Rain On The Way – To Some Spots
The system that produced the severe weather over Texas is heading our way. While widespread severe weather is not anticipated over the Southeast U.S., the system will produce some needed rainfall over the next two days. Let’s take a look at the set-up for this system.
Here is a map showing some of the key factors associated with the system. A cold front will push across the region from west to east starting tonight and continuing into Friday. A key difference with this system compared to recent ones is that the core of upper energy will tend to push west to east, as indicated by the pink line, rather than lift northeast. This should allow a greater source of lift to help form more widespread precipitation.
Right now, I’d expect three areas of enhanced rainfall. These regions could receive rainfall near an inch or so. The first region is along the Gulf Coast and extending into southern Alabama (labeled A). Rainfall will be enhanced in this area due to Gulf of Mexico moisture streaming into the frontal boundary. A second area of enhanced rainfall (not indicated on the map) will be over higher elevations of North Georgia and the western Carolinas. Finally, the third area of enhanced rainfall will extend north of the frontal boundary and east of the surface low — over much of the Carolinas (B). Elsewhere, rainfall will be closer to 0.50 inches.
This image depicts the amount of rainfall expected over the next 5 days (top left) and a model showing the 24-hour probability of one inch of rain or greater. I have indicated (red arrows) the areas of potentially enhanced rainfall. You can see that this numerical weather model is indicating the highest potential for rainfall greater than an inch (80%) over parts of the Carolinas.
Considering the very early green-up, the initial dryness of upper soils, and the modest amounts of rain forecast, I expect this next event to (generally) only be a modest recharge event. Hydrologic impacts likely will include:
Replenishment of upper soil moisture
Limited to modest runoff
Limited inflows into reservoirs
Modest rises on smaller tributaries
Minor rises on most main stem rivers
Modest rises on main stem rivers within areas of enhanced rainfall