A major winter storm is preparing to impact the Twin States yet again, and because of the temperature nature expected, we will see all four precipitation types across the area. Not everyone will see all four, as the worst impacts will be north of Interstate 20. South of Interstate 20, temperatures should remain above freezing to prevent any wintry weather from occurring.
This is THE major player for precipitation Tuesday. We have enough moisture in place for snow to develop. The question is what does that snow flake look like once it reaches the ground.
There will be a very large warm layer above the surface that will melt a good portion of it between Highway 16 (Philadelphia, DeKalb, Carthage, Geiger) and Interstate 20 (Forest, Newton, Meridian, Livingston). Surface temperatures, however, will be near freezing Tuesday morning. If we reach freezing or drop below freezing, we will see freezing rain which will create a glaze on trees and bridges as well as parked cars.
North of Highway 16 (Louisville, Macon, Aliceville), temperatures will remain below freezing, so precipitation will be in the form of snow and sleet. How warm the layer above the surface gets will determine which type you will see. It looks like mostly snow with sleet mixing in from time to time.
Precipitation will start to fall this evening across the area spreading from southwest to northeast and west to east. A heavier band of precipitation looks to develop near Highway 82, which is why Winter Storm Warnings are up for those locations with Winston and Noxubee Counties potentially being added before sunset Monday.
The winter precipitation for those of you north of Highway 16 will last most of Tuesday as it will take all day for temperatures to warm above freezing. Between Highway 16 and Interstate 20, the best timing looks to be between about 2am and 2pm, with freezing rain mixing during all or a portion of this time period. The best chance to see freezing rain the longest will be along Highway 16 in the current Winter Weather Advisory.
South of Interstate 20, rain will fall during the same time period with little to no potential of any wintry mix, especially south of Highway 18 (Raleigh, Bay Springs, Pachuta, Quitman, Butler, Sweet Water).
Freezing rain will cause icy spots on bridges and on some roadways. Travel will be more dangerous the further north you head as sleet and snow will make travel difficult to almost impossible in some locations, especially near Highway 82.
With freezing rain, we will have the potential for power outages across the area, especially for locations that see more than 0.10" of ice. Make sure you have a backup plan should you lose power to be able to stay warm. Be sure to leave at least three feet of space completely around any space heaters.
What to Do
If you do not have to travel on Tuesday, do not. Make sure to bring outdoor pets inside, or provide a way for them to stay warm. Protect your sensitive plants. Be sure to check on the elderly and young children throughout the day Tuesday, especially if we see power outages. Stay with Newscenter 11 as we will have team coverage throughout this event.