Weather

Severe weather, river flooding possible this weekend

This National Weather Service graphic shows the expected rainfall through Monday, with an average of two inches possible on the Mississippi Coast.
This National Weather Service graphic shows the expected rainfall through Monday, with an average of two inches possible on the Mississippi Coast.

Friday’s ominous gray skies are indeed a sign of rough weather to come this weekend.

Those planning outdoor events should be prepared for cloudy skies, strong winds and scattered showers, with a downpour likely Sunday.

Yet another large storm system is sweeping across the Southeast, bringing threats of heavy rain, damaging winds, tornadoes and lightning.

As has been the trend, the risk increases the further north you are. The National Weather Service in New Orleans predicts a slight risk of severe weather north of Interstate 10 on Sunday and a lesser risk south of the interstate.

The Harrison County Emergency Management Agency warns that wind gusts up to 60 mph, hail up to a quarter size, and isolated tornadoes are possible.

Two to four inches of rain could fall, the weather service advises, which could cause minor flooding. The chance of rain slowly increases throughout the weekend, hovering around 30 percent Saturday then increasing to 70 percent Sunday afternoon and 80 percent that night.

A cold front behind the storm system should drop temperatures into the 50s by Monday night, but sunny skies will keep daily highs near 80.

The weather service also warns the already windy conditions are expected to intensify as strong winds from the Southeast push tide levels 1 to 2 feet above normal Saturday and Sunday. A coastal flood advisory is in effect through midnight Sunday for all three coastal counties, meaning there could be flooding in low-lying areas along the waterfront.

Heavy rains are expected across most of the state Sunday, which could raise river levels above flood stage.

“Some river flooding could be significant,” the Jackson weather service warns, particularly the the Big Black, Pearl, Chickasawhay and Leaf rivers and Tallahala Creek.

And as much of the central U.S. has seen heavy rains over the past few weeks, there also is a flood warning for the Mississippi River.

Lauren Walck: 228-896-2393, @laurenwalck

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