Most school districts across Northeast Mississippi are closed this morning due to the risk of driving on icy roads. With an inch or so of snow having fallen overnight, whatever traffic there is often turns the inch or so of snow that fell overnight into a layer of ice on bridges, overpasses and shaded slopes.
The University of Mississippi will open at noon for classes, but Blue Mountain College and Mississippi State University have canceled all classes and activities for today.
In Houston, city crews were out early sanding residential streets and bridges. Highways through town were wet but had most of the ice broken up by traffic. Roads and highways in the county were icy in spots.
There was one weather-related accident at the intersection of Highway 15 and Airport Road southwest of Houston. Emergency crews responded but reported no major injuries in that accident.
MDOT reported icing of roads in nearly all counties of Northeast Mississippi by early this morning.
“There are reports of ice in most of northern Mississippi, but there are no road closures,” said Jason Scott, a spokesman with the Mississippi Department of Transportation. “Even though temperatures are hovering right around freezing, we don’t believe we’ll have to close any roads, but we are encouraging people to use extreme caution.”
Curt Clayton, emergency management director for Union County, was even more emphatic.
“It’s bad. Stay off the road,” he said.
Ronnie Robinson of Clay County emergency management said at mid-morning Tuesday, “It’s not real bad, but we do have ice on bridges and some roadways. It’s about 28 degrees, it’s kind of sprinkling now, and it looks like it’s going to get worse.”
National Weather Service forecasters say most of Northeast Mississippi won’t get the severe ice and snow that some areas farther south and east are experiencing, but frozen precipitation could continue for another day or so.
“It looks like another chance tonight for more snow and wintry precipitation,” said NWS meteorologist Zack Maye. “Another one to two inches is possible through Wednesday night.”
After Wednesday, moderating temperatures should melt any remaining ice, with forecasts of 50 Thursday, 52 Friday, 55 Saturday and near 60 Sunday.
Friday, with a 20 percent chance of rain, shows the only precipitation in the forecast after Wednesday night.