South Mississippi can expect a wet Christmas instead of a white Christmas this year, with the possibility of flooding.
The National Weather Service on Tuesday afternoon issued a flood warning for the Biloxi River near Lyman.
At 9 p.m., the river reading was at 11.1 feet, with a 12-foot flood stage, said Rupert Lacy, director of Harrison County Emergency Management Agency. The river is expected to crest Tuesday night at 16 feet.
He urges residents in that area to protect themselves and their pets.
The flood warning runs through Thursday, when the river could be back in its banks.
The NWS also issued a hazardous-weather outlook Tuesday for South Mississippi, with patchy dense fog, more thunderstorms, strong winds and 1 to 3 inches of rain.
The forecast calls for a 90 percent chance of rain through Wednesday night with strong winds and isolated tornadoes possible.
AccuWeather says for travelers, severe storms and flooding rain are possible from the Gulf Coast to the Ohio Valley.
"Locations from the Gulf Coast to the lower Great Lakes need to be on alert for potentially damaging thunderstorms Tuesday night into Wednesday night," according to the report.
"Into Christmas Eve, parts of the Gulf Coast could see 4 to 5 inches of rain with locally higher amounts," said Dan Pydynowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist. "While this rain will fall over the span of three to four days, flooding will still be a concern given how wet it has been recently."
The threat of rain diminishes to 20 percent later Christmas Eve, with a 30 percent chance of thunderstorms Christmas Day and a balmy 74 degrees.
That forecast means there's a better chance of seeing the Christmas full moon.
With only a slight chance of thunderstorms in the forecast Saturday, children will be able to get out of the house and ride their new bicycles.