The National Weather Service (NWS) on Sunday issued winter storm watches for much of southern Mississippi down to the Gulf Coast from Tuesday morning through early Wednesday in anticipation of the rare wintry weather.
An arctic cold front will move across the state by Monday evening with a frigid airmass to follow. Thereafter, a weather disturbance will approach from the southwest and through moisture on top the the cold air in place, resulting in the snow, sleet and freezing rain.
Snow and sleet accumulations of two to four inches are likely along and south of the Highway 84 corridor with more ice accumulations from freezing rain along and near the coast from around one
quarter to one third of an inch, according to the NWS.
"Road conditions are expected to deteriorate Tuesday into Tuesday night and travel will become difficult as roads and bridges become icy. Power outages may be possible, especially in areas where ice accumulation occurs," the NWS said.
The winter storm watch, which is expected to be upgraded to a warning by Monday afternoon, covers 22 counties including Amite, Covington, Forrest, Franklin, George, Greene, Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, Jefferson Davis, Jones, Lamar, Lawrence, Lincoln, Marion, Pearl River, Perry, Pike, Stone, Walthall, Wayne and Wilkinson.
Outside of the watch area, snow is likely as far north as the I-20 corridor with up to an inch possible.
Some of the coldest weather of the season will aid in causing significant accumulations of the snow and ice with highs only in the 20s with lows dropping off into the teens by early Wednesday.
A hard freeze warning has also been issued for much of the state due to the prolonged freezing temperatures from Monday night through early Wednesday.
This is a developing weather situation and everyone is strongly advised to stay updated on the latest information as it becomes available.