JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - According to AAA, Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer, and the travel agency says an estimated 41.5 million Americans will travel over the holiday weekend. However, weekend travel will be treacherous for those hitting the roads as rain showers and storm chances are high across the both East and West United States coasts.
In you are traveling throughout the southeastern United States, rain chances are will be elevated through much of the weekend into early next week as the first tropical low-pressure system of the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season aims for the Gulf Coast.
Forecasters are watching the area of low-pressure that will likely develop into a tropical storm or tropical depression over the weekend. Heavy rain showers and storms are in the forecast from New Orleans to the Western Florida Panhandle. The brightest and driest days of the weekend will be Friday and Saturday.
Sunday and Monday the area of low pressure will start to make its greatest impact on land. While rainfall amounts between 2-6 inches are expected across the Gulf Coast, most of the southeast will experience off and on downpours. From Nashville to Atlanta to Raleigh to Savannah downpours will dominate the forecast on Sunday going into Memorial Day.
For those who plan to stay in Florida, there's will be no escape from the rain. Expect heavy rain along the Western Florida coast from Ft. Myers to Tampa to Tallahassee. South Florida will also experience off and on rain showers. Flooding is a concern for areas near the Gulf that experience persistent rainfall near or above 3 inches.
While rain showers will be the norm rather than exception this weekend, temperatures will remain in the 70s and 80s with higher humidity values.
If you're looking for some dry weather you'll have to travel to Texas or Colorado where high pressure reigns for the next few days, but don't go to far west because rain showers will also impact the Pacific Coast this holiday weekend.
Be safe and take The Weather Authority app with you wherever you go, you can download it by searching "WJXT" in your smartphone app store.
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