Heavy rains are expected to arrive in the Lansing area this afternoon, and the National Weather Service in Grand Rapids has issued a flood watch that takes effect at 5 p.m.

The flood watch covers much of central and southern Michigan, including Clinton, Eaton and Ingham counties.  The flood watch expires at 11 a.m. Tuesday.

According to the Lansing State Journal, showers could begin late this afternoon, with stronger rains developing sometime around nightfall.

The heavier rain could last for a couple of hours and feature rain falling at a rate greater than 1.5 inches per hour.

This storm system is the same one that has caused severe flooding in Louisiana, but according to Meteorologist Cort Scholten, the system should move through the area quickly enough to avoid similar rainfall totals.