‘People should not take this lightly:’ Tropical depression could impact the Coast this week

Heavy rain and severe heat are possible in the forecast for the Mississippi Gulf Coast this week.

The National Weather Service’s five-day forecast shows an 80% chance of a tropical depression developing in the northern Gulf of Mexico between Wednesday and Friday.

The tropical depression is expected to send heavy rain from Texas to the Florida Panhandle, according to weather service meteorologist Freddie Zeigler.

“People should not take this lightly,” said Zeigler.

“They need to stay updated on the forecast and prepare for the possible development of this system. Even if it doesn’t develop, these areas will see heavy rain at the end of this week.”

Anywhere from 3 to 8 inches could fall between Friday night through next Monday morning, the weather service said Monday afternoon.

An area of lower pressure is hovering over central Georgia, and it’s expected to move south and become more organized on Wednesday. “Environmental and ocean conditions are forecast to be conducive for development, and a tropical depression is likely to form by the end of the week while the low moves slowly westward over northern Gulf of Mexico,” the National Hurricane Center said.

In addition to the severe weather threat, heat advisories were issued over the holiday weekend, and one was in place for South Mississippi until at least 7 p.m. Monday.

Temperatures are expected to continue to be between 95 degrees and 100 degrees this week, with heat indices between 106 degrees and 111 degrees.

“Everyone needs to make sure that they stay hydrated and protect themselves and their pets from the heat. We see a lot of heat exhaustion and heat stroke incidents with heat indices this high,” said Zeigler.

Britneé Davis is McClatchy’s South Region Digital Producer. The south region includes the Sun Herald, the Telegraph, and the Ledger-Enquirer.