Cold snap breaks records month after heat streak

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 10, 2000

Jenorice Blackmore, a fourth-grader at Bowmar Magnet School, is all bundled up as she gets off a bus at the school this morning. (The Vicksburg Post/PAT SHANNAHAN)

Folks in Vicksburg were pulling out coats and sweaters this morning in the face of a record fall cold snap that has come less than a month after September temperatures were lingering in the triple digits.

The thermometer ventured no higher than 58 degrees Monday, shattering the previous record of 61 degrees for the lowest high for the date. The average high for this time of year is 79 degrees.

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“There’s a huge Canadian cold air mass covering most of the Eastern U.S. right now,” said Chris Jakub, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Jackson.

The early cold air mass has arrived when a 106-degree reading on Aug. 30, the highest official temperature ever recorded in Vicksburg, is still fresh in memories.

The same high pressure system out of Canada also plunged temperatures into the upper 20s in places across the South that had been in the mid-80s just last week. Among the lowest of the lows: 26 in Cleveland, Ga., 29 in Huntsville, Ala., and 33 in Raleigh, N.C.

“We haven’t seen these kinds of temperatures this early since the early 1900s,” said Kent McMullen, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Peachtree City, Ga.

Neal Brun, manager of The Ground Floor, a downtown coffee shop, said the chilly mornings this week have brought in crowds of teeth-chattering java drinkers and made him rethink plans to close temporarily for remodeling and reorganization.

“People are coming in here and they’re shivering,” Brun said. “We had to crank up the heater and people are appreciating it.”

But Vicksburgers should listen to the long-term forecast before packing away their short sleeves for the winter: forecasters say temperatures should be back in the 80s by the weekend.

Highs will climb about 5 or 10 degrees each day this week until temperatures get back to normal, which should be around Friday, Jakub said.

“This was just a big push of cold air,” he said. “It feels pretty good, though, after all that hot weather.”