SLEET, ICE, SNOW POSSIBLE AS TEMPERATURE PLUMMETS
By Eileen Bailey
A winter weather watch is in effect today for Northeast Mississippi.
Meteorologist Rick Smith of the National Weather Service in Memphis said the day will begin with rain and a high the low 30s. But as the day progresses temperatures will drop into the 20s. The rain will turn to sleet and ice with some ice accumulation possible. Later tonight, the precipitation will turn to snow, with a possible accumulation of 2 to 4 inches, Smith said.
The chance of precipitation will be near 100 percent during the day and 60 percent tonight. Most of Northeast Mississippi will be under a winter weather watch that could become a winter weather warning, Smith said.
A watch means that winter conditions – such as snow, ice and sleet – are possible.
On Sunday, the weather is not expected to change much, Smith said. The day will be cold and cloudy with highs in the low 30s and a possibility of snow flurries.
While this storm, which began moving into Northeast Mississippi Friday, is not predicted to be as severe as the ice storm that hit Northeast Mississippi and several other states in February 1993, it could cause some problems.
Icy conditions could develop on roads late Saturday afternoon and into the evening hours, Smith said. He suggested if roads are passable in the morning, residents who do not have adequate supplies should try to stock up.
Some residents began preparing for winter weather on Friday. Johnny Timmons, director of Tupelo’s Light & Water Department, said his crews had begun getting supplies together in case the weather turns bad.
“All we can do is wait and see. We watch the weather and try to get our ducks in a row,” Timmons said.
Residents can prepare for colder weather by taking precautions for their homes and pets.
Residents should make sure their homes are winterized by checking insulation, caulking and weatherstripping. Caulking seals cracks and joints in the home and weatherstripping reduces air infiltration around doors and windows.
Residents should also take precautions when lighting gas heaters and make sure there is proper ventilation. If a room is not being used, shut the door to conserve heat and energy. Also, make sure water pipes are protected from the cold.
Tupelo veterinarian Dr. Stephen King said in an earlier interview that the most important thing pet owners can provide their canine or feline friends is shelter from the elements, especially if the temperatures drop below freezing.
He also recommended not letting a pet’s water freeze and using good bedding, such as cedar shavings or hay.