Weather

Tropical system could bring 7 inches of rain over Memorial Day weekend, forecast warns

This National Weather Service graphic shows a possible tropical system approaching the Gulf Coast this weekend.
This National Weather Service graphic shows a possible tropical system approaching the Gulf Coast this weekend. National Weather Service

South Mississippi's Memorial Day weekend will likely be a drencher, with heavy rain forecast through the weekend and maybe into next week.

The possibility of a tropical system developing over the next five days in the eastern Gulf of Mexico has increased to 60 percent, the National Hurricane Center said Wednesday.

The main concern for the Mississippi Coast is the potential for heavy rain starting late Friday, Harrison County Emergency Management Director Rupert Lacy said.

"One thing we would like to point out is that this system will be a very slow-moving storm and could basically get trapped somewhere across the north-central Gulf Coast and thus why the potential for heavy rain could last into next week."

South Mississippi could see up to 7 inches of rain.

Forecast models show the system making landfall Sunday between Biloxi and Destin, Florida, although the models are not yet in agreement. If the disturbance shifts west, that would mean heavier rain for Mississippi, Lacy said.

Isolated waterspouts along the water and microbursts are also possible.

The system could form into a tropical depression, or the first tropical storm of the year, named Alberto.

Scattered afternoon thunderstorms are likely to continue through Thursday, ahead of the storm system, according to the National Weather Service. The chance of showers and thunderstorms increases to 60 percent Friday night.

High temperatures will reach the mid-80s daily, with overnight lows in the low 70s, the weather service says.

Heavy rain is likely to affect holiday weekend plans and outdoor events, such as the Conference USA tournament games at MGM Park in Biloxi, Sounds by the Sea concerts in Jones Park in Gulfport and Beach Park in Pascagoula, Jazz in the Park in Pass Christian and other outdoor events.

Robin Fitzgerald, 228-896-2307, @robincrimenews
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