Recent heavy rainfall across the region has elevated river levels above base flows and saturated soils across all of southeastern Alabama, Southern Georgia and portions of the Florida panhandle.
Rivers and streams are in recession at this time but are not expected to return to base levels before the next round of rainfall begins late this week.
Computer models have some differences with the specific details of heavy rainfall amounts for the next few days. However, confidence is increasing that a couple of storm systems will affect the region beginning on Friday and continue through at least Tuesday. Because these storm systems are expected to be slow moving and pull in a considerable amount of gulf moisture, the potential for a flood event of comparable magnitude or greater than last week is possible into next week.
The first rainfall event on Friday should continue into Sunday and have the potential to produce widespread rainfall amounts of 2 to 4 inches across much of the region. Locally heavier rainfall totals are possible, especially across Southeast Alabama and into Southwestern Georgia should this system move slower than expected.
The second rainfall event is anticipated to begin on Monday and last through Tuesday. Rainfall amounts with this system are more uncertain but could easily meet or exceed previous rainfall from the first event.
Average storm total rainfall amounts through Tuesday for Southeast Alabama is 4 to 7 inches, Florida panhandle is 4 to 7 inches, Southwestern Georgia is 3 to 5 inches, South Central Georgia is 3 to 4 inches and Florida Big Bend is 2 to 4 inches.
It is important to note that locally heavier storm totals double these average amounts are possible.
With already saturated soils in many locations, rainfall amounts of this magnitude could create another round of dangerous flash flooding across southern Alabama and Southwestern Georgia.
Impacts on Rivers
Should these anticipated rainfall amounts occur, significant rises on area rivers and streams would be likely. Currently the Choctawhatchee basins are well above base flows and vulnerable to flooding in the area between Geneva and Bruce into next week.
As with any hydrologic river prediction rises and eventual crests are largely dependent on where rainfall occurs and enters the basin. For this reason this outlook may be updated frequently in the next few days so stay tuned for any updates.