All Weather News

Severe Storms & Heavy Rain in the Southeast

16 Dec 2020, 5:00 am

After an early week coastal storm exits the Mid-Atlantic, our next big storm is moving toward the East Coast mid-week. This system will not only bring the potential for heavy snow up north, heavy rain and severe thunderstorms are possible across portions of the Southeast. The chance for strong thunderstorms will be focused around Florida’s Big Bend and also through Eastern North Carolina, including the Outer Banks.


A low pressure system that moved over the Southern Rockies earlier in the week is expected to move across the Southeast Wednesday. Alongside this low pressure system, another low will develop in the Southeast along the Atlantic coast and move northward into the Mid-Atlantic on Wednesday. With two low pressure systems, there will be two areas that have a risk for severe storms. For more on the severe weather outlook, scroll down.

Forecast snapshots of the Florida region are posted first, followed by several across Eastern North Carolina.

The ‘northern’ low in the Mid-Atlantic will bring snow to the north and rain to the south. Similar to the set-up we saw with Monday’s coastal storm, the south side will see a severe storm threat and the north-side seeing snow.

Severe Outlook

The Storm Prediction Center has issued a slight risk for severe storms (level 2 on a scale 1 to 5) for Eastern North Carolina, with a marginal risk (1 out of 5) for Florida. The main concern with both risk areas will be for damaging straight-line winds, with gusts over 58 mph. Gusts this strong can down big branches or entire trees. Downed power lines are also a concern.

If enough destabilization occurs in either region, there will be enough shear in the atmosphere for supercells. This means a few isolated tornadoes are possible. Tornadoes are slightly more likely in the Outer Banks Wednesday afternoon, according to the SPC.

Forecast Accumulation

On the warm side of these low pressure systems, we may see up to 1-2″ of rain. Here’s a look at our rainfall forecast:

Coastal Alerts

For the Carolina region, minor coastal flooding will also be possible along the immediate coast with 1-2 feet of inundation possible. This will be most noticeable around high tide, which will primarily occur during the middle to late morning.

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About the author
Alana Cameron was born and raised in Canada in the city of Mississauga, just outside of Toronto. Alana is the oldest of 4 siblings, all close in age, and grew up playing outside with them in all types of weather. After graduating high school, Alana moved to study at the University of British Columbia in Kelowna for a year before transferring to Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia where sh... Load Moree completed a Bachelor of Science in Physics and Atmospheric Science. Upon completion, Alana moved back to Toronto where she completed a post-grad degree in Meteorology at York University. After her post-grad, she went on to complete another post-grad in Broadcast Journalism - TV News at Fanshawe College in London, Ontario. During her final year of studies she had the privilege of interning with the best in the business in Canada at The Weather Network. Once she finished her internship, she got the call from small-town Denison, Texas where she accepted a job as an on-air meteorologist at KTEN-TV, right in tornado alley, covering severe weather from Sherman/Denison (North Texas) to Ada (Southern Oklahoma). After the most active tornado season Oklahoma had seen in May 2019 (105 tornadoes!) Alana is excited to join WeatherNation to cover weather all across the nation. If you're interested in following her on social media she can be found @alanacameronwx!