By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal
If you know you live in Mississippi’s “icebox,” take precautions about tender garden vegetation tonight, U.S. weather forecasters warn.
Frost warnings primarily include communities in Alcorn and Tishomingo counties from about 4 a.m. until late morning Thursday.
A zipcode check through www.noaa.gov – the website for the National Oceanographic & Atmospheric Administration – shows that most of northeast Mississippi will avoid the icy finger of Jack Frost tonight.
AccuWeather.com reports dry, chilly air and diminishing winds will set the stage for a frost and freeze over portions of the South late tonight into Thursday morning.
Plants left unprotected are at risk for frost damage as far south as portions of North and South Carolina, northern Georgia, northern Alabama and much of Tennessee.
In this area, the risk of frost will be limited to open areas nearest the ground and at windshield level. Elevated objects like large fruit trees could escape significant damage.
Alex Sosnowski, senior meteorologist for AccuWeather.com, says that farther north over much of the Midwest and interior Northeast, the number of hours of freezing temperatures will be significantly longer and the depth of the cold air much more substantial.
Tender plants, blossoms and sprouts could be damaged from the eastern part of the Dakotas to Kentucky, West, Virginia, western Virginia, northward to upstate New York and central and northern New England.
A breeze may offer some protection along the mid-Atlantic and New England coasts by keeping the air mixed and preventing the cold from collecting near the ground. However, farther north over New England, near- or below-freezing temperatures with a breeze may cause more extensive damage.
Sosnowski says the weather pattern has produced accumulating snow in portions of the Great Lakes and northern New England.
As high pressure settles eastward, the snow showers in the Northeast will diminish and the cold flow will ease. However, the dryness of the Canadian air will continue to cause issues with early-morning frost around the Midwest, Northeast and parts of the South into the end of the week before warmth is unleashed from the Plains over the weekend.