By Errol Castens
MEMPHIS – The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning that covers much of Northeast Mississippi from 9 p.m. Tuesday to 6 p.m. Wednesday. The warning updates an earlier winter storm watch.
Counties included in this region are Alcorn, Benton, Calhoun, Chickasaw, Itawamba, Lee, Monroe, Pontotoc, Prentiss, Tippah, Tishomingo and Union.
Forecasters expect snow and sleet across the warning area from tonight through Wednesday evening, with an accumulation of 2 to 4 inches of snow but less than one-tenth inch of ice.
The warning statement says, “A winter storm warning for heavy snow means severe winter weather conditions are expected or occurring. Significant amounts of snow are forecast that will make travel dangerous. Only travel in an emergency. If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency.”
The NWS in Memphis has also included Lafayette and Marshall counties in a winter weather advisory, with snow accumulations of one to three inches possible through Wednesday evening.
Additionally, Clay and Oktibbeha counties are part of a winter weather advisory issued by the National Weather Service office in Jackson that extends through noon on Wednesday. Forecasters predict occasional light freezing rain and drizzle with a transition to snow Wednesday afternoon. While only small amounts of ice or snow are expected to accumulate, any precipitation will compound the first round of winter weather that occurred early Tuesday morning, causing slippery roads and limited visibility.
This storm is part of a system that is bringing freezing rain, sleet and snow to a swath of the nation from Central Texas to coastal North Carolina.
Two deaths on roads
At least two people were killed in traffic wrecks Tuesday as the state deals with another round of winter weather.
The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency said it has received reports of two weather-related traffic deaths – one in Lowndes County and one in Carroll County. The agency had no further details.
A spokesman for the state Department of Public Safety did not immediately return a telephone call or emailed request for comment.
In a news release, Gov. Phil Bryant expressed sympathy to the families of those killed.
“I urge Mississippians to stay aware of changing weather conditions and to stay off of roadways in impacted areas if possible,” Bryant said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.