Stalling Front, Tropical Disturbances to Bring Threat of Heavy Rain to the South Into Next Week

Chris Dolce
Published: August 22, 2019

Heavy rain could trigger flooding in parts of the South through early next week as a stalling front interacts with moisture from a pair of tropical disturbances, including Invest 98L, which is being monitored for a chance of tropical development off the Southeast coast.

Watching For Tropical Development Off Southeast Coast

An area of lower pressure in the Bahamas, tagged Invest 98L by the National Hurricane Center Thursday afternoon, is forecast to move northward to off the Southeast coast is a candidate for possible tropical development.

(MORE: What is an Invest?

It's currently a large area of showers and thunderstorms near the central and northern Bahamas. Some development of this system is possible as the tropical disturbance moves near or off the Southeast coast this weekend into early next week.

The National Hurricane Center has given it a medium chance of development into a tropical depression or storm during the next five days. Those odds could increase or decrease during the next several days.

This is nothing to be overly concerned about for now, but it bears watching since we are in what is typically the hurricane season's busiest time of year. We'll provide more updates on in the days ahead.

National Hurricane Center Potential Development Area

A second area, currently located in the Gulf of Mexico, may need to be watched into early next week. This disturbance is producing an area of thunderstorms, but does not appear to be a tropical threat at this time.

These systems combined with regular summer thunderstorms and a sagging cold front will bring periods of heavy rain into next week.

Rainfall rates of an inch or more per hour are possible in the storms, so flash flooding is possible, particularly if the storms stall over the same area for multiple hours.

Many areas in the South could see 1 to 2 inches of rain through next Tuesday from southern Louisiana into the Carolinas as well as portions of the Florida Peninsula. Localized heavier totals are likely in south Florida and near where the frontal boundary stalls.

Rainfall Forecast

Boundary Will Amplify Showers Into Next Week

A front currently draped across the Midwest will sag into the South where it will eventually stall out this weekend. Separate tropical disturbances - one in the Gulf of Mexico and another near the Bahamas - will also track toward the region, adding to the moisture already in place.

This setup will fuel daily showers and thunderstorms with heavy downpours from the northern Gulf Coast into Florida and the Southeast starting late this week and continuing into early next week. The rain and thunderstorms will likely be more widespread than what the South experiences on a typical summer day.

Even after the two systems being watched for tropical development dissipate, we may need to watch this frontal boundary or its remnants. These boundaries are known to be a source of tropical cyclone development all by themselves on occasion. These recently occurred with the formation of Tropical Storm Chantal.

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