The Golden Triangle is expected to freeze tonight.
The National Weather Service in Jackson this morning issued a winter storm warning for Lowndes, Oktibehha and Clay counties that will begin at 6 p.m. tonight and stay in place until 6 p.m. Tuesday. The area has the potential to be iced over and travel conditions will become hazardous, the warning states.
However, John Moore III, a meteorologist with the NWS in Memphis, Tenn., said models are giving various readings, so it’s difficult to pinpoint the timing and exact amounts.
According to weather.com, it was 37 degrees this morning and the temperature was expected to reach the 40s by noon. Around 4 p.m., however, the temperature will begin to fall. Rain will begin around 8 p.m. and not stop until Tuesday. The temperature will drop below freezing around 1 a.m. Tuesday. At 7 a.m. it will be 29 degrees but feel like 19,
NWS forecasters predict a quarter- to a half-inch of sleet and freezing rain to accumulate, while some areas may get up to an inch of snow.
“This will cause icing of trees, bridges and overpasses,” the NWS warning for the area states. “There will also be the increased risk of power outages.”
The Mississippi Department of Transportation and the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency are urging residents to get prepared and stay aware of changing road conditions. Both agencies will be following weather conditions through Monday.
Local school officials are monitoring the situation.
“We have not yet made a decision,” Columbus Municipal School District Superintendent Edna McGill said this morning when asked about the possibility of closing schools Tuesday.
McGill said city school officials will gather information throughout the day and make a decision as soon as possible. If the decision is made to call off classes Tuesday, parents will be notified via the district’s automated call system. Information will also be posted on the district’s website at columbuscityschools.org.
Lowndes County School District Superintendent Lynn Wright said he is working with the Lowndes County Emergency Management Agency to stay updated on the situation. The district will notify its parents if classes are canceled Tuesday via an automated telephone call. The county school system’s website is at lowndes.k12.ms.us.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
William Browning was managing editor for The Dispatch until June 2016.
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