Frigid temps on the way

Published 9:00 pm Wednesday, December 27, 2017

There is a possibility folks in Vicksburg will be ringing in the New Year in snow-like conditions.

Officials are asking the public to monitor and prepare for the weather conditions that are expected to hit the Warren County area this weekend.

Warren County Emergency Management Director John Elfer said Wednesday “wintry precipitation” is in the forecast for Saturday through New Year’s Day.

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“This forecast will likely be adjusted as we near the weekend, so monitor the latest forecasts through the week,” Elfer said.

The National Weather Service in Jackson has issued a hazardous weather outlook for the area that includes Warren County.

“As cold air builds into the region over the weekend, there will be a potential for a light wintry mix of rain, freezing rain and snow across portions of the forecast area from late Sunday into Monday,” said Mark McAllister with the National Weather Service in Jackson. “Light icing of bridges and overpasses is possible within the region Sunday night through Monday.”

This potential weather event is still several days away and the timing and impacts will likely be adjusted in later forecasts.

McAllister said this system will be sticking around for several days and that people should check on their pipes and pets, the elderly, tender vegetation and also be careful driving Saturday night and Sunday night “especially over bridges and overpasses.”

Mississippi Department of Transportation Public Information Manager Jason Scott said right now MDOT is monitoring the weather and relying heavily on the National Weather Service forecast.

“Right now, we’re just doing typical monitoring and making sure our equipment is in working order and ready to go if needed and that our salt and sand is in good shape,” Scott said. “With winter weather, we rely heavily on the National Weather Service and monitor the weather as it gets closer. If it looks like the weather temperatures are dropping, then we will pre-treat roads and bridges.”

Scott said there is a narrow window for when they can put de-icing material on roadways.

“We can’t do that too early because the heavy traffic will just wear it off or if it rains, it will wash the material away,” Scott said. “We base our response heavily on the National Weather Service.”

MDOT does offer the following tips when driving in winter weather:

• Buckle up

• Slow down

• Allow more space between your vehicle and the one in front of you

• Brake early and gently to avoid skidding and never slam on the brakes

• Use headlights to be more visible to other motorists

• Avoid using cruise control on icy roads