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Flood Watch in effect, heavy rain, flooding likely this week

In addition to the flooding threat, strong to severe thunderstorms are possible Monday and again Wednesday.

Posted: Feb 9, 2020 5:57 PM

We continue to closely monitor the potential for widespread flooding and heavy rain for the new work week across north Alabama. The first of two waves of heavy rainfall arrives late tonight as a cold front moves in. Several rounds of heavy rain and thunderstorms will persist throughout the day, with the potential for one or two storms to become strong to severe. An isolated severe risk has been issued for parts of Lawrence, Franklin, and Colbert for gusty winds. The primary story will be the flooding risk. A Flood Watch has been posted for all of north Alabama beginning at 6 AM Monday morning lasting through 6 PM Tuesday evening. Repeated rounds of heavy rain and thunderstorms will cause serious flooding concerns along area waterways that are already running high from last week's heavy rain. Flash flooding, including ponding on roadways and rapid rises in waterways, is also likely in areas that experience heavy rainfall Monday and Tuesday. Most areas will pick up two to four inches of rain Monday and Tuesday with isolated amounts over 5 inches possible.

We get a brief break from the heavy rain Tuesday afternoon and evening as the cold front stays stalled to our south across central Alabama. We will still see a few showers throughout the day Tuesday, but nothing as heavy as we will see Monday. However, a second system will nudge that stalled front back to the north. If there is any good news, this second system will push the stalled front north of our area across middle Tennessee, thus pushing the axis of heavier rainfall during the first half of Wednesday away from north Alabama. But as the second system moves closer, it will bring in a second cold front that will not only will bring another round of widespread heavy rainfall to the area Wednesday night, but a renewed risk for severe storms. While it is too early to dive into the details of the severe risk for Wednesday, it looks as though a line of thunderstorms could produce damaging winds and perhaps a few tornadoes Wednesday night into the predawn hours of Thursday. Like Monday, however, the primary concern for this second wave will be flooding. An additional one to three inches of rain will be possible Wednesday and the first half of Thursday, bringing overall rain totals for the week to five to seven inches. The additional rainfall we see midweek will become runoff as our soils can no longer hold any more water. Therefore, flooding will be likely once again as this second wave moves through Wednesday night and Thursday. Rain finally comes to an end Thursday, with some dry time at last Friday and Saturday.

Now is the time to prepare for flooding and severe weather. If you live in a flood prone area, take precautions now and know where you will go if you experience significant flooding this week. If you encounter flooded roadways, do not drive through them! Turn around, don't drown! Be sure to have multiple waves to receive warnings due to flooding or severe storms Monday and Wednesday. Stay weather aware and stay with WAAY 31 for updates throughout the week as we continue to track this very active weather pattern for the week ahead.

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