Rain to continue, flooding possible after chilly Independence Day

Friday, July 5, 2013 at 12:59pm

Clouds and a persistent flow of gulf moisture are holding down temperatures and bringing rain, sometimes heavy, to Tennessee.

The National Weather Service forecast office in Nashville issued a special statement late Friday morning, saying up to 4 more inches of rain could fall over the next two days as a plume of moist air continues to feed northward from the Gulf of Mexico. Much of Middle and East Tennessee is under a Flood Watch through Sunday morning.

"We're saturated," said Bobby Boyd, an NWS meteorologist in Nashville. "The airport has had 1.96 inches since the rain started and over in Smith County, there are reports of 4 and 5 inches. One report near Carthage was 5.60 inches."

The rain that falls into Sunday won't soak in.

"Anything we get is going to be runoff," Boyd said. "We'll see quick rises on all of those streams."

The coolest spot among the major cities on the Fourth of July was Nashville, where the high temperature was only 71 degrees. That was 18 degrees below normal and 32 degrees cooler than last year, when the capital city set a daily heat record of 103 degrees.

Chattanooga's high was only 77, which is 13 degrees below normal. Knoxville came in 10 degrees cooler than usual for Independence Day at 78 degrees.

Memphis hit 88 degrees and was 3 degrees cooler than usual for the date while the Tri-Cities reached 84 degrees, 2 degrees lower than normal.

Rain is expected through the weekend across the eastern two-thirds of the state.