Mississippi braces for a winter blast - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Mississippi braces for a winter blast


By Carrie Duncan – bio | email

SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - If you have a flight out of Gulfport Biloxi International Airport on Sunday, be sure to check with your airline.  Ol' Man Winter is moving across the southeast.  And the winter weather could make travel hazardous.

South Mississippi is bracing for some winter weather. As a low pressure system moves rapidly across the northern Gulf of Mexico, we will see rain, sleet, snow and maybe some ice in parts of South Mississippi.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch beginning at 9 a.m. Sunday and continuing through 6 a.m. Monday for parts of South Mississippi.

For the coast, it looks like it will be rain which will be heavy at times. We may see a little sleet and snow mixed in when the temperatures are near around 36-38 or below. The precipitation will start in the morning hours and could be the wintry mix. As the temperatures warm, we should see any mix turn over to rain, a very cold rain. Plus it will be VERY windy. Winds will be East 25-35 mph with gusts up to 45 mph.

The central part of South Mississippi, will see more of a wintry mix, meaning rain/snow/sleet mix. Most of the precip still shouldn't stick because the ground is too warm. This is more of a forecast challenge because the temperatures can fluctuate through the day, and that quite possibly will change the type of precipitation we will see.

Far inland parts of South Mississippi will see more of a sleet, snow and possible ice mix.

All South Mississippians should be especially cautious Monday morning because the left over precipitation could freeze. Temperatures will fall below freezing in most areas. So, be extremely cautious on bridges and overpasses. The farther north you travel, the more of a chance you will see winter weather.

The National Weather Service is projecting the worst weather, including accumulations of slushy snow and sleet of 4" to 8", are projecting along a line north of Rayville, LA, to Philadelphia, MS on Sunday.

Sleet or ice pellets are frozen raindrops that strike the earth's surface. More than likely, it falls from the upper atmosphere as snow. On its way down, it falls through a layer of air that is above freezing and melts. It then falls through another layer of subfreezing air and refreezes and falls to the ground in the form of sleet or ice pellets.

Freezing rain is liquid precipitation that reaches the earth's surface in the form of water drops because the surface temperature is at or below freezing, when the water drops hit the surface, it freezes on contact. It is also known as icing. 

Snow is a composite of ice crystals that form into flakes. Snow forms in the upper elevations at temperatures below freezing. In order for snow to reach the surface, generally, the entire troposphere needs to be at or below freezing. It CAN be slightly above freezing in some layers if the layer is not warm or deep enough the melt the snow flakes much. This is what we normally see along the coast when we see flurries.

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