Strong to severe thunderstorms are pushing across the Deep South and moving into the Southeast as we go through the second day of the New Year.
The thunderstorms are producing damaging winds and hail, but we have not had any reports of tornadoes just yet. Flooding rains are common with these storms due to plenty of moisture being available from the Gulf of Mexico. Heavy rain is shown in the video below from ABC 33/40 News anchor Wendell Edwards.
— Wendell D. Edwards (@ABC3340Wendell) January 2, 2017
We already had storms early this morning bring a wind gust of 82 mph in Hamilton, Texas. Other wind gusts over 50mph were also reported. Strong thunderstorm winds blew the roof off a building in Cottonwood, Texas. Now the storms are marching eastward.
A *Tornado Watch* is currently in effect at 12:50 p.m. for most of Louisiana, southern Mississippi, southwest Alabama and extreme northwest Florida. You can see some storms have Tornado Warnings on them. Most of these storms have been producing strong winds and heavy rain, but the threat for tornadoes will remain into the evening hours.
The severe weather threat is being monitored by the Storm Prediction Center. An enhanced risk for severe weather will be around for much of the watch area. A slight risk is there all the way east to Atlanta and Tallahassee.
Heavy Rain Leads to Flooding Threat
Expect the threat for flash flooding in Alabama and Georgia as we go into the evening. The strong upper-level disturbance will continue to pull amble amounts of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico. Anywhere from 1-3” of rain is likely. Some spots might even see more rain. The high resolution computer model below shows the heaviest rain totals in the orange and brown colors. Flood watches are posted from the northern Gulf Coast into central portions of Georgia.
Our Neoweather Futurecast shows where the heavy rain will likely be later this evening. The severe weather risk will still be around, but we will transition into more of a flooding threat. A few roads in the Southeast have already been closed due to flooding. Stay tuned to Neoweather for more coverage and information.