First Defense: Tomorrow’s Widespread Heavy Rain Poses A Flooding Risk

JAMESTOWN – That same stalled front located south of the region continues to act as a focal point for a couple widely-spaced showers in the Southern Tier this afternoon. However, a more area-wide rain arrives tomorrow bringing a risk of areal flooding to the region.

Today will be mainly dry with partly to mostly cloudy skies. With that stationary front stalled south of the area, it is not out of the question a couple showers could develop in the Southern Tier this afternoon. Temps will be in the lower to mid 70’s.

The bigger story is a deep storm system currently located near Kansas City that will be moving towards the area over the next 24 to 48 hours. This system will produce widespread rain throughout the day on Thursday with pockets of heavier rain.

The NOAA Storm Prediction Center has also outlined the extreme southern portion of the Southern Tier and Northwestern Pennsylvania under a less than average Marginal Risk (level 1/5) for severe thunderstorms on Thursday.

While the overall severe weather threat is low, it is not zero. The primary severe factor should any storms become strong to severe will be gusty winds. This kind of setup does not favor large hail or any tornado threat.

Computer models are still in a bit of a disagreement on where the heavier rain patches will be. Some models we’ve examined including the in-house FutureScan model we run in the weather center, are showing a heavy swath of rain out to the east, mainly in Cattaraugus County. Likewise, some other models are showing the heavier swaths further west near the Lake Erie shore.

Regardless of where the heaviest rain happens to be, rainfall totals will range between one and two inches with the potential for some localized amounts of two and a half to three inches. With that amount of rain coming down on top of already saturated ground, this does bring the threat of areal flooding along low-lying areas and poor drainage areas.

Depending on how much rain falls in a given period within the localized thunderstorm convection, there could be a flash flooding risk involved as well Thursday afternoon.

A trifecta of dry days will come our way at the end of the week with the humidity backing off for Friday and Saturday. Humidity will spike back up once again on Sunday and lat through much of the upcoming week with summertime warmth in the upper 70’s and lower 80’s

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