Flooding rain possible Thursday into the weekend

4 years 9 months 4 days ago Wednesday, December 26 2018 Dec 26, 2018 December 26, 2018 6:00 AM December 26, 2018 in Weather
Source: WBRZ Weather

A wet weather pattern will unfold through the remainder of 2018. Especially on Thursday, strong thunderstorms and flooding will be possible.


Today and Tonight: A weak sea breeze front will push inland through the afternoon and evening hours for your Wednesday. Temperatures will be warming slowly due to the significant cloud cover through the day, reaching a high of 69 through the afternoon. Winds will stay elevated between 10 and 15 mph out of the east. Rain persists through the evening and into Thursday morning, as overnight lows drop near 63.

Up Next: A cold front and associated storm system will move into the region on Thursday with rain and thunderstorms. There is a window of opportunity for thunderstorms to turn strong during the first half of the day with gusty wind and an isolated tornado possible, however, these threats are low.

The larger issue will be heavy rainfall that is expected late Thursday. Generally, three to five inches of rain is expected but with embedded thunderstorms there could be some locally higher amounts that lead to flash flooding. Expect bulletins from the National Weather Service. As the front slips south of the area, a brief break in the action is anticipated on Friday but that same front will retreat north and bring more rounds of rain to the area through the weekend. This could aggravate any flood issues that do develop and possibly cause rivers to swell. Temperatures may begin to fall below average after the weekend, but it is uncertain as to when rain chances will diminish—they could remain in play well into next week.  


A strong low pressure system will move from the Desert Southwest into the Central Plains Wednesday into Thursday. A surface high pressure system, in the Western Atlantic will continue to advect warmth and moisture into the atmosphere via deep, southwesterly winds. The main concern with this system will be heavy, possibly excessive rainfall capable of producing localized flooding Thursday into Thursday night. Atmospheric moisture will be near record levels for the date, which will make for extremely efficient rainfall, especially with any slow moving or training thunderstorms. Rain totals will be in the 3-5 inch range. The National Weather Service is considering a FLASH FLOOD WATCH as the event draws closer. The Weather Prediction Center has placed the area in a 2/4 “slight risk” for excessive rain. Additionally, substantial river rises may follow on Friday. There is a secondary threat from this event, and that is strong thunderstorms on Thursday afternoon. Wind shear will be supportive of damaging wind gusts or an isolated tornado but instability will only be high enough for thunderstorms to reach this level of severity for a short time on Thursday afternoon.  

The Storm Prediction Center has put the area in a 1/5 “marginal risk” for severe thunderstorms. The high pressure system in the Western Atlantic will remain in place through the weekend so whatever progress the cold front makes into the Gulf of Mexico on Friday will be short lived and expect this system to drift back north as a warm front early in the weekend. Upper level disturbances riding over this boundary, which are difficult to time this many days in advance, will lead to more rounds of rain. Some downpours may result as atmospheric moisture will stay above average. Only when this system flushes out, will rain chances diminish and temperatures fall. Forecast models disagree on if this will occur Monday or later next week.

--Dr. Josh

The WBRZ Weather Team is here for you, on every platform. Your weather updates can be found on News 2, wbrz.com, and the WBRZ WX App. on Apple and Android devices. Follow WBRZ Weather on Facebook and Twitter for even more weather updates while you are on the go.

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