Weather

Dangerous weather is possible Saturday in South Mississippi

This graphic shows the risk levels of severe weather, with the strongest (enhanced) in orange, then slight risk in yellow and marginal risk in green.
This graphic shows the risk levels of severe weather, with the strongest (enhanced) in orange, then slight risk in yellow and marginal risk in green.

A raincoat or umbrella may not be enough this weekend if South Mississippi sees the severe thunderstorms and tornadoes forecast for Saturday.

The National Weather Service says there is an enhanced risk of severe weather Saturday, which is the third of five risk levels. Most severe weather forecasts on the Coast stay at the first or second level, which is marginal risk and slight risk, respectively.

Enhanced risk means numerous severe storms are likely with a possibility of tornadoes, hail and damaging winds of 75 mph or more.

So whether you will be out and about for Black Spring Break or staying home, you can expect heavy rain and strong winds Saturday.

Thunderstorms are likely to start after 2 p.m., the weather service says, and continue through at least 1 a.m. Sunday.

The heaviest rain is expected to reach the Coast in the evening, when many people will be trying to attend the fourth annual Spring Fest concert featuring Lil Wayne and others.

Flash flooding is possible during the afternoon and evening on U.S. 90 and other low-lying roads. The weather service has issued a flash flood watch from 1 a.m. Saturday to 1 a.m. Sunday.

Rainfall of 2 to 4 inches of rain is expected over the weekend, but some areas could see as much as 8 inches.

River flooding

The weather service also issued a flood warning Friday for the Wolf River north of Gulfport and the Biloxi River. The warning is in effect through Monday night.

The Wolf River's stage was at 2 feet Friday morning, Lacy said. Flood stage is 8 feet. The river is expected to rise about flood stage by Sunday morning and to keep rising until Monday night.

Bells Ferry Road will start to flood when the Wolf River reaches 8 feet, Lacy said.

"There will be water over the access road just upstream of the bridge and the road will become impassable very quickly," Lacy said.

At 9 feet, the road will be impassable, Lacy said, due to deep water on the east bridge approach.

The Biloxi River will crest at 14 feet Monday, he said. Flood stage is 12 feet.

Temperatures on Saturday may reach 75 with an overnight low around 52, the weather service says.

Sunday should be cooler and sunny, with high of 66 and overnight low of 40.

Monday is forecast to be sunny, with high of 69 and a low of 51. Warmer weather is expected for the rest of the week.

The severe weather threat comes from a powerful spring storm that will cause snow and blizzard conditions in other parts of the nation, the weather service says.

Robin Fitzgerald, 228-896-2307, @robincrimenews
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