Widespread rain has been moderate to heavy at times Monday morning for North Alabama. This is on top of already saturated soils with creeks, streams and rivers running high from last week's rain. There are 2 flood threats this week: flash flooding & creek and river flooding.
Flash flooding is the quick rise in water, that can cover roadways and impact homes in a short period of time. This is dangerous and deadly because it occurs with little lead time and often before emergency officials can close impacted roadways. Flooding of waterways will be slower and occur over several days as runoff and releases from TVA impact areas downstream. Most areas will pick up two to four inches of rain just through Tuesday with isolated higher amounts 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 four to six 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.