By Matt Alto, Meteorologist
Sep 1, 2012; 10:10 AM ET
Drenching showers and thunderstorms from Tropical Rainstorm Isaac has brought beneficial rain to much of Arkansas, Missouri and southern Illinois the past several days. Now the focus of the heavy and beneficial rain will shift into the Ohio Valley states for the Labor Day weekend.
Isaac has deposited over 10 inches of rain over a significant part of southeastern Louisiana and southwestern Mississippi this week. Another widespread 2 to 4 inches have already fallen over parts of Arkansas and Missouri.
Outside of Mississippi and Louisiana, the big winners have been Pine Bluff and Stuttgart, Ark., with 8.39 inches and 6.15 inches of rainfall respectively as of early Saturday morning.
As Isaac continues its slow northeastward track into the Ohio Valley this weekend, towns and communities from Missouri to Ohio and West Virginia can expect to have periods of heavy rainfall.
Cities in the path of Tropical Rainstorm Isaac today include St. Louis, Indianapolis, Cape Girardeau, Louisville and Cincinnati. On Sunday, the focus shifts just a bit to the east into more of western and central Ohio, including the state capital of Ohio, Columbus.
Eventually, some of the moisture from Isaac will surge into the Northeast and mid-Atlantic leading to spotty showers and thunderstorms for early next week, including Labor Day.
There is the potential for a widespread 2 to 4 inches of rain through Monday stretching into eastern Missouri, south-central Illinois and Indiana, as well as western Ohio.
Locally higher amounts in excess of 4 inches will be likely from heavier and persistent showers and thunderstorms across these areas.
While the rainfall will be greatly appreciated in areas suffering from the Drought of 2012, too much rain falling too fast could lead to the potential for localized flash flooding, especially in low-lying, urban and flood prone areas.
According to Expert Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski, “There is no doubt that the rain will be greatly beneficial to these areas from a hydrological and agricultural standpoint. However, there will be a rather abrupt northern and western edge to the rainfall, and heavy rainfall could be rather spotty in part of the Tennessee Valley.”
Cities like Chicago and Detroit will be on the far northern edge of the rain and will likely pick up just a few scattered showers from Tropical Rainstorm Isaac throughout the holiday weekend.
Along with the threat for heavy rain, strong to potential severe thunderstorms will also be possible through the weekend in areas south and east of the center of the storm. Those living in the Ohio and Tennessee valleys could see a gusty thunderstorm capable of producing a brief tornado.