As if one winter storm around the holidays wasn’t enough, a new one is taking shape for New Year’s Eve, bringing more heavy rain and a renewed flood threat.
It comes on the heels of the deadly storm system that plagued much of the Midwest, South and East over Christmas.
The worst is over as that storm pushes offshore into the Atlantic. But it killed at least six people in the Midwest and South and brought blizzard conditions, a foot of snow, and winds exceeding 55 mph to the Great Plains and Upper Midwest on Thursday. It then ripped across the East with heavy rainfall and winds.
On Friday, more than 50 million people were under the threat of floods, with flood watches and warnings stretching from the Gulf Coast to New Jersey.
Flash flooding affected Southern Mississippi and Alabama, triggering dangerous situations and high-water rescues. Up to a foot of rain fell in less than a day.
The rough weather made holiday travel even more of a headache. There were nearly 9,000 flight delays into, within or out of the country Friday, according to flight-tracking site FlightAware.
As of Saturday, flood watches have been largely discontinued, but there are still warnings for some rivers in the South, particularly across southern Mississippi and Alabama, according to CNN meteorologist Ivan Cabrera.
“I’m not expecting the foot of rain some areas in the Southern US received,” Cabrera said. “An additional 1 to 3 inches may renew flooding concerns due to saturated soils. Some areas in the South will in fact make a run for wettest year on record with the last few storms filling rain gauges to record levels.”
Forecast radar images for Saturday show rain persisting in coastal areas of the Southeast, but it should clear out for inland cities, including Atlanta and Charlotte.
The letup won’t last long, however. On Sunday, moisture emanating from the Gulf of Mexico will bring a band of showers to southeastern Texas and then stretch across southern Louisiana, all the way up through the Carolinas.
Then, on the last day of 2018, another storm will bring rain, although less heavy, to the North and East, Cabrera said.
Conditions will be wet, but temperatures will be mild in much of the Southeast — in the 60s and 70s — and in the 40s in the Northeast as New Year’s Eve revelers welcome 2019.