It’s not just muggy outside — there’s a near-record amount of moisture in the air over the Mississippi Coast, the National Weather Service says.
It’s part of the reason heavy rains have inundated the Gulf Coast over the past few days, causing flooding and watery roads.
August is typically the month when the most moisture hovers in the air over the Coast, but weather service meteorologist Alek Krautmann said Friday the moisture level — called precipitable water — is double the average for this time of year.
And it’s only been this high a few times since the weather service started sending up twice-daily weather balloons about 60 years ago, he said.
Luckily, South Mississippi saw mostly light rains Friday after a deluge Thursday.
The Gulfport and Long Beach areas saw the most rain, with 5.44 inches recorded at Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport between 7 a.m. Thursday and 7 a.m. Friday.
And more rain is possible Saturday, prompting the weather service to extend the flash-flood watch until 7 a.m. Sunday. The ground is now so saturated any additional rain could flood roads and low-lying areas.
A 50 percent chance of rain remains during the day every day through Wednesday, dropping to 20 percent at night.
The following rivers are under a flood warning until late Saturday night:
▪ West Hobolochitto Creek near McNeill in Pearl River County
▪ East Hobolochitto Creek near Caesar in Pearl River County
▪ Biloxi River near Lyman in Harrison County
The Biloxi River near Lyman was at 13.4 feet at 11 a.m. Friday. Flood stage is 12 feet. Minor flooding already is occurring and the crest is expected to hit 14 feet by midnight Saturday.
The Biloxi River is expected to fall below flood stage after midnight Saturday.