More downpours to target southeastern US toward Memorial Day as tropical concerns remain

A resurgence of tropical moisture is expected to further increase the downpours that spell good and bad news for the southeastern United States as Memorial Day holiday weekend approaches.

There is no end in sight to the unsettled weather pattern that has developed over the Southeast.

Showers and thunderstorms will continue to jeopardize sporting events and outdoor plans in most communities on a nearly daily basis through the end of May. As is typical, the afternoon and early evening hours will be the most active times of the day.

Static Wet Week Eastern US
Static Wet Week Eastern US

Another surge of tropical moisture will be the culprit behind residents facing more storminess instead of welcoming bright sunshine just prior to the start of the holiday weekend.

With this increased moisture will come another round of frequent downpours later this week and into the holiday weekend.

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Where this moisture focuses will determine whether the enhanced rainfall targets only Florida and the Eastern Seaboard or also spreads over the lower Mississippi Valley.

AccuWeather meteorologists are also closely monitoring the potential for a more organized tropical system to take shape.

Static Tropical Concern Memorial Day Weekend
Static Tropical Concern Memorial Day Weekend

"The area from the western Caribbean to the Gulf of Mexico and near Florida is where to watch for early-season tropical development," Long-Range Meteorologist Paul Pastelok said.

Conditions may not be the most conducive for development, but it is not out of the question that a depression or tropical storm tries to form.

"A well-defined tropical storm may tend to consolidate and focus the downpours and increase the risk for strong winds and rough surf," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said.

Sosnowski stated that another scenario is that, instead of a well-organized feature taking shape, a series of weaker features may continue to brew and track from the western Caribbean to the Gulf of Mexico and/or Florida over the next couple of weeks.

"Such features would periodically enhance downpours and thunderstorms over Florida, Cuba, part of Central America and the Bahamas," he said.

Regardless of any early-season development, downpours targeting the Southeast will be viewed as a double-edged sword.

"The drought has been easing quickly across Florida and will continue to do so across the Southeast into the end of May with more downpours expected," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Rob Miller said.

The percentage of Florida enduring drought conditions shrunk from 27 percent to 15 percent in one week, the U.S. Drought Monitor reported on Thursday, May 17.

Recent downpours have doused Florida's fire season. More than 40 wildfires were burning across the state on May 13, according to the Florida Forest Service. That number dropped to 5 as of Sunday, May 20.

"There can continue to be instances where too much rain will fall too quickly and lead to localized flash flooding," Miller said.

Low-lying and poor drainage areas that have recently been hit repeatedly by heavy rain will be most at risk for flooding incidents.

With thunderstorms set to unload many of the downpours, residents and visitors are reminded to seek shelter as soon as thunder is heard. The danger of being struck by lightning is then present.

The prospect of an organized tropical system developing before Memorial Day should serve as a good reminder for those in the South that now is the time to review hurricane preparedness tips with the season set to ramp up in the coming months.

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