Bitter cold blast sweeps through the coast

Bitter cold blast sweeps through the coast

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Sleet is falling in Jackson. And now, plunging temperatures are expected to create issues across South Mississippi. The WLOX First Alert Weather team is in agreement with the National Weather Service. Temperatures will drop into the low 20s tonight. Consequently, a hard freeze warning has been issues for all of South Mississippi. That warning runs from midnight until 11:00 Saturday morning.

The hard freeze means crops and other sensitive vegetation are at risk. With People, pets, and pipes exposed to the outdoors will also be in danger.

"We also have wind chill advisories in effect which mean wind chills will be down to the teens tonight," WLOX First Alert meteorologist Eric Jeansonne said.

Off and on rain may turn into sleet. The precipitation will cause travel issues for anyone driving through Mississippi. Jeansonne expects "patchy ice in Pearl River, Stone and George Counties." If the rains last beyond midnight, he sees a possibility for "very isolated areas of black ice down here if it doesn't dry in time," making coastal roads treacherous.

All three coastal counties have cold weather shelters opening this weekend. Harrison County shelters are at the Salvation Army on 22nd Street in Gulfport and civic center in D'Iberville. A Jackson County shelter is at the Pascagoula Salvation Army. The Hancock County shelter is at Old Spanish Trail Baptist Church.

Copyright 2017 WLOX. All rights reserved.