Rough weather front expected over next few days

Published 5:22 pm Thursday, March 22, 2012

A cold front, moving at a snail’s pace, is expected to bring some rough weather through the South Mississippi area, including Picayune and Pearl River County, beginning Tuesday and for the next few days, according to weather reports.

Forecasters say Pearl River County, along with other Mississippi Gulf Coast counties, are under a wind advisory all day Tuesday.

Pearl River County Emergency Management Director Danny Manley said officials here are monitoring the system and will take the necessary steps to warn and protect residents if the storm develops as forecasters describe it.

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However, Manley said that things can change on an hourly basis. “These systems are volatile and can change within hours, so all we can do is remain alert and monitor it to see if it is going to affect our area, and then take precautions if needed,” he said Tuesday morning.

A National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration advisory to emergency management directors in Southeast Louisiana and Southwest Mississippi, which includes Pearl River County, said that heavy rains could be expected following the arrival of the front, which was supposed to kick up some stiff winds, possibly approaching 45 miles per hour.

The winds were expected to arrive Tuesday. Manley said Pearl River County could expect some light damage but nothing serious. However, heavy rains are forecast while the slow moving front moves through the Pearl River County area and off to the East by the weekend.

NOAA said there could be flooding in some areas as the front moves very slowly, or even stalls.

NOAA on Tuesday issued a Flash Flood Watch for all of Southeast Louisiana and Southwest Mississippi, which included Pearl River County.

NOAA forecasters said that if forecasts hold, upwards of six inches of rain could fall along a line from Houma, La., to Hammond, La., to Tylertown, Miss. That forecast could change, however, as the system reorganizes itself.

Weather forecasters also said the slow moving storm could impact the forecast area all day Wednesday and Thursday, before moving out to the Eastern Seaboard over the weekend.

A few of the storms over the area could contain damaging winds, the advisory said.

The National Weather Service out of New Orleans predicted strong winds for the Pearl River County area all day Tuesday and said some gusts could reach close to 50 miles per hour.

The advisory covered the cities of Picayune, Bay St. Louis, Waveland, Diamondhead, Gulfport, Biloxi, Pascagoula, Ocean Springs, Moss Point, Gautier and St. Martin. The wind advisory stretched into late Tuesday night.

Sustained winds of 25 to 30 mph were expected late Tuesday.

The National Weather Service said impacts could result in unsecured trash cans being blown around, driving conditions deteriorating for drivers and  for high profile vehicles, large trees will sway and some limbs could be blown down.

A wind advisory means that winds from 26 to 39 mph are expected, the weather service experts said.

The wind advisory covered all the counties along the Mississippi Gulf Coast, including Pearl River County.