TUPELO – The promise – or threat, depending on one’s viewpoint – of up to four inches of snow in Northeast Mississippi failed to materialize Tuesday night, even after more of the region was placed under a winter storm warning.
Forecasts for a second blast of wintry precipitation had already prompted officials to close most schools in the region for Wednesday, and Mississippi Department of Transportation did issue several travel advisories warning of icy bridges Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.
As of mid-morning, only Lafayette, Marshall, Alcorn and Prentiss counties were still reporting temperatures at or below freezing.
“It’s mostly the bridges and overpasses where we’ve had trouble,” said Hugh Hollowell, Marshall County emergency management director. “We are starting to get a little light freezing rain. It looks like it’s starting to stick on some of the trees. We’ve had several accidents this morning, including an 18-wheeler turning over near Potts Camp that was apparently related to ice on the bridge.”
Jim Britt, emergency management director for Oktibbeha County, said closures were decided Tuesday when roads were already icy and forecasters were calling for more frozen precipitation.
“Just based on the best information we could draw from all sources, we had the potential for this to be a more significant impact than the night before, and it was bad slick on all the bridges,” he said. “It’s been a weird situation. On Highway 25 South (on Tuesday) the southbound lane was iced over, but the northbound lane was clear.”
The winter storm warning remains in effect until 6 p.m. Wednesday in the following counties of Northeast Mississippi: Alcorn, Benton, Itawamba, Lee, Pontotoc, Prentiss, Tippah, Tishomingo and Union. National Weather Service forecasters still caution that accumulations of snow and ice are possible throughout the day.
Calhoun, Chickasaw, Lafayette, Marshall and Monroe counties remain under a winter weather advisory until 6 p.m., with up to an inch of snow and one-tenth of an inch of ice accumulation still in the forecast.