Heavy rains on Tuesday prompted the National Weather Service to issue a flash flood watch for most of southern and coastal Maine.

“It’s a watch, not a warning, which means that the potential exists,” said Mike Kistner, a meteorologist with the NWS office in Gray.

Kistner said the first batch of rain rolled through Maine in the early- to mid-morning hours. He said there would be a break during the lunchtime hours but scattered showers are likely for the afternoon.

“If enough rain falls in the right place, we could see some problems,” he said.

Flash floods can wash out low roadways and in some cases can threaten bridges.

Already by 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, as much as 2 to 3 inches of rain had fallen in some parts of southern Maine.