Heavy rainfall to impact area this week

Published 11:35 am Monday, August 8, 2016

An area of low pressure is shifting westward and forecasters are expecting a heavy rainfall for the area this week, Escambia County Emergency Management Agency Director David Adams said.

“As the low-pressure system moves westward, increasingly southerly winds push additional tropical moisture into our area, especially along and east of I-65,” Adams said. “This results in the heaviest rainfall amounts generally along and east of I-65, with the rainfall amounts adding up to produce flooding, which mostly impacts the area along the coast and less so toward the west.”

Below is the latest summary of potential weather impacts for the area:

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Heavy rainfall/flooding:

• Scattered to numerous showers and storms will develop today, with the heaviest amounts falling mostly along and east of I-65, but also further to the west. These showers and storms will moisten soil conditions for much of the area and set the stage for flooding problems to start to develop as heavier rains fall later on.

• Rainfall amounts will increase Tuesday through Friday – The heaviest rainfall amounts continue to be expected to fall generally along and east of I-65 through the period and over the coastal counties, and will fall on moist-to-saturated soil conditions. The county’s EMA office continues to see a significant threat for flooding issues along and east of I-65, with an elevated threat for much of the remaining portion further to the west. Areas of flash flooding are possible in the significant threat area, with isolated flash flooding further to the west. Please see the flood threat graphic depicting these areas above.

• Heavy rainfall potential continues this weekend – There is the potential for local heavy rains and flooding problems to continue this weekend. Preliminary indications are that this heavy rainfall potential will mostly affect the southern half of the area, such as south of Highway 84.

• A note about storm total rainfall amounts – The important thing to remember is that while our forecast amounts may vary as we assess the situation, the pattern remains consistent in targeting our area mostly along and east of I-65, Adams said.

Adams said he expects between 6-13 inches of rain will fall east of I-65 with lesser amounts falling to the west.

River flooding:

Adams said there is a significant threat for minor to moderate river flooding along and east of I-65, with an elevated threat area for minor river flooding for most of the area further to the west.

Adams said the River Forecast Center has not issued any forecast for the gage levels in Escambia County.

“There is a definite potential for local flooding,” he said. “Please stay alert to changing conditions and be safe.”