The National Weather Service says Oneida, Huntsville and surrounding areas should expect rainfall accumulation in excess of three inches between Thursday and Saturday, as the remnants of Tropical Storm Cindy impact the region.
Although the tropical storm had not made landfall Wednesday afternoon, NWS offices inland were bracing for the potential impact of the storm's remnants, which are expected to slowly move northeast through the rest of the week.
The NWS's Morristown office, which covers Scott County and the rest of East Tennessee, issued a hydrologic outlook Wednesday afternoon, stating that "potentially heavy rains" are expected.
"Computer models presently suggest that the Cumberland Plateau may receive the highest amounts for our area, exceeding three inches of rainfall," the NWS said in the outlook. "Flooding is possible across the area with this heavy rainfall."
The NWS's Nashville office, which covers Fentress County and Middle Tennessee, issued its own hydrologic outlook, stating that flooding was not much of a concern for Thursday, but adding that things could change on Friday.
"Heavier rains are expected to arrive Friday afternoon into Friday night, dropping another one to three inches of accumulation. It is this second round of rainfall, Friday afternoon into Friday night, that will be most capable of producing localized flash flooding in our area," the outlook stated.
In a forecast discussion posted Wednesday afternoon, NWS-Morristown said some thunderstorms might be embedded in the bands of rain on Thursday, but no strong storms are expected.
However, the forecast office added, strong thunderstorms are possible on Friday afternoon, with isolated damaging wind gusts being the main threat.
Tropical Storm Cindy is expected to make landfall between Houston and New Orleans shortly after midnight Thursday morning, with the first bands of precipitation reaching the northern Cumberland Plateau region around 12 hours later.
A lull in rainfall may occur Thursday night into early Friday, forecasters have said, but tropical moisture will continue to surge into the region as the tropical depression gets swept up in a cold front that will approach from the northwest. That will set the stage for the heaviest rainfall to occur Friday afternoon and Friday night.
Rainfall chances will taper off Saturday morning, and NWS-Morristown is forecasting only a 20 percent chance of rain in Oneida on Saturday.