Soaking rain poses flooding, roof collapse dangers and slow travel in southeastern US

While the storm moving into the eastern United States will be warmer when compared to last weekend's storm, it may create trouble in the South in the form of flooding as rain and thunderstorms into the weekend.

Wet end of week for southeastern US

In areas where there is little or no snow on the ground, the saturated state of the soil and a general 1-3 inches of rain forecast can be enough to cause urban and small stream flooding and lead to additional rises on some of the major rivers in the region.

Rain from last weekend's storm has already forced some of the rivers in the Carolinas and Georgia out of their banks.

The Lumber River at Lumberton, North Carolina, which was hit hard by flooding Florence late this past summer, is forecast to reach major flood stage this weekend.

Expect travel delays to expand as the rain wets the roads, areas of fog develop and the cloud ceiling lowers around the airports, including Atlanta, Charlotte, North Carolina, and Orlando, Florida, into Saturday.

Flash flooding and severe thunderstorms may occur

Heavy to locally severe thunderstorms are likely over Florida and may extend northward along the southern Atlantic coast into early Saturday.

"The greatest threats from the storms are expected to be flooding downpours and strong wind gusts," according to AccuWeather Lead Storm Warning Meteorologist Eddie Walker.

"However, a few isolated tornadoes cannot be ruled out," Walker said.

Some of the heaviest rainfall from the storm may fall from Florida to the Carolina coast.

RELATED: Winter storm blasts Southeast

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Winter storm blasts U.S. Southeast leaving hundreds of thousands without power
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Winter storm blasts U.S. Southeast leaving hundreds of thousands without power
A snow-covered car is parked outside a home in Greensboro, N.C., Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018. A massive storm brought snow, sleet, and freezing rain across a wide swath of the South on Sunday - causing dangerously icy roads, immobilizing snowfalls and power losses. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
A man jogs with his dog down a snow-covered street in Greensboro, N.C., Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018. A massive storm brought snow, sleet, and freezing rain across a wide swath of the South on Sunday - causing dangerously icy roads, immobilizing snowfalls and power losses. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Joslyn Fontanella, 8, takes a break from shoveling a walkway to taste some snow in Greensboro, N.C., Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018. A massive storm brought snow, sleet, and freezing rain across a wide swath of the South on Sunday, causing dangerously icy roads, immobilizing snowfalls and power losses to hundreds of thousands of people.(AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
A driver in a small car follows three snow plows down a major road in Greensboro, N.C., Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018. A massive storm brought snow, sleet, and freezing rain across a wide swath of the South on Sunday - causing dangerously icy roads, immobilizing snowfalls and power losses to hundreds of thousands of people.(AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Cars move slowly on a snowy Durham, N.C., street after several inches fell on Sunday Dec. 9, 2018. A storm spreading snow, sleet and freezing rain across a wide swath of the South has millions of people in its path, raising the threat of immobilizing snowfalls, icy roads and possible power outages. (AP Photo/Jonathan Drew)
A snow plow moves on a snowy Durham, N.C., street after several inches fell on Sunday Dec. 9, 2018. A storm spreading snow, sleet and freezing rain across a wide swath of the South has millions of people in its path, raising the threat of immobilizing snowfalls, icy roads and possible power outages. (AP Photo/Jonathan Drew)
A Duke Energy crew works to restore power in Raleigh, N.C,. as snow continues to fall Sunday morning, Dec. 9, 2018. A storm spreading snow, sleet and freezing rain across a wide swath of the South has millions of people in its path, raising the threat of immobilizing snowfalls, icy roads and power outages. (Travis Long/The News & Observer via AP)
A couple shovels their driveway in Greensboro, N.C., Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018. A massive storm brought snow, sleet, and freezing rain across a wide swath of the South on Sunday - causing dangerously icy roads, immobilizing snowfalls and power losses to hundreds of thousands of people.(AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
SANTA ANA, CA - DECEMBER 06: A woman jumps over flowing water along East Santa Clara Avenue in Santa Ana as heavy rainfall fell throughout Orange County on Thursday, December 6, 2018. Heavy rain from a winter storm passing through Southern California flooded streets. (Photo by Mark Rightmire/Digital First Media/Orange County Register via Getty Images)
SANTA ANA, CA - DECEMBER 06: A curious onlooker watches a flash flood waters from heavy rainfall rushes through Hart Park in Orange on Thursday, December 6, 2018. Heavy rain from a winter storm passing through Southern California flooded streets. (Photo by Mark Rightmire/Digital First Media/Orange County Register via Getty Images)
COSTA MESA, CA - DECEMBER 06: Joe Suzuki paddles around submerged cars on Pomona Avenue near 17th Street in Costa Mesa, CA, on Thursday, Dec 6, 2018. Heavy rain from a winter storm passing through Southern California flooded streets. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen/Digital First Media/Orange County Register via Getty Images)
GARDEN GROVE, CA - DECEMBER 06: A women rides her bicycle on the sidewalk of Downie Place near Fairview Street in Garden Grove, CA, on Thursday, Dec 6, 2018. Heavy rain from a winter storm passing through Southern California flooded streets. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen/Digital First Media/Orange County Register via Getty Images)
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Low-lying areas in cities near the coast will be especially vulnerable, this includes Charleston, South Carolina, and Tampa, Florida. In these areas, the combination of onshore winds and heavy rain may cause runoff to collect on city streets and back up into neighborhoods.

"It is in the southeastern corner of the U.S., especially in parts of Florida, where downpours may train and lead to flooding on a more regional basis," according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Maggie Samuhel.

Lingering snow to be a problem

Snow has been melting and will continue to disappear in some areas in the wake of last weekend's heavy snowfall. However, enough will remain on the ground over the southern Appalachians and in many Piedmont areas as rain falls into Saturday.

At the very least, where snow is piled up and is blocking storm drains, urban flooding is likely.
In some cases where the snow partially melted and turned to ice, it may take a long time for this wintry concoction to go away. Ice ruts on driveways and back roads may remain through the storm over the countryside in the mountains.

Where heavy snow remains on roofs, especially flat or shallow pitched roofs, there is the risk of collapse. Enough rain may fall at first to add a great deal of weight to the roof, since the snow may act like a sponge.

For example, one gallon of water weighs about 10 pounds. So, in some cases, there may be parts of the roof that have imaginary gallon jugs stacked 2 to 4 layers deep where snow has drifted. Often, it is the uneven snow load on a shallow roof that leads to failure as rain pours down.

Only remove snow from a roof if you can do so safely, such as using a roof brush or contact a professional that is properly insured.

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