Sunday.

Right now, it appears the heaviest rain should fall from the Gulf coast through parts of Georgia and the Carolinas. By chance, this also happens to be the region suffering from the worst drought conditions across the South.
About 90 percent of Florida, 89 percent of South Carolina and 83 percent of Georgia is experiencing at least 'moderate' drought conditions according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Additionally, 'severe' or 'exceptional' drought conditions extend from northern Florida across central and southern Georgia into southern South Carolina, where some water use restrictions are currently in place.

While the rain will provide some short-term relief to these regions, meaningful and lasting relief will only come with multiple rainstorms of this caliber.

By Bill Deger, Meteorologist - Accuweather.com

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