UPDATE: Up to 4 inches of snow drops in central Mississippi

By Bill Fuller and Jack M. Elliott Jr./The Associated Press

JACKSON — A winter storm system left 2 to 4 inches of snow in parts of central Mississippi on Thursday morning before heading east toward Alabama, the National Weather Service said.

Meteorologist Daniel Lamb in Jackson said areas of East Mississippi would be under a threat of snow until about noon in central counties and 11 a.m. in some northern counties. Dark clouds gave way to sunshine in western Mississippi at midmorning.

Lows Thursday night were expected to dip into the mid-20s, but Friday’s high would be 50, Lamb said.

The storm left around 3 inches of snow on the ground in the Jackson metro area, with two inches northward through the Yazoo City and Grenada areas and to the east around Starkville an inch or so, Lamb said.

He said the snow would melt off quickly once temperatures rose in the upper 40s.

The last time central Mississippi got at least 2 inches of snow was in February of 2010 and areas north of Jackson had decent accumulations more recently. Areas of north Mississippi got some snow in November and December of 2011, but less than 2 inches.

Gov. Phil Bryant allowed state offices to open at 10 a.m. Thursday. The Legislature was scheduled to meet.

Lamb said the snow would end from the west to east about midmorning Thursday in the Jackson area and by noon in the eastern Mississippi.

The Mississippi Department of Transportation continued to warn drivers of ice accumulations on Interstate 220 and Interstate 55 bridges in Hinds County and snow was reported on bridges and roads from the Delta to east Mississippi.

“MDOT personnel are monitoring the weather and will take necessary measures to keep Mississippi roadways safe,” officials said in a news release. “Motorists are encouraged to drive slowly and use extreme caution while traveling in these areas.”

Areas in south Mississippi were expected to get more rain Thursday before a gradual clearing off.

Many schools systems in central Mississippi had delayed opening until 9 a.m. or 9:30 a.m. after the snow was expected to end.

Entergy Mississippi reported 1,856 customers without power early Thursday. Most of them — 1,173 — were in Hinds County and others scattered among Adams, Madison, Quitman, Sunflower, Warren, Washington and unspecified areas.