Heavy Rain to Trigger Flash Flooding Risk in Parts of Eastern U.S.

Posted: May 18, 2022 1:51 pm

Some Areas May See Up to 3 Inches of Rain

An increased flood threat is setting up over the eastern portion of the U.S., stretching from Missouri into Virginia over the next few days. Here is what you need to know about these risks.

Persistent Rain Throughout 1,000-Mile Stretch of U.S. Starting Wednesday

A warm front moving to the east out of Missouri is going to provide the impetus for a line of storms that will have the potential of dumping significant amounts of rain. Because the rain is forecast to fall in an area that has been inundated with moisture over the last few weeks, much of this region will see a threat of flash flooding.

The threat of severe weather positioned over Kansas, southern Nebraska, western Iowa, and Missouri on Tuesday will shift slightly to the east on Wednesday. This will put the bullseye of severe weather development on the Tennessee and Ohio valleys. Locally heavy rains may create travel disruptions in Missouri, Kentucky, West Virginia, and the southern portions of Illinois and Indiana.

Moving Into Thursday

The storms are forecast to fire up again on Thursday throughout Kentucky, West Virginia, and as far east as Virginia and North Carolina. This line of storms will meet with the warm and moist air coming up from the Gulf of Mexico to provide an abundance of heavy rain potential.

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Rainfall totals are forecast to hit up to three inches by the middle of the week. In the heaviest-hit areas, rainfall amounts may get as high as 1 inch per hour. Motorists need to exercise caution when heading out on the roads, paying attention to weather alerts. This is particularly true for travelers using interstates 64, 70, 81, and 79.

Cities that may see substantial rain out of this weather maker include Cincinnati, Evansville, Indiana, Charleston, West Virginia, and Lexington, Kentucky. The greatest amount of rain is expected to fall along the windward portion of the central Appalachians. Soil that has been overly saturated this spring will be at risk of not being able to take on any more moisture, triggering flash flooding concerns throughout the region.

The lower Ohio Valley and into the Appalachians may also see strong winds and small hail out of some of the most volatile storms. The system will lose some of its moisture punch once it crosses the Appalachians and comes down the eastern side of these mountains.

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