After enjoying spring-like temperatures this weekend, Mississippians are facing a new threat from winter weather today.
Gov. Phil Bryant has issued a state of emergency for the possibility of significant ice accumulations in the northern half of the state and severe thunderstorms or tornadoes in the central and southern parts of the state. A state of emergency is an administrative tool that authorizes the use of additional state resources for this storm system.
The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency has partially activated the State Emergency Operations Center for key state agencies such as MEMA, the Mississippi Department of Public Safety, the Mississippi Department of Transportation, the Mississippi Department of Health and the Mississippi Department of Human Services. The American Red Cross and Salvation Army are also staffing the SEOC.
The National Weather Service forecasts northwest Mississippi and the Delta area could see up to three quarters of an inch of ice, while other parts could see anywhere from a tenth to a quarter inch of ice accumulation. This could create hazardous driving conditions in some areas, especially on bridges and overpasses. Ice accumulations can also cause power outages.
The NWS forecast also calls for a limited threat of severe thunderstorms with perhaps a tornado or two for a majority of central and south Mississippi as a strong cold front pushes across the state tonight through this morning.