Saturday, December 30 Forecast Discussion

Winter Weather Advisory for Clarke (MS), Jasper, Kemper, Lauderdale, Leake, Neshoba, Newton, Noxubee, Scott, Smith, and Winston Counties from 6am until 3pm Sunday.

Winter Weather Advisory for Greene, Hale, Marengo, Pickens, and Sumter Counties from 3am to 6pm Sunday.

Winter Weather Advisory for Choctaw County from midnight until 6pm Sunday.

Wind Chill Advisory for Wayne, Choctaw and Clarke (AL) Counties from 3am to 9am Monday.

Hard Freeze Watch for all Newscenter 11 counties from Sunday night through Wednesday.

A chilly, grey day for us as temperatures have struggled to warm through the day thanks to cold air already attempting to filter into the area. Our high on Sunday will occur at midnight as temperatures drop through the day. The timing of our dropping will determine when freezing rain starts and the timing of the driest air will determine when it ends.

Timing
Speaking of timing, spotty showers will overspread the area tonight starting after midnight with showers prevalent across the area by sunrise Sunday. Temperatures by 6am will be sitting near 35 across the area and will continue to fall. Most locations will be at or just below freezing by 8 or 9am, allowing the changeover to freezing rain. Freezing rain will continue through early to mid afternoon with us dry by the evening. Freezing rain will come to an end from north to south as dry air pours into the area with the core of the cold air.

Amounts
This has been the biggest question so far, and now have some solid answers. Based on timing, locations that see freezing rain will see generally less than a tenth of an inch (0.10") of ice. However, there will be a sweet spot along and north of Interstate 20 that will see freezing rain the longest where freezing rain amounts will total between a tenth (0.10") and a quarter (0.25") inch. Amounts towards a quarter of an inch will be enough to drop some limbs and cause some power outages, however, power outages are not expected to be widespread at this point.

Locations in Jones, Wayne, and Clarke (AL) counties may see a brief mix of freezing rain, but most of the event will be all rain.

Impacts
With amounts generally less than a tenth of an inch, the main impact will be some slick spots on roads and bridges. There will be a light glaze on unmoved cars and other cold surfaces, but no major impacts are expected. Locations that see more than a tenth and up to a quarter of an inch can expect to see icing on trees that coats entire small limbs, smaller limbs breaking, and isolated power outages.

The Arctic Cold
The freezing rain is just the start of a prolonged cold period that will last through most of the upcoming week. Once we get below freezing on Sunday, we will not get back above 32 until Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday. Lows on New Year's Day will be in the teens, with the coldest morning Tuesday where we will wake up near 16. Some of us north of Interstate 20 will wake up near 10. Wind chills will be in the single digits to below 0 each night. We get a reinforcing shot of cold air Wednesday before a gradual warming trend into next week with lows still below freezing even by next Saturday.

Now is the time to make any final preparations by making sure exposed pipes are wrapped, outdoor pets are brought inside or will be warm, and travel plans are made to avoid the worst times and areas. As always, stay with Newscenter 11 for the latest information.