PT, glp: how bout a reefer to weather story on 3A
By Eileen Bailey
Two days of stormy weather ushered in a cold front that was expected to settle over Northeast Mississippi through the weekend, bringing possible record-breaking low temperatures.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, tornadoes, high winds and heavy rains rolled across Mississippi and the South. More violent weather was expected Wednesday night as a cold front collided with warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico.
A dispatcher for the Chickasaw County Sheriff’s Department said the National Weather Service in Memphis notified authorities in that county of an area of possible tornadic development south of Houston about 8 p.m. Wednesday. The county was placed under a tornado warning until 8:15 p.m., but no tornadoes or damage had been reported, the dispatcher said.
The Itawamba County Sheriff’s Department reported hail had fallen in Tremont Wednesday night and some trees were down in the county. Elsewhere, counties throughout Northeast Mississippi reported heavy rains associated with a storm complex that moved across the area.
Z.E. Ingram of the National Weather Service in Memphis said by this morning temperatures are expected to fall into the 30s and will remain there for highs. The low temperature today is expected to be in the lower 30s.
There is a 30 percent chance today for rain turning to light snow with no accumulation expected, Ingram said. Winds are predicted to be 15 to 20 mph.
The high temperatures on Friday are expected to be in the 30s with lows in the 20s. The weekend will be dry and cold with highs in the 40s and lows in the 20s, Ingram said.
Lows over the next several days could be record-breakers, he said. The record lows for March 7 and 8 are 20 degrees, set in 1943. The record low for March 9 is 18 degrees, also set in 1943.
Since the first of the year, there have been several records set in Tupelo, both lows and highs. On Feb. 23, a record high was set at 84 degrees, breaking the record of 80 set in 1930. Record lows were recorded during the ice storm in early February. On Feb. 4, a record low of 4 degrees was recorded in Tupelo. The previous record was set in 1970 with a low of 8 degrees.
These below-freezing temperatures could cause problems for blooming plants and trees in the area, said one nurseryman. But the extent of the damage will not be known until after the cold front moves along.
Byron Fellows, co-owner of Mid-South Nursery on Coley Road, said many blooms on plants could be burned by the below-freezing temperatures. If plants are small enough, protective covering could be placed over them. But for larger trees there is not much that can be done, he said.