- Associated Press - Monday, March 7, 2016

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A large storm system could bring heavy rain and tornadoes to the Deep South this week, National Weather Service meteorologists said Monday.

Some areas from Louisiana to Alabama could see up to a foot of rain, said Greg Carbin, a forecaster at the service’s Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma. Forecasters also expect to issue flash flood watches and warning, Carbin said.

A slow-moving storm will move out of northern Mexico and Texas into Louisiana on Tuesday. Some showers and a few thunderstorms are expected to develop Tuesday night, but the heaviest rainfall is expected to move into the area Wednesday afternoon through Friday.

“We are anticipating the potential for some very heavy rain due to the slow movement of the front,” said Bob Wagner, a meteorologist at the weather service office in Slidell, Louisiana.

“We expect several waves of showers and thunderstorms to affect the area,” Wagner said. “At this point, we’re looking for a potential of 7 to 10 inches of rain across much of southeast Louisiana and southern Mississippi” from Wednesday through Saturday.

Any severe weather on Wednesday is likely to occur west of Interstate 55 in Mississippi, Wagner said.

He said southeast Louisiana and southern Mississippi will be most at risk of tornadoes, but are more likely to be hit with damaging wind and some hail.

Heavy rainfall could result in flash flooding, rising rivers and minor coastal flooding, Wagner said.

Farther east along the Alabama coast, forecasters are calling for 4 to 6 inches of rain from storms that will sweep over the area quickly, said NWS meteorologist David Eversole. Eversole said flooding in low-lying areas and flash floods are possible.

The rain is expected to hang around until Saturday, Eversole said.

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Associated Press Writer Janet McConnaughey in New Orleans contributed to this report.

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