By Errol Castens/NEMS Daily Journal
OXFORD – Northeast Mississippi may have accumulations of snow and its lowest temperatures in at least seven years later this week.
After tonight’s temperatures dip to around 15, the National Weather Service predicts a short thaw Wednesday afternoon for most of the region. But temperatures below freezing will follow from Wednesday night through at least Sunday night, with lows as cold as 5 degrees Saturday morning.
Mississippi’s northernmost counties could actually see more than a week – from two days ago until Monday or later – without a thaw. The last time that happened was in 1989, when Holly Springs experienced nine consecutive days below freezing.
“Wind chills, especially, will be in the dangerous range,” said Marlene Mickelson, a NWS meteorologist in Memphis. Wind chill readings as low as minus 10 will be common in the area.
The last time Tupelo recorded actual temperatures lower than 10 degrees was Jan. 24, 2003, when the mercury dropped to 7 degrees.
Snow could start Wednesday night again, with as much as a 70 percent chance on Thursday. Forecasters say snow amounts are difficult to predict, but they urge area residents to plan for “at least a couple of inches” anywhere in the Mid-South and the dangerous driving conditions that can follow.
Mickelson said Northeast Mississippi accumulations would likely be little more than 2 inches, but the powdery precipitation could be an enduring event.
“This will be a fast-moving system,” she said. “It’s not going to warm up quickly, and this snow will be around for a while.”
Contact Errol Castens at (662) 281-1069 or firstname.lastname@example.org.