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Heavy rain prompts Flash Flood Watch for parts of Big Bend

Radar and satellite image as of 12:34 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021.
Radar and satellite image as of 12:34 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021.(WCTV Pinpoint Weather)
Published: Oct. 5, 2021 at 12:48 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - A persistent weather pattern that is forecast to keep rain chances elevated prompted the issuance of a flash flood watch for portions of the Big Bend Tuesday.

The National Weather Service Forecast Office in Tallahassee issued a Flash Flood Watch for Leon, Wakulla, Gadsden, Liberty and Franklin counties until Tuesday evening. A watch means that flash flooding is possible in the watch area, conditions should be monitored, and action should be taken if a warning is issued.

Total rainfall amounts of 2 to 4 inches are forecast, “with isolated higher values around 6 inches possible,” the National Weather Service wrote in their statement. “These higher values over a short period of time will have the potential to cause flash flooding.”

Radar-estimated rainfall totals for the previous 12 hours (ending at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday) ranged between an inch to over 3 inches with the highest totals over Wakulla County.

Radar-estimated rainfall totals as of 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021.
Radar-estimated rainfall totals as of 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021.(WCTV Pinpoint Weather)

A closed low in the mid-to-upper levels of the atmosphere was nearly stalled over the Southeast. A favorable environment including higher amounts of atmospheric moisture helped to develop a round of rain and a few thunderstorms earlier Tuesday morning.

As of noon Tuesday, the heavier rain has pushed into Jefferson and the western portion of Taylor county as the line moved slowly east. Lighter to moderate rainfall was west of the heaviest batch in places like Bainbridge, Thomasville and Crawfordville. Radar showed heavier rain over in Apalachicola and St. George Island.

Small-scale, high-resolution models were running a little behind with respect to location, but do continue to push that wide line of rain slowly east through the rest of the Big Bend and South Georgia viewing area. The same models hint at a second line developing early Wednesday morning to late Wednesday morning as larger-scaled models hint at another wave of energy aloft to trigger the next round.

The rainy pattern occurred as much of the Southeast has been drenched for the year so far according to data from NOAA. So far, rainfall has been above to much above normal in the viewing area. The worst has been over portions of Louisiana and coastal Mississippi as multiple tropical cyclones have impacted the area.

This map from NOAA, generated on Oct. 5, 2021, shows that the Southeast U.S. has been dealing...
This map from NOAA, generated on Oct. 5, 2021, shows that the Southeast U.S. has been dealing with above-normal rainfall so far in 2021.(NOAA)

The semi-stationary closed low is forecast to move northward by Friday, which would start to lower rain chances. A cold front is forecast to pass through the area by the weekend, but enough lingering moisture will keep low-end rain chances in play with lows only getting into the upper 60s Sunday morning.

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