HEAVIEST RAINS HEAD FOR THE SOUTH, NOAA REPORTS

February 21, 2003 — The snow-weary Mid-Atlantic and Northeast appear to have dodged another bad-weather punch. A band of heavy rainfall, which earlier seemed headed for areas hit by last weekends’s major winter storm, now appears to be shifting southward, according to the latest forecasts from the NOAA National Weather Service. (Click NOAA image for latest Significant River Flood Outlook.)

“We think the heaviest rains will stay farther south and have a greater impact from Texas through Mississippi and into the southern Appalachians,” said Frank Richards, a senior NOAA hydrologist.

Flash flooding, affecting small streams and low-lying areas, caused problems in eastern portions of Texas on Thursday and continued Friday, as the rain pushed eastward into Louisiana and Mississippi, where minor river flooding was reported.

As the storm treks north, Richards added, rains will cause minor—to occasionally moderate—flooding in parts of the Tennessee and Ohio River Valleys. As the system makes its exit through the Northeast during the weekend, rain will combine with melting snow to cause generally minor flooding to low areas and streams in the Mid-Atlantic region, southern New York and New England.

“Flooding will be nothing like what happened after the huge snow storm of 1996, but ice on certain rivers may cause jams that could trigger severe local flooding. Rain and snowmelt may cause urban flooding in areas where storm drains remain clogged from earlier snow,” Richards said.

The NOAA National Weather Service advises the public to keep ahead of the storm by listening to NOAA Weather Radio and commercial radio and television broadcasts for the latest weather watches and warnings.

The NOAA National Weather Service advises the public to keep ahead of the storm by listening to NOAA Weather Radio and commercial radio and television broadcasts for the latest information on this system and the issuance of winter storm watches, warnings and advisories in order to take proper precautions.

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of the nation’s coastal and marine resources. NOAA is part of the U. S. Department of Commerce.

Relevant Web Sites
Animation of the Predicted Path of the Storm

NOAA Storm Watch

NOAA Significant River Flood Outlook

NOAA Floods Page

NOAA Hydrologic Information Center — includes National Flood Summary

NOAA River Forecast Centers

U.S. Hazards Assessment

U.S. Snow Monitoring

NOAA Winter Storm Preparedness Guide

Media Contact:
John Leslie, NOAA National Weather Service, (301) 713-0622

 



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