Soaking 1 – 3″ Rainfall Over the Next Few Days
A stalled front will serve as the focus for widespread soaking rainfall across the Southeast U.S. over the next several days. Rainfall amounts could exceed 2 inches, and in the 3- to 4-inch range in spots, over portions of Mississippi, Alabama, Eastern Tennessee, North Georgia, and the western Carolinas.
There will be two periods of significant precipitation – Christmas Eve into early Christmas Day and a second, and stronger system, on December 25th and 26th. High precipitable water has already been pulled north into the region, feeding the first round of showers and storms.
Significant runoff values are around 2 inches over northern Mississippi and Alabama rising to over 3 inches over southern Alabama and Georgia.
The potential for runoff will be highest over northern Mississippi and Alabama, Tennessee, and far northern Georgia. This rain event likely will bring upper soils close to saturation over this region and enhance surface runoff. The air mass is unstable, with embedded thunderstorms; thunderstorms could produce locally excessive rainfall, despite lower runoff values. Also, smaller tributaries can receive enough runoff to experience quick, mainly within-bank, rises.
This event will provide soaking rainfall over the Southeast U.S. and bring upper soils close to saturation over northern sections of Mississippi, Alabama, and North Georgia.
Smaller tributaries and urban drainages could experience significant rises with isolated flooding.
Heavy rainfall over higher elevations will result in a flash flood threat over Northeast Georgia and the western Carolinas.
An inch or two of rain will fall over a sizeable portion of the core of drought in Georgia and surrounding states. While this will not eliminate the drought — it will cut the extent back, especially northern sections.
The following image shows forecast rainfall overlayed over the core of drought–which is outlined by the white line.