With the ground already saturated, streams rising, and several additional inches of rainfall expected over the next 24 hours, the National Weather Service has upgraded the risk of flash flooding in Scott County and surrounding counties to “moderate.”

In a briefing Wednesday afternoon, the NWS’s Morristown office increased the flash flooding risk, saying that the training of showers and thunderstorms with heavy rains will move across the region through Wednesday night and into Thursday morning. Small stream and river flooding, flooding of roadways, flooding of low-lying areas and mud slides are all possible, the NWS said.

A flash flood watch is in effect for all of East Tennessee, and will continue through early Friday.

The NWS said that an additional two-to-three inches of rainfall are expected through Thursday night.

Several flood warnings and flood advisories were already in effect in East Tennessee Wednesday afternoon, the closest being in Morgan County. The area-wide flash flood watch had originally been scheduled to take effect at 7 p.m. Wednesday evening, but was bumped up to 3 p.m.

In the renewed advisory, the NWS said that “today’s rainfall has created favorable conditions for flash flooding with another round of showers and thunderstorms tonight and Thursday. Heavy showers and thunderstorms that repeatedly track over the same areas could result in flash flooding of creeks and streams tonight and Thursday.”

In a forecast discussion issued Wednesday afternoon, NWS forecasters said that precipitation has “blossomed” along the Gulf Coast in southern Mississippi and southern Alabama, and is moving northeast. “Not much activity just to the southwest so expect a lull late today across southern areas,” the NWS said. “Expect showers and storms to increase this evening as activity approaches from the west and southwest.”

A developing low pressure area ahead of an approaching cold front is expected to aid the development of showers and thunderstorms.