More bitter-cold on the way; models "flaky" on snow chances - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

More bitter-cold on the way; models "flaky" on snow chances

European model run from Sunday morning showing light snow for Wednesday morning 1-17-18 European model run from Sunday morning showing light snow for Wednesday morning 1-17-18
North American Mesoscale model run from Sunday showing no snow for Wednesday morning 1-17-18 North American Mesoscale model run from Sunday showing no snow for Wednesday morning 1-17-18
Global Forecast System model run from Sunday showing no snow for Wednesday morning 1-17-18 Global Forecast System model run from Sunday showing no snow for Wednesday morning 1-17-18
SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) -

Winter continues to hold a tight grip on the Gulf Coast as another arctic blast is getting ready to plunge towards south Mississippi Tuesday night into Wednesday. Bitter, pipe-bursting cold will accompany this latest cold snap along with a small chance for a few snow showers. Now is the time to make sure the 4 Ps are taken care of if you haven't already done so with other recent cold snaps. Low temperatures Wednesday and Thursday mornings will be in the low 20s to upper teens. 

Say it ain't snow!
There is a narrow window of opportunity for a light mix of sleet or snow Tuesday night into Wednesday morning when the arctic front arrives.

However, there are some limiting factors. There simply may not be enough moisture for the front to work with as it approaches south Mississippi. The weather set-up is such that the main piece of energy associated with the front will pass far north and move quickly, not allowing for ample moisture to be pulled up from the Gulf of Mexico. 

Timing is everything. A lot of things must line-up just right in the atmosphere for sleet and snow to fall this far south. Generally, the cold air needs to be in place before the moisture arrives. If the moisture leaves too soon, then no snow. 

The GFS (Global Forecast System)  ECMWF (European), and North American Mesoscale (NAM) models are all agreeing on the cold. But the GFS and NAM have whatever moisture that is available clearing out much sooner, while the European has the moisture staying longer-keeping a chance for light snow.

Overall, a few snow showers can't be ruled out Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. Bitter cold will settle into south Mississippi. By Wednesday morning, wind chill values may be in the teens and single digits. 

When do we warm up?
If you are just done with the cold, it looks like warmer temperatures start to arrive by Friday into the weekend. 

Eric Jeansonne

WLOX Meteorologist 

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