Weekend washout in the South as pair of storms trigger flash flood threats

 Rain is expected over the weekend in the Southeast, with three straight days of rain starting Saturday, which could benefit the region's drought-stricken states, but could create some problems with flash flooding and over weekend Mardi Gras celebrations. -Occasionally there may be obstacles.

The Fox Forecast Center said there was a week of good weather across the region, but on Friday moist air from the Gulf of Mexico was drawn north and interacted with the cold front of the storm that produced Thursday's tornadoes.

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With ample moisture, the cold weather will arrive Friday bringing rain and thunderstorms from the southern Plains to the Tennessee and Ohio valleys.

"A lot of it is going to be concentrated — not just close to the Gulf Coast, but in central and northern parts of Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia," Fox Weather meteorologist Craig Herrera said. "So those of you who are getting in on the action, but not the heavy action, you'll start to see that."

Rain will become more widespread on Saturday as a cold front moves into the region. Rapid rainfall rates caused by unusually high moisture will be common.

"Saturday through Sunday we are at level 2 out of 4 (flash flood threat), with the potential to see some flooding from parts of East Texas through northern Mississippi into northern Louisiana ... and right into middle Tennessee." And East Tennessee,” Herrera said.

That could spell trouble for areas with wet soils from central Mississippi to northern Georgia, where more than 6 inches of rain has fallen in the past month. The Fox Forecast Center said repeated rounds of rain along the cold front and ahead could lead to flash flooding.

However, for those heading to the Mardi Gras festivities on Saturday, they may occasionally get wet from a few showers, but it won't be a washout.

Risk of severe weather increases Sunday through Monday
Then a more powerful system will work its way through the region from Sunday into Monday, bringing with it the potential for frequent rain, storms and flash flooding.

The Fox Forecast Center said the threat of flash flooding will be reestablished in a corridor from Louisiana to Alabama and now Georgia.

Strong winds aloft and substantial wind shear can promote the development of strong to severe storms capable of producing damaging winds and perhaps a few tornadoes.

"Whenever, you know, we have early notifications from the Storm Prediction Center, you always pause a little bit more because they don't do that all the time," said Fox meteorologist Britta Merwin.

The greatest potential for those storms is expected from East Texas to southern Louisiana, starting in early Texas and moving toward Mississippi by early Monday.

Sunday through Sunday night is when revelers around New Orleans will need to pay close attention to the weather, with the potential for widespread thunderstorms Sunday afternoon and evening, which Sunday night could potentially be serious. Rain will reduce there on Monday morning and conditions will become dry, though the weather will remain relatively cool through Tuesday.

Elsewhere, conditions will gradually dry out in Texas and Louisiana before the start of the new week, but the slow-moving storm will continue to drop persistent rain across much of the Southeast on Monday, the Fox Forecast Center said.

Places like Charlotte, North Carolina and Atlanta are forecast to return to business with rain during Monday's commute. More severe weather is expected along the northern Gulf Coast on Monday afternoon.

The area will be dry for a few days starting Tuesday before rain is expected for the third weekend in a row.

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