It's a busy Sunday in the WLOX 24-7 Weather Center as our meteorologists are tracking one of the strongest Arctic fronts we've seen in many years. Our team of experienced forecasters is working hard to prepare and keep you ahead of the storm.
As of Sunday morning, the cold front was draped across the nation's mid-section from Chicago and Detroit, southwest toward St. Louis and Dallas. A band of heavy snow is falling right along this front, adding to the snow pack across the Central Plains.
With fresh snowfall covering much of the area to our north, any sunshine we do receive will have a very difficult time warming things up. The sunshine will be reflected back into the atmosphere rather than absorbed into the earth's surface, so the effects of this unusually strong Arctic air mass will be felt farther south than it normally would.
Because this is such a rare situation that is unfolding, forecast models are having a hard time predicting temperatures. Minor details with this system as it moves southward can have a major impact on our forecast, so we're watching every move it makes in order to get a better understanding of how it will affect us early in the week.
As the cold front passes this Sunday evening, expect a few light showers followed by rapidly falling temperatures. Winds will be strong out of the northwest, reinforcing the cold air and making it feel much colder than it actually is. Any rain left behind on roadways will likely freeze over, so use caution while driving even though we do not expect any significant frozen precipitation in South Mississippi.
The unusually cold air will linger through the first half of the week, making for some frigid overnight temperatures that may rival some of our records. Strong winds will keep temperatures from dropping as much Monday morning, but the wind chill will certainly be a factor. Tuesday may be the coldest morning as winds should calm down a bit, but even without the strong winds; the colder temperatures and a lighter wind may lead to wind chills in the single digits and lower teens as far south as the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
Stay warm and safe as this cold snap brings uncomfortably cold wind chills and temperatures to South Mississippi. As always, stay tuned to WLOX and WLOX.com for the most up-to-date information concerning your forecast. Also, don't forget to download the WLOX Weather App to your smart phone.