Renewed risk of severe weather, flooding covers threatens Southeast

Despite the earlier storms, atmospheric moisture remains very high so thunderstorms that do form will have the capability to produce rain rates up to 2 inches per hour, and more than 3 inches total, maintaining a flash flood threat.

NEW ORLEANS — Just hours after a line of severe thunderstorms blasted the Gulf Coast with gusts over 80 mph and heavy rains, leaving hundreds of thousands without power, another round of severe weather is threatening the region Friday night.

Despite the earlier storms, atmospheric moisture remains very high, so thunderstorms that do form will be capable of producing rain rates up to 2 inches per hour and more than 3 inches total, maintaining a flash flood threat.

NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center has a Level 3 out of 4 flash flood risk that extends from just north of New Orleans across southern Mississippi and into southwestern Alabama.

Flash Flood Outlook
(FOX Weather)


While computer models have backed off a bit on the amount of rain that will fall, multiple inches are still expected, according to the FOX Forecast Center. The very soggy spring means soils remain saturated and unable to handle as much heavy rain as usual without flooding.

"We are going to be very concerned about it, mostly also because we've already seen a lot of heavy rainfall… our 2-5 inches of rain has already fallen," Kevin Gilmore, Meteorologist in Charge at the National Weather Service office in New Orleans, told FOX Weather. "If we get any more rain like that, especially if it stalls up or trains over the same areas, especially the area has already seen flooding, we could have another risk and that could be mostly overnight."

The storms will redevelop Friday evening across Louisiana, spreading east across the Gulf overnight into Saturday morning. Overnight flooding will make driving treacherous as dark roads may hide a flood, Gilmore warned.

In addition, some of these atoms may reach severe criteria. NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center has just about the entire Gulf Coast in a Level 2 out of 5 severe weather risk. All modes of severe weather are possible, including a few tornadoes, but damaging wind gusts and large hail remain the primary threats.

Friday Severe Outlook
(FOX Weather)


"We're going to have to watch what could be yet another round of widespread showers and thunderstorms," Gilmore said. "They may be delivering damaging winds, large hail, even a few isolated tornadoes. We unfortunately saw a lot of that earlier (Friday) morning and last night. And we may have another round again."

The severe weather threat will move east into the Southeast on Saturday, but while a Level 2 risk extends from the Florida Panhandle into the Carolinas, the odds of severe weather events are lower. 

Saturday Severe Outlook
(FOX Weather)