Shaun Tanner has been a meteorologist at Weather Underground since 2004.
By: Shaun Tanner , 8:00 PM GMT on April 18, 2012
I have been forecasting for the state of Florida the past couple weeks and have been astounded by the general lack of rain not only for the state but for the Southeast specifically. This has aiding in the production of extreme drought conditions from eastern Alabama through South Carolina (including Florida).
Drought Monitor for drought conditions valid April 10.
Taking a look at the current precipitation statistics in parts of the South reinforces this reality. Atlanta, GA has received only .01 inches of rain thus far in April (normal 1.92), Birmingham, AL has received 1.23 inches (normal 2.56 inches), and Columbia, SC has received .50 inches (normal 1.62 inches). These numbers get even more amplified when you look at the year-to-date values.
So, needless to say, the region has a precipitation deficient and needs a good dose of rain. A deep trough of low pressure will dig into the Plains Friday before becoming a near cutoff low pressure system as it moves into the Gulf of Mexico. Any storm, not to mention a storm center, over the Gulf of Mexico will pick up a tremendous amount of moisture from the abnormally warm waters of the Gulf. After it does this, it will dump a couple inches of rain on Florida and adjacent areas of the Southeast. This is over a period from Sat - early Monday.
The storm will be on the southern end of a cold front that will move through the eastern third of the country Saturday and Sunday. Thus, after experiencing well-above normal maximum temperatures earlier this week, there will be a chance of snow in parts of the Northeast Sunday. The best chance of rain will be in northern Pennsylvania and Upstate New York and will not be widespread.
Below is the HPC prediction of rainfall amounts from early Saturday - early Monday morning. Note the maximum rainfall amounts of 3+ inches from New York through Virginia.
While this will not be a storm for the ages, it will bring a welcomed amount of rain east of the Mississippi Valley.
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