The first week of February featured abnormally heavy rainfall and severe weather. Unfortunately, the second week looks to be just as wet and stormy as the first.
Over the next few days, two different waves of low pressure will move across the Tennessee Valley.
The first wave is already spreading into north Alabama, making for a very wet morning commute to school and work.
Heavy rain for the majority of Monday, multiple waves to follow through Thursday
The first wave will slowly exit the region late Monday evening. As much as 2″-4″ inches of rain is expected on Monday alone, with another wave approaching behind it on Tuesday.
This much heavy rainfall in such a short amount of time is bound to produce flash flooding problems in a region that already experienced flash flooding last week. The Weather Prediction Center has placed the Tennessee Valley under a HIGH Risk of Excessive Rainfall for Monday morning through Tuesday morning. The last time we saw this was February 2019 when many areas flooded that had never experienced it before; pay attention to the situation developing for tonight and tomorrow!
The second wave will arrive late Tuesday through Wednesday afternoon, when another 2-4″ of rainfall is possible. This second wave will be slow to clear the region, and rainfall will finally taper off Thursday. This second wave — the Wednesday wave — may have the additional impact of strong thunderstorms.
What about severe weather?
Latest model guidance suggests as a surface low and warm front lifts north on Wednesday, the atmosphere destabilizes ahead of a strong cold front. This would likely lead to strong to severe thunderstorms across the Tennessee Valley. The Storm Prediction Center has highlighted all of the Tennessee Valley under a *SLIGHT RISK* for severe thunderstorms Wednesday with an *ENHANCED RISK* to our southwest.
Flooding remains the primary threat this week, but severe storms will also be possible Wednesday and Wednesday night. This means that damaging winds and even a few tornadoes are possible.
Even with the severe weather threat, the majority of the region will be impacted by the heavy rains. It is important to underscore the seriousness of this week’s flooding situation: This much heavy rainfall in such a short amount of time is bound to produce flash flooding problems in a region that already experienced flash flooding last week.
So what can you do to prepare ahead of the rain?
- Download the Live Alert 19 app if you haven’t already — it will let you know when flood watches and warnings are issued for your area
- Review your property for any areas where rainwater may get into your home or damage your basement, crawlspace, etc. If you live near a low-lying area or a stream, creek, or storm water run off drainage area, be prepared to block the rising water from entering your home or business.
- Double check your insurance to see if it covers flood damage. Not every home or business insurance plan covers flooding; you want to make sure you are covered
- Protect any sensitive documents from being contaminated by floodwaters; place them in a waterproof container, even if it’s a water-tight plastic bag
- Be aware of any road closures nearby; NEVER attempt to drive through flooded or barricaded roadways! Floodwaters can completely wash out roadways, sweeping your car away in the process.
- Check the National Weather Service’s flood preparation guide for additional tips ahead of the flood
Unfortunately, heavy rain is in the forecast through Thursday evening. Drier weather is expected Friday and Saturday. Check the WHNT News 19 Forecast Discussion for updates.