Storms, Flooding Along Gulf Coast This WeekRainfall amounts will average 2 to 4 inches
As a slow-moving disturbance works its way along the Gulf Coast, showers and thunderstorms will bring much-needed rain across Florida through the weekend.
On Wednesday, the showers and thunderstorms will have the greatest concentration across southern Louisiana, southern Alabama and southern Mississippi. Areas from Lake Charles eastward to New Orleans and Mobile could have as much as 1.00-2.00 inches, and some flooding is even possible in the heaviest activity.
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On Thursday through Sunday, the heaviest showers and thunderstorms will shift into the state of Florida.
Rainfall amounts will average 2.00-4.00 inches across much of the peninsula, with lesser amounts of 1.00-2.00 inches across the western panhandle.
Showers and thunderstorms will feed off a tropical atmosphere, and resulting blinding downpours will cause localized flash flooding.
Some of the areas with the greatest potential for heavy rain include Jacksonville, Orlando, Daytona Beach and Melbourne.
Flooding of low-lying areas and small creeks and streams will be the biggest threats from these storms, as they respond the quickest to rapid water runoff from thunderstorms.
The showers and thunderstorms will also have an impact on those who will be on vacation or have outdoor activities planned.
If you plan to be out and about this week, keep a close eye to the sky. Remember, if you can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning. This is especially relevant when golfing or swimming, as you become particularly vulnerable.
Torrents of rain can also slow travel significantly as visibility is reduced and roadways become slick.
The rain and thunderstorms are not all bad for residents across the state, however.
Many areas, especially across central Florida from Tampa to Ocala and Jacksonville have been under moderate to severe drought conditions for much of the winter and early spring.
As many as two dozen wildfires were burning around the state as of early Tuesday morning.
A look at current wildfire activity across Florida courtesy of The Florida Forest Service.
These fires are not just occurring in rural areas, either. According to the Associated Press, last week a brush fire spread rapidly and came dangerously close to an apartment complex near Orlando.
Smoke from these fires can also reduce and lead to dangerous travel on major interstates that run across the region, such as 95, 75 or 4.
Smoke can also cause breathing problems for those with asthma or other respiratory related illnesses.
The expected rainfall over the next week will not only help to douse the flames, but also wet the lips of thirsty creeks, streams and plants that have had very little to drink over the past six months.
The same system of storms moved over Texas late Monday afternoon, unleashing a tornado in San Patricio County, Texas. There were no reports of damage or injury.
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